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Re: promotions

April 23 2009 at 1:51 AM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Re: promotions


< While not 100%, a "tombstone" promotion was awarded to anyone that was awarded the Navy Cross. Thus, it is likely that these men were serving Rear Admirals when they retired. >

Yeah, and it's that darned "not 100%" which is the devil in the dustbin and the wombat in the woodpile. In other instances, at least in the army, the bump-up came at retirement, so there was the practical value of augmented retirement pay....though again, it does not seem to have been automatic. I think if the officer's previous promotion came too close to retirement--a common example was when an officer retired prematurely not long after promotion, but before the mandatory 64 years of age--or if he was somehow undeserving or generally unpopular, there was no such promotion.

No way is this graven in stone (i.e., it needs corroboration), but I think that Herbert V. Wiley had been promoted to vice admiral sometime before his forced medical retirement. For the others, certainly so in the case of Thomas H. Binford, you are likely on the money regarding the retirement or tombstone promotion to vice admiral.

Big question to you: What is--or could be--going on with Commander (eventually Vice Admiral) Paul H. Talbot? During a very dark period when the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army, and all their friends to be counted anywhere were being rocked and socked and bloodied aplenty, along comes Cdr. Talbot with his division of ancient tin cans, and delivers a sweet torpedo and gun attack that sinks or damages an undetermined number of Japanese troopships, AND gets away clean as a whistle (soon being awarded, most deservedly, a Navy Cross). So, six days later, he is relieved as commander of DesDiv 59 and whisked away to Australia. Okay, the United States needed sterling plate heroes to be paraded around and shown off, right? WRONG!! Talbot was still in Oz cooling his heels and waiting for transport home two months later, and he didn't return stateside until WEST POINT (AP 23)* departed Melbourne on 6 Apr 1942! What was going on?? Here the U.S. Navy had an aggressive and inspired DD division leader and he was just wasted in Australia? After all, Crouch, Binford, and Parker weren't relieved of their divisions, and despite two Navy Crosses in the NEI, Lieut. Cdr. Parker didn't get another destroyer division right away, but was given the command of CUSHING (DD 376). I just don't get Talbot's relief....unless self-requested (but if so, why when he was so badly needed?). Any notions?

*By coincidence, or perhaps not coincidence, the very ship he would later be assigned to as XO.


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  • Re: Relief - Mark E Horan on Apr 23, 2009, 3:47 AM
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