The Full Wiki

Frederick J. Horne: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Frederick J. Horne

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frederick J. Horne
February 14, 1880(1880-02-14) – October 18, 1959 (aged 79)
Admiral Frederick J Horne.gif
Frederick J. Horne
Place of birth New York City, New York
Place of death San Diego, California
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1899–1946
Rank Admiral
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Navy Cross

Admiral Frederick Joseph Horne (February 14, 1880 – October 18, 1959) was an admiral in the United States Navy. As the first Vice Chief of Naval Operations, he directed all Navy logistics during World War II.


Early career

Horne was born on February 14, 1880, in New York City, New York, to George Edward Horne and the former Marguerite Agnes Cooper.[1] He was appointed from the state of New York to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, on May 20, 1895.[2]

As a naval cadet,[3] he served in the Spanish-American War aboard the gunboat Bancroft and the battleship Texas during the summer of 1898, participating in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba on July 3, 1898. He graduated from the Academy on January 28, 1899, and commenced the requisite two years of precommissioning sea duty as a passed midshipman, serving successively aboard the protected cruiser New Orleans, the gunboat Paragua, the gunboat Castine, the gunboat Yorktown, the distilling ship Iris, and the hospital ship Solace, participating in fifteen engagements of the Philippine Insurrection. He was commissioned ensign with date of rank January 28, 1901.[4][5]

After receiving his commission, he continued to serve at sea aboard the gunboat Alert, the wooden screw sloop Adams, and as chief engineer of the gunboat Wheeling, before returning to the Naval Academy in 1904 to be an instructor in the Department of Engineering.[4] He next was senior engineer of the monitor Florida from May 25, 1906, until being transferred to the battleship Illinois, where he performed similar duty from September 1906 to November 28, 1908. He then served two years as executive officer of the protected cruiser Chattanooga, operating with the Asiatic Fleet, until October 8, 1910. He reported again to the Naval Academy as an instructor in the Department of Navigation from November 1, 1910, to June 10, 1912, a tour that included service as senior engineer officer of the battleship Iowa for the practice cruise of summer 1911.[4]

He then served as navigator of the battleship New Hampshire, the battleship Alabama, and again aboard New Hampshire. He reported to the Naval Training Station for duty in charge of a draft of men to Manila, Philippine Islands, then served as navigator of the armored cruiser Saratoga, operating with the Asiatic Fleet. Upon reaching the Naval Station, Olongapo, Philippine Islands, he spent three months as captain of the yard, then from June to November 1914 commanded the distilling ship Rainbow, which departed Manila Bay in July and surveyed the French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii, en route to Mare Island Navy Yard to be decommissioned.[4]


World War I

As commanding officer of Von Steuben, September 1919 (front row, eighth from left).

As a lieutenant commander, he was assigned duty with the naval attaché in Tokyo, Japan, before serving as naval attaché himself from January 15, 1915, to March 15, 1919. He was awarded the Navy Cross for "distinguished Naval Attaché which capacity he had remarkable success in establishing and maintaining friendly relations with the Japanese authorities in supplying valuable information to the Office of Naval Intelligence and to the Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet...(and) with the purchase and building of ships in Japan for the United States Government."[4] He also became the first American naval officer to be decorated by the Japanese government, which awarded him the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Third Class, for "his splendid service as Naval Attaché."[6] Upon returning to the United States, he reported to the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C. for a month of special duty.[4]

He assumed command of the troop transport Von Steuben on May 17, 1919, which ferried troops home from France before being decommissioned in October, whereupon Horne transferred to the destroyer tender Buffalo, operating with the Pacific Fleet. He remained with Buffalo until June 1920, except for a month in command of the cruiser Birmingham, flagship of Destroyer Squadrons, Pacific Fleet, then commanded the fleet repair ship Vestal for a year.[4]

Returning ashore in June 1921, he reported as aide to the commandant of the Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire, then attended the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Army War College in Washington, D.C.[4]

He commanded the light cruiser Omaha from June 14, 1924, to January 16, 1926, after which he had duty in connection with the Naval Reserve in the Third Naval District, New York City, until March 1926.[4]

Naval aviation observer

From March to June 1926,[4] Horne was a member of the first class of captains persuaded by Bureau of Aeronautics chief William A. Moffett to undergo flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.[4] A new law restricted the command of aircraft carriers, tenders, squadrons, and aviation shore establishments to qualified naval aviators or naval aviation observers. Qualification as a naval aviator required a demanding 200 hours in the air, so most older officers opted for the less rigorous designation of naval aviation observer, which required only 100 hours in the air. Horne qualified as a naval aviation observer along with most of the other captains in his class, which included future three- and four-star admirals Joseph M. Reeves, Harry E. Yarnell, Alfred W. Johnson, and Henry V. Butler.[7]

