It is with sadness that SNA recently learned of the passing of Vice Admiral James H. Doyle, Jr., USN(Ret), on 28 February 2018 at the age of 93. Vice Admiral Doyle can be considered the "father" of the Surface Navy we have today. Vice Admiral Doyle waa Plank Owner of SNA and is a member of SNA's Hall of Fame.
Rear Admiral Samuel J. Cox, USN(Ret), Director, Naval History and Heritage Command, published the following about Vice Admiral Doyle:
Serving from 1946 to 1980, VADM Doyle had profound influence on the Navy as we know it today, principally from his time as Deputy CNO for Surface Warfare from 1975 - 1980, when he spearheaded the development, construction and introduction of AEGIS cruisers and destroyers to the Fleet, along with associated weapons systems. His actions had significant impact in bringing the U.S. Navy from a post-Vietnam nadir to the expanded and modernized force of the 1980's that helped end the Cold War. He also had major impact on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I) and negotiation of the Incidents at Sea (INCSEA) agreements with the Soviet Union in the early 1970's.The son of VADM James H. Doyle (for whom the PERRY-class frigate USS DOYLE (FFG-39) was named, for his role in command of amphibious forces during the Korean War,) James, Jr. graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Jun 1946 with the wartime accelerated class of 1947. Initial sea-going assignments included the cruiser USS CHICAGO (CA-136 and later CG-11,) before she was decommissioned the first time in 1947, the destroyer USS JOHN W. THOMASON (DD-760) in the far east and the minesweeper USS BULWARK (MSO-425.) His first commands were the coastal minesweepers USS RUFF (MSC(O)-54) and minesweeper USS REDSTART (MSF-378). Following a tour with the Judge Advocate General, he served as XO of the destroyer leader USS JOHN S. MCCAIN (DL-3, later DDG-36) for Western Pacific operations and then CO of the destroyer USS JOHN R. CRAIG (DD-885) for operations off Vietnam. Following completion of nuclear power training he served as XO of the heavy cruiser USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA-148) and then CO of the nuclear cruiser (formerly frigate) USS BAINBRIDGE (DLGN-25/CGN-25) including operations off Vietnam, and a search for survivors of the fire on USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65) in 1969. During his sea duty he earned two Legion of Merits and a Bronze Star Medal, and he was selected for flag.VADM Doyle's, first flag assignment was Chief, International Negotiations Division, Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he was involved in the SALT 1 and INCSEA negotiations, and also served as JCS representative on the U.S. delegation to the Law of the Sea Conference. He then was ordered to command of Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12, where embarked on USS FORRESTAL (CV-59) he deployed to the Mediterranean as Commander Attack Carrier Striking Group TWO. From 1974-1975, he served as Commander THIRD Fleet. In his subsequent tour as DCNO Surface Warfare, he had major influence on numerous programs (many still in the Fleet today,) to include the AEGIS weapon system, TOMAHAWK, Vertical Launch System, Gas turbine propulsion, CIWS, RAM, SLQ-32, and many more.VADM Doyle was awarded two Distinguished Service Medals. The USS RANCOCAS (LS-1) was officially named the VADM James H. Doyle, Jr. Combat System Engineering Development Site (if you've been driving down the New Jersey turnpike and seen what looks like an AEGIS cruiser superstructure in a cornfield, that's the Doyle site.) A Navy acquisition award was also recently named in VADM Doyle's honor (first presentation last November.)
Vice Admiral Doyle's Obituary and service details will be published on SNA's Final Call web page when they become available:
With SNA's deepest condolences to the family and with our greatest respect,
Bill Erickson, CAPT, USN(Ret)
Surface Navy Association
Mobile: (703) 626-5388