Robert B. Carney
Chief of Naval OperationsClass of 1916
- Chief of Naval Operations, 1953-1955
Robert B. Carney led the U.S. Navy at the height of the Cold War confrontations over Indochina and the offshore islands of China.
Born in Vallejo, California, Carney graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916. He spent his early career in the surface navy, serving in cruisers and battleships and commanding destroyers. In 1941, Carney helped organize escort forces to protect North Atlantic convoys from German U-boat attacks. He commanded light cruiser USS Denver during combat operations in the Pacific. In 1943 he became Chief of Staff to Admiral William F. Halsey, Commander South Pacific. Carney helped plan some of the major operations that led to the defeat of Japan in 1945. After service as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Logistics and Commander Second Fleet, Carney directed U.S. and later NATO forces in Europe beginning in December 1950. Appointed CNO by President Eisenhower in 1953, Carney was key to Navy operations in support of the French in their struggle with the Vietnamese Communists for control of Indochina. He directed the evacuation of 300,000 Vietnamese refugees from North to South Vietnam in 1954-1955 in the "Passage to Freedom" operation. In support of national objectives, the Navy under Admiral Carney deployed a five-carrier task force off China to help resolve the Taiwan Straits crisis of 1954-1955. Carney also created the Long Rang Objectives Group that drafted long-term strategic goals for the Navy in the Cold War. USS Carney (DDG-64) was named in honor of the admiral.