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First Name: Waldemar

Last Name: Wendt

Birthplace: Millstadt, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Frederick August

Date of Birth: 15 March 1912

Date of Death: 21 October 1997

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1933-1971
Waldemar Frederick August Wendt

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1933

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)
•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Waldemar Frederick August Wendt

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Waldemar Frederick August Wendt was born on 15 March 1912 in Millstadt, IL, to Reverend Paul Wendt and Wilhelmine Thowe. He was appointed in 1929 from the state of Wisconsin to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he rowed on the Navy crew team and was captain of varsity oarsmen in his final year. Upon graduating, he was commissioned an Ensign on 1 June 1933.

His first assignment was aboard the battleship USS Oklahoma. In March 1935, he transferred to the destroyer minelayer USS Ramsay. Detached in December 1935, he returned to the Academy as Assistant Coach of Crew until June 1936, when he reported aboard the destroyer leader USS Moffett until June 1939.

World War II

He attended the Naval Postgraduate School from June-September 1939 for instruction in Applied Communications, but the course was cut short when President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted Neutrality Patrol operations, in which he was engaged as Gunnery Officer and First Lieutenant aboard the destroyer USS Bainbridge in the Panama Canal Zone until June 1940. He then served six months as Training Officer on the staff of Commander Destroyer Squadron Twenty-Seven before being transferred in December to the staff of Commander Destroyer Squadron 30 until September 1943, for duty conducting escort of convoy operations and participating in the invasion of North Africa.

In December 1943, he assumed command of the destroyer USS Monaghan in the Pacific Fleet. He commanded Monaghan in action during the invasions of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. He was detached from Monaghan in December 1944 and assigned to the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet, Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, in Washington, DC. Less than a month later, Monaghan was lost in the 1944 typhoon, with only six survivors.

Post-WWII Service

In late 1945, he became head of the Pacific Section, Fleet Operations Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. In 1947, he reported aboard the heavy cruiser USS Helena to serve as Executive Officer until July 1948, a tour that began and ended with duty in the Far East, and included a stint as Helena's Commanding Officer from June-September 1947 during training operations in California waters. In August he returned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations (Strategic Plans).

He was a student in the Strategy and Tactics course at the Naval War College from September 1949 to June 1950, then served for a year as Head of the Atlantic, Europe and Middle East Section, Strategic Plans Division, Office of the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. In August 1951, he joined the staff of the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, as General Plans Officer. From August 1953 to June 1954, he commanded Escort Destroyer Division 22; then served on the faculty of the National War College from July 1954 to August 1956, where he was Chairman of the Committee on the Curriculum.

He commanded the amphibious attack transport USS Rankin from 4 October 1956, to 9 November 1957, and was advanced to Commander Destroyer Squadron 36 in December 1957. From 1 February 1959, he served as head of the Command and Policies Branch, Strategic Plans Division.

Flag Officer Assignments

Promoted to Rear Admiral, on 17 January 1960 he assumed command of U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas, with additional duty as CINCPAC representative, Marianas-Bonins, as Deputy High Commissioner of the Marianas District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and as Deputy Military Governor of the Bonin-Volcano Islands; with headquarters in Guam. In October 1961, he became Commander Destroyer Flotilla 7 (re-designated Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla 7 on 1 April 1962) with additional duty until November 1961 as Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet. From August 1962, he was assigned as director of the Strategic Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.

Advanced to Vice Admiral, he was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander-in-Chief Atlantic in Norfolk, VA, on 9 August 1965. He became Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Plans and Policy) on 17 April 1967.

On 12 July 1968, Wendt was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Naval Forces Europe. Headquartered in London, England, Wendt was responsible for all U.S. naval operations in Europe, the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, and the Middle East. He was relieved on 30 June 1971 and placed on the retired list on 1 July 1971.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 2 Gold Stars
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal with Combat "Valor" Device
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Surface Warfare Officer Badge

In Retirement

He served on the Board of Overseers of the Center for Naval Analyses from 1972 to 1983 and resided in Virginia Beach, VA, where he was a deacon and elder of First Presbyterian Church.


He married Folsom Ferris, of Los Angeles, CA, on 13 June 1935; they had three children.

Death and Inurnment

Admiral Waldemar Frederick August Wendt died on 21 October 1997 in Virginia Beach, VA. His ashes are inurned at Galilee Church Columbarium in Virginia Beach City, VA.

He is survived by his wife, Folsom Ferris Wendt; a son, Peter F. Wendt of San Felipe, MX (deceased 2004); two daughters, Sally Folsom Wendt of Columbus, OH, and Deborah Wendt Crabtree of Virginia Beach; a brother, Dr. William P. Wendt of Milwaukee, WI; a half-brother, Otto Friz of Monomonee Falls, WI; and six grandchildren, including local grandchildren Thomas August Crabtree and Katherine Leigh Crabtree; and eight great-grandchildren.

Honoree ID: 676   Created by: MHOH




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