After serving as a member of the Naval Examining Board in the Navy Department, Horne temporarily relieved Captain Ernest J. King as commanding officer of the aircraft tender Wright on January 3, 1927. Moffett had assigned King to Wright before receiving the necessary flight training to ensure King got command of the tender, so Horne served as caretaker captain while King qualified as a naval aviation observer at Pensacola. King resumed command of Wright on June 6, 1927.[7] As Wright's captain, Horne had additional duty as senior aide on the staff of Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet.[4]

From June 1927 to April 1929,[4] Horne served in the War Plans Division of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations as chief assistant to its head, Rear Admiral Frank H. Schofield. Horne's experience with aviation and as naval attaché in Tokyo proved invaluable when updating War Plan Orange, the prewar blueprint for a projected war with Japan, while his "down-to-earth, old shoe" personality helped soothe relations with Army counterparts on the Joint Army and Navy Board.[8]

Horne commanded the aircraft carrier Saratoga from April 20, 1929, to September 5, 1930,[9] then served as Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet from September 20, 1930, to June 5, 1931. His title was changed to Commander Carrier Division 1, U.S. Fleet, in October 1930, then changed again on February 13, 1931, to Commander Aircraft, Scouting Force, and Commander Division 1. He reported to the Fourteenth Naval District, Pearl Harbor, on July 18, 1931, as chief of staff to the commandant for two years.[4]

Flag officer

As Commander, Base Force, 1934 (standing, third from left)

As a rear admiral, Horne served as Commander Train Squadron, Base Force, and as Commander, Base Force, from June 1933 to June 1934; as a member of the Naval Examining Board until March 1935; as Commander Cruiser Division 6, Scouting Force from April 1, 1935, to June 18, 1935; and as Commander Aircraft, Base Force, until June 9, 1936,[4] when he was relieved by now-Rear Admiral Ernest J. King.[10]

Commander Aircraft, Battle Force

Promoted to the temporary rank of vice admiral, Horne served as Commander Aircraft, Battle Force (COMAIRBATFOR), from June 9, 1936, to January 29, 1938.[4]

Horne's tour as COMAIRBATFOR was marked by Fleet Problem XVIII, the latest in a series of annual fleet exercises that developed and tested naval doctrine between the wars. In one early simulation, Horne faced off against King in a simulated air assault on San Diego, California. Horne's carriers, Saratoga and Ranger, were tasked with attacking the city, which was defended by King's shore-based patrol planes and the aircraft of the carrier Lexington. King's patrol planes located Horne's carriers during the night. In the morning, Horne was frustrated by a heavy fog that prevented all carrier aircraft from taking off, while clear skies over San Diego allowed King to launch heavy bombing attacks that "sank" both of Horne's carriers before the end of the exercise at 10:00 A.M.[11]

King succeeded Horne as COMAIRBATFOR in January 1938,[12] and Horne reverted to his permanent rank of rear admiral.

General Board

From March 15, 1938, he was a member of the General Board of the Navy,[4] where he became the admiral designated to handle aviation problems. (King joined him on the General Board a year later.)[13]

In 1939, Horne headed an influential board that established personnel policies for the expansion of naval aviation. Convened on June 29, 1939, by the Secretary of the Navy "to study matters concerning the regular and reserve aviation personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps," the Horne Board's other members were Commander George D. Murray, Commander Edwin T. Short, Marine Lieutenant Colonel L. C. Merritt, and Lieutenant Commander Walton W. Smith. The rapid expansion of naval aviation had created a demand for pilots far in excess of the supply of qualified Naval Academy graduates. After six months of study, the Board submitted its report on December 22, 1939. "Naval aviation is an essential part of the fleet....Naval Aviators should be required to maintain qualification for general duty in the line," the Horne Board declared, rejecting proposals to create a separate Aviation Corps within the Navy, analogous to the Army's Air Corps, or to designate officers for Aviation Duty Only, analogous to the restricted line officers designated for Engineering Duty Only. The Board instead recommended commissioning a number of reserve naval aviators and transferring them to the regular line of the Navy, which was the approach eventually adopted by the Navy Department.[14]

World War II

In late 1940, King left the General Board to become commander in chief of the Atlantic Fleet. A year later, in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, King was elevated to Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and promptly forced Chief of Naval Operations Harold R. Stark to release his talented assistant, Rear Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll, to succeed King in command of the Atlantic Fleet. To take Ingersoll's place, King suggested Stark select either Horne, who was awaiting retirement on the General Board, or Rear Admiral Russell Willson, the superintendent of the Naval Academy. "Take the one you want to replace Ingersoll and I will take the other as my chief of staff."[15] Stark picked Horne, who served as assistant to the chief of naval operations from December 27, 1941, to March 25, 1942, and was promoted to vice admiral again on March 10, 1942.[4]

