Ghormley, Robert Lee, 1883-1958

Alternative names
Birth 1883-10-15
Death 1958-06-21

Biographical notes:

Robert Lee Ghormley (1883-1958), U.S. Navy admiral, commander of the South Pacific Area in 1942.

From the description of Ghormley, Robert Lee, 1883-1958 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10600902

Robert Lee Ghormley (1883-1958) was born in Portland, Oregon to Dr. David Owen Ghormley and Alice Irwin Ghormley. When he was 10-years-old, his father, a Presbyterian minister, accepted a new assignment in Moscow, Idaho, home of the University of Idaho. After graduating from the University’s preparatory school in 1899, Robert enrolled in the University but left after being accepted into the Naval Academy in 1902. In 1903, the University of Idaho honored the credits he’d earned at the Naval Academy and awarded him a Bachelor of Arts degree. Ghormley graduated from the Naval Academy in 1906.

During the span of his 40-year career as a naval officer, Ghormley held commands throughout the world and served during two world wars. In April 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Ghormley Commander of all U.S. Forces in the South Pacific Area. From February 1943 to October 1944, Ghormley served as Commander of the 14th Naval District and the Hawaiian Sea Frontier, and from November 1944 through December 1945, he oversaw the destruction of German naval forces as Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe. Ghormley was a participant in the Tripartite Conference of 1945, and after retiring from the Navy in 1946, he returned to his home in Washington, D.C. He died in 1958 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Robert L. Ghormley Papers, #1153, Joyner Library, East Carolina University. Accessed May 29, 2012.

From the guide to the Biography of Vice Admiral Robert Lee Ghormley, 1966, (University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives)


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  • Idaho
  • Military
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American


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