J D Riley Biography & Facts
Herbert Douglas Riley (December 24, 1904 – January 17, 1973) was a highly decorated officer in the United States Navy with the rank of Vice admiral. A Naval Academy graduate, he trained as naval aviator and distinguished himself first as Commanding officer of escort aircraft carrier USS Makassar Strait during the combats at Iwo Jima and Okinawa during World War II.Following the War, he rose to the flag rank and held important staff assignments as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations and Readiness and later as Director of the Joint Staff during Cuban Missile Crisis. Riley was a son-in-law of Admiral John H. Towers, pioneer naval aviator and later-Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.
Herbert D. Riley was born on December 24, 1904, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Marion and Sarah Riley. He attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in May 1923. While at the Academy, Riley was active in Lacrosse and served was on the editorial staff of the Lucky Bag. He was nicknamed Herb or Pat.Many of his classmates became general officers later including George W. Anderson, Jr., Glynn R. Donaho, John C. Munn, Alan Shapley, John Thach, Clarence E. Coffin, Samuel H. Crittenden Jr., Marion L. Dawson, Timothy F. Donohue, Thomas J. Hamilton, Herbert L. Hoerner, William P. Chilton, Alexander M. Kowalzyk, William L. Knickerbocker, Leland R. Lampman, William H. Leahy, William F. Royall, Willard A. Saunders, Brooke Schumm, Francis M. McAlister, Samuel S. Jack, Jack P. Juhan, David F. O'Neill, Henry R. Paige, Richard P. Ross Jr., Walter L. J. Bayler, Joseph W. Earnshaw, Harold D. Hansen, Archie E. O'Neil, Miles S. Newton, George H. Potter and Earl S. Piper.Riley graduated with Bachelor of Science on June 2, 1927 and was commissioned Ensign in the United States Navy on the same date. He was attached to the battleship USS New Mexico two months later and participated in the patrol cruises with the Pacific Fleet before he was ordered to Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida for flight training in September 1929.Upon the completion of the training, Riley was designated Naval aviator on September 3, 1930 and was attached to the Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6), Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. While he underwent training, he was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on June 2, 1930 and also completed correspondence course in optics at the Naval War College. Riley then served with the Scouting Squadron Five (VS-5) until June 1933, when he was transferred to the Patrol Squadron One (VP-1) stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. In June 1935, Riley was transferred to the Fighting Squadron Three (VF-3) and was promoted to lieutenant on June 30, 1936.
Duty in Washington
An important milestone of Riley's career was his transfer to the Naval Air Station Anacostia in Washington, D.C. in January 1938. He served as test and transport pilot for government officials and also held additional duty as Naval Aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House. While in this capacity, Riley met Marjorie Towers, daughter of Rear admiral John H. Towers, then-Chief of Bureau of Aeronautics. They were married in the Fort Myer Chapel, Virginia in June 1940.Riley was shortly thereafter transferred to the staff, Commander, Carrier Division 1 under Rear admiral Arthur L. Bristol and served as his Flag lieutenant and Aide and continued in this capacity following Bristol's appointment as Commander, Aircraft Scouting Force of the Atlantic Fleet. Following appointment of Rear admiral John S. McCain Sr. to command of Aircraft Scouting Force, Riley remained as his Aide for several months.
World War II
Following the United States entry into World War II, Riley was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant commander on January 1, 1942 and assumed duty as operations officer on the staff of Commander, Fleet Air West Coast, which was responsible for the defense of West Coast of the United States and Alaska. In late 1942, Riley was temporarily attached to the Aircraft Squadrons operating at Guadalcanal and saw combat duty against Japanese fighter planes.He subsequently returned to Washington, D.C. and was attached Bureau of Aeronautics, where he headed Plans Division consecutively under Rear admirals John S. McCain Sr. and DeWitt C. Ramsey and received Navy Commendation Medal for his service. Riley was ordered to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in early January 1945 and assumed command of escort aircraft carrier USS Makassar Strait. Riley commanded his carrier during the protecting of convoys supporting the frontline Fast Carrier Task Force under his old superior now-Vice admiral John S. McCain Sr. and also provided air screens for the transfer of replacement aircraft to their carriers during the Battle of Iwo Jima.Upon promotion to the temporary rank of Captain on March 20, 1945, Riley's ship provided close air support and bombed Japanese defenses as the marines struggled to fight their way south during the combats at Okinawa in May 1945 and Riley was decorated with Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V". He was transferred to the staff, Commander First Carrier Task Force under Vice Admiral Frederick C. Sherman as operations officer by the end of July 1945. While in this capacity he took part in the occupation of Japan and was appointed Honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his wartime service by the United Kingdom.
Following the War, Riley was attached to the staff of Joint Army-Navy Task Force One under Vice admiral William H. P. Blandy as Deputy Air Commander and took part in the Operation Crossroads, nuclear weapon tests at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. He was subsequently ordered to Washington, D.C., where he joined the Strategic Plans Section in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations under Admiral Louis E. Denfeld. Riley was later appointed an assistant to United States Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal and following his death in March 1949, he continued as an assistant to his successor Louis A. Johnson. For his service during the Operation Crossroads, Riley received Distinguished Flying Cross.Riley entered the National War College in Washington in September 1950 and completed the instruction there one year later. He then served Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans on the staff of Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet under Admiral Lynde D. McCormick at Norfolk, Virginia until February 1952, when McCormick's command was expanded to Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic as the part of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Riley became its Assistant Chief of Staff for Plans, Policy and Operations.In November 1952, Riley assumed command of attack aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and participated in the training of pilots in carrier operations off of the Virginia Capes and Mayport, Florida. He sailed for a tour of duty in the Mediterranean in April 1953 and visited Sp.... Discover the J D Riley popular books. Find the top 100 most popular J D Riley books.