Vice Chief of Naval Operations

On March 12, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9096, which unified the titles of Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, and Chief of Naval Operations (COMINCH-CNO). COMINCH wielded supreme command over the operating forces of the Navy, while the CNO was responsible for their training and logistical support. The order also established a three-star Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO) who would head the CNO staff and act as CNO in the absence of the COMINCH-CNO. The result was that Stark was sent to Europe, King became COMINCH-CNO, and Horne became the first VCNO.[16]

During the war, Horne was actually de facto CNO, since King was preoccupied with his COMINCH and Joint Chiefs of Staff duties. King and Horne agreed informally that King would manage the war, leaving logistical matters to Horne and his top assistant, Rear Admiral Lynde D. McCormick.[17] Horne was also the officer responsible for budgets and financial management, the Navy's principal uniformed spokesman before Congress,[18] and a member and later chairman of the Army-Navy Petroleum Board from May 1943 to September 1945.[4]

As head of naval logistics, Horne was the Navy's principal point of contact for the Truman Committee, a special Senate committee headed by Senator Harry S. Truman that was charged with investigating waste, corruption, and profiteering in the wartime defense industry. Called to testify about alleged waste in the Pacific theater, Horne unapologetically retorted that it was impossible to run a war effort on that scale without some waste. "I don't deny for a moment that there are billions of dollars worth of materiel out on Pearl Harbor and elsewhere in the Pacific....But I just have to resolve the balance in favor of giving the commanders what they say they need, and at the same time, I'm fully aware that you gentlemen are interested, as I am, in saving. So where we can cure the waste, we're doing it, but we're not going to stop short."[19]

He was awarded the Legion of Merit for providing "astute guidance in staff planning and logistical collaboration concerned with problems of logistical supply,"[20] and was promoted to full admiral on January 29, 1945, with date of rank December 15, 1944.[1]

Relationship with King

Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King

Horne and King regarded each other with respect and mutual suspicion. Horne told a friend that one of the things he could do for the Navy was to keep King under control, while King admired Horne's intelligence and administrative skill but distrusted his ambition. "Horne was a yes man," King mused later, "but a very able man all the same....I have never liked him and never knew why."[18]

King's biographer speculated that his dislike for Horne stemmed from Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox's attempt to relieve King of one of his COMINCH-CNO titles. At the First Quebec Conference in August 1943, Knox surprised King with the suggestion that King relinquish his CNO title to Horne. Upon returning to Washington, King confronted Horne. "Where in hell did this idea come from?" King demanded. "How did you manage it?" Horne pleaded innocence, claiming that he had had nothing to do with it and that when asked about it he had told Knox that the existing setup was fine. King did not believe him.[18]

Knox's campaign against King peaked in mid-January 1944, when a draft executive order threatened to separate fleet command from naval operations by making King a five-star "Admiral of the Navy and Commander, United States Fleets," while making Horne a four-star "Chief of Naval Logistics and Material" reporting directly to the Secretary of the Navy.[21] However, on February 11, 1944, Congressman Carl Vinson, the powerful chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, revoked his support for Knox's proposal. Knox himself died in April, ending the threat to King's primacy.

Having secured his position, in September 1944 King elevated his COMINCH chief of staff, Vice Admiral Richard S. Edwards, to the newly created position of "Deputy COMINCH-Deputy CNO," which inserted Edwards above Horne in the chain of command. Horne's unhappiness at the effective demotion resulted in a flurry of newspaper and radio criticism, which King tried to quell by issuing a press statement on October 4, 1944, that asserted that "the duties now assigned to Vice Admiral Edwards do not constitute a demotion of Vice Admiral Horne or anyone else."

