William V. Pratt
Chief of Naval OperationsClass of 1889
- Chief of Naval Operations, 1930-1933
William Veazie Pratt was born in Belfast, Maine, on 28 February 1869. After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1889, he served in several cruisers and gunboats, visiting Europe, South America and Asia. A second Naval Academy session followed in 1900-1902, after which he served in the North Atlantic Fleet flagship Kearsarge.
Lieutenant Commander Pratt's final Naval Academy tour took place in 1905-1908. He then was Executive Officer of the cruisers Saint Louis and California. Promoted to the rank of Commander in 1910, Pratt was an instructor at the Naval War College in 1911-1913 and spent the next two years in the Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla. Captain Pratt was assigned to the Army in Panama and at the Army War College in 1915-1917. During the First World War he served in Washington, D.C., where as Assistant Chief of Naval Operations in 1918, he played a very important role in running the wartime Navy.
Admiral Pratt became Chief of Naval Operations in September 1930 and spent nearly three years in that post, during a time when Depression-era demands for economy made it very difficult to maintain the Navy's size and readiness. Retired at the beginning of July 1933, Pratt lived thereafter in Maine and New York City. Admiral William V. Pratt died on 25 November 1957.
USS William V. Pratt (DLG-13, later DDG-44) was named in honor of Admiral Pratt.