Alfred C. Richmond

Alfred C. Richmond

Alfred Carroll Richmond (January 18, 1902-March 15, 1984), He served as the eleventh Commandant of the United States Coast Guard from 1954 to 1962, the second longest tenure of any U.S. Coast Guard Commandant.

Early life and career

Alfred Richmond was born in Waterloo, Iowa and moved to Northern Virginia with his family at the age of ten. After receiving a high school certificate from Massanutten Military Academy of Woodstock, Virginia, he entered the College of Engineering at The George Washington University at the age of 16 in 1918 and graduated in 1922, the same year he was appointed as a cadet at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. While a student at George Washington University, he was employed at the United States Naval Observatory. Upon graduating from the Academy in 1924, with senior man honors, he was commissioned as an Ensign and served as an aide to Commandant Frederick C. Billard until 1926, when he was promoted to Lieutenant j.g. and appointed to the Coast Guard Academy staff. Prior to World War II, he also served aboard a Coast Guard cutter in the Arctic region. During the war, he served as commander of a Coast Guard cutter assigned to convoy duty in the northern Pacific Ocean, and was later transferred to London, where he served as senior Coast Guard officer on the command staff of the US Navy forces in Europe, where he helped coordinate the D-Day invasion. In recognition of his efforts, he received the Bronze Star for meritorious service.

Post-World War II career

Following the war, he was assigned to Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, serving as Supply Division Chief, Program Planning Division Chief, Planning and Budgets Division Chief, and Assistant Chief of the Planning and Control Division. In 1950, President Harry S. Truman appointed him as Assistant Commandant of the Coast Guard with rank of Rear Admiral. The following year, he was given addition duties as Coast Guard Chief of Staff. He was appointed as Commandant in 1954, succeeding Vice Admiral Merlin O'Neill. In 1958, he was appointed to a second four-year term as Commandant. Two years later, in 1960, he was promoted to Admiral under a reorganization law, which required that the Commandant hold the rank of Admiral. In 1961, he became the first recipient of the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal.


Admiral Richmond retired from the United States Coast Guard on June 1, 1962 and moved to Claremont, California, where he served as a civil defense official for a time. His first wife, Gretchen Campbell, with whom he had two sons, Alfred Richmond, Jr. and John Richmond, died in 1974. He died of cancer at the age of 82 in Claremont and is buried alongside her at Arlington National Cemetery.


* [ United States Coast Guard Biography]
* [ Arlington Cemetery Biography]

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