After the war King was more candid. "Of course Horne would have liked to be CNO. Who wouldn't? But I am afraid he was not quite frank with me. I eased him out, finally."[18]


After the war King reorganized the Navy on September 29, 1945, to eliminate the COMINCH position, leaving the CNO as the undisputed uniformed head of the Navy. Under the reorganization, effective October 10, 1945, Edwards became VCNO, while Horne was temporarily retained as a special assistant to the CNO so that he could handle demobilization and logistic rollback issues.[22] Horne was placed on the retired list on August 1, 1946, but remained on active duty as special assistant and head of the Board of Review for Decorations and Medals until April 1947.[4]

Personal life

In retirement Horne resided in Coronado, California. He married the former Alma Beverly Cole McClung on August 4, 1903;[1] she died in 1957. He married his nurse, Edith, a few months before his death on October 21, 1959, in the San Diego Naval Hospital at the age of 79.[20]

A Christian Scientist, Horne neither smoked nor drank. He and his wife were regarded with great affection by the many young couples they entertained at their home during the war. One staff officer remembered Horne as "the greatest listener I ever knew."[18]

Horne was widely admired as an exceptional administrator. "I don't believe that the country will ever know the full contribution to the prosecution of the recent war by this quiet, modest, sincere, but tremendously effective and capable naval officer," said New York Congressman W. Sterling Cole.[23] Truman Committee staffer John J. Tolan marveled, "In an entire lifetime, one is extremely fortunate to watch such men at work." Tolan once asked Horne why he spent so much time drawing and redrawing boxes in organizational charts. Horne replied, "It isn't the drawing of the boxes that takes my time. It is the selection of the names that go in the boxes. Sometimes, in order to use the right man to his full capacity, you have to change the boxes."[24]

On the other hand, Captain Paul Pihl, an aircraft procurement officer on Horne's staff, blamed many of the Navy's wartime supply failures on Horne's hands-off management style and lack of logistics expertise. "It was his job," Pihl complained after the war, "and he didn't have the faintest idea what the hell he was going to do with it. Horne had had no previous experience with logistics, and he tended to go by the old Navy tradition that you didn't get involved in what was happening in the engine room unless something went wrong, and then you brought a person up and bawled him out for it."[17]


His decorations include the Navy Cross, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Army Legion of Merit, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Spanish Campaign Medal, the Santiago Medal, the Philippine Campaign Medal, the World War I Victory Medal, and the American Defense Medal. He received the rank of Commander in the Legion of Honor from the government of France; the rank of Grand Officer in the Order of Polonia Restituta from the government of Poland; the Order of the Cloud and Banner with Yellow Grand Cordon from the Republic of China; the Croix de Guerre with Palm and the rank of Grand Officer in the Order of Leopold with Palm from the government of Belgium; the rank of Grand Cross in the Order of Naval Merit from the government of Brazil; and the rank of Knight Commander in the Military Division of the Order of the British Empire from the United Kingdom.[1] He had also been awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Third Class, by the government of Japan.[6]

The guided-missile cruiser Horne was named in his honor.

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Who's Who In America, p. 1294.
  2. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the Navy, 1899, p. 63.
  3. ^ U.S. Naval Academy undergraduates were titled "naval cadets" between 1882 and 1902, and "midshipmen" thereafter.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Schuon, pp. 116–117.
  5. ^ Grady, Patricia (November 5, 1942), "Frederick J. Horne", The Washington Post: B9  
  6. ^ a b "Japan Decorates Our Naval Attache", The Associated Press, March 25, 1919,  
  7. ^ a b King and Whitehill, p. 187–190, 193.
  8. ^ Miller, p. 136.
  9. ^ USS Saratoga (CV-3) Commanding Officers, NavSource Online,  
  10. ^ King and Whitehill, p. 266.
  11. ^ Clark, pp. 63–64.
  12. ^ Buell, p. 97.
  13. ^ King and Whitehill, p. 295.
  14. ^ Richardson, pp. 191–193.
  15. ^ Buell, p. 141.
  16. ^ Buell, pp. 161–162, 500–502.
  17. ^ a b Buell, p. 384.
  18. ^ a b c d e Buell, pp. 221–223, 553–554.
  19. ^ Abbott oral history, pp. 19–21.
  20. ^ a b "Frederick Horne, Admiral, 79, Dead; Ex-Commander of Saratoga Was Vice Chief of Naval Operations '42 to '46", The Associated Press, October 20, 1959,  
  21. ^ Albion, pp. 539–541.
  22. ^ King and Whitehill, pp. 631–632.
  23. ^ USS Horne commissioning manual, p. 3.
  24. ^ Tolan oral history, pp. 135–137.


  • Buell, Thomas B. (1980), Master of Sea Power: A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Boston, Massachusetts: Little, Brown & Company  
  • Miller, Edward S. (1991), War Plan Orange, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press  
  • Richardson, James O. (1973), On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor: The Memoirs of Admiral James O. Richardson, Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office  
  • Schuon, Karl (1964), U.S. Navy Biographical Dictionary, New York: Franklin Watts, Inc.  
  • Who's Who In America, 26, Chicago: The A.N. Marquis Company, 1950–1951  

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
March 26, 1942 – October 10, 1945
Succeeded by
Richard S. Edwards


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address