Notable People

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Rear Admiral William W. Childress


William W. Childress is from Boston, Mass.  He attended Boys High School in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Douglasville High School, Georgia, in 1927, the year his late father, Captain Albert W. Childress, retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years of service.

He served with the 29th Infantry of the Army at Ft. Benning, Ga., from 1928 to August 1930, when he was discharged in order to accept an appointment as cadet to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.  He was graduated from the Academy with a B.S. Degree and commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard on May 15, 1933.

Subsequently he advanced in rank to Lieutenant (jg), May 15, 1836; Lieutenant, May 25, 1940; Lieut. Commander, October 2, 1942; Commander, June 6, 1944; Captain, June 1, 1956; Rear Admiral, July 1, 1964.

He served his earliest assignments on board the Cutter Mojave for one year and the Cutter Thetis for two years, both of these vessels operating out of Boston, Mass.  From July 1936 to March 1937, he was student aviator at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla., then was ordered to return to Boston to report for duty on board the Cutter Chelan.

His next tour of duty was as assistant engineer of the Cutter Sebago, based at Norfolk, Va., from September 1939 to July 1940, after which he became engineer officer of the Cutter Tahoma operating in the Great Lakes out of Cleveland.

After attending the Navy Supply Corps School at Cambridge, Mass., from September 1941 to March 1942, during World War II, he served as Finance and Supply Officer at the Fifth Coast Guard District office in Norfolk, Va., until September 1943.

Following a series of officer training courses over a period of four months at stations in St. Augustine, Fla., and on the West Coast, he commanded the patrol frigate USS Corpus Christi (PF-44) in the Southwest Pacific with the Seventh Fleet from January 1944 to September 1945.

After the victory over Japan, he served first as Personnel Officer at the 12th Coast Guard District office in San Francisco for eight months, then as Finance and Supply Officer at the First District office in Boston, Mass., from April 1946 to June 1949.  He next commanded the Coast Guard Cutter Dexter out of Boston on ocean station weather patrol and search and rescue in the North Atlantic for a year.

Following a tour of duty as Chief, Supply Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., from June 1950 to September 1953, he was assigned as a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration where he earned a Master's Degree in July 1955.  After that, he served two years as Comptroller of the 12th Coast Guard District, San Francisco, Cal., then commanded the 327-ft. Cutter Taney in the Pacific from May 1957 to August 1959.  He then returned to Headquarters in Washington to serve as Comptroller of the U.S. Coast Guard for three years.

While serving next as Chief of Staff, 7th Coast Guard District, Miami, from November 1962 to May 1964, RADM Childress coordinated the build-up of men and facilities required to meet the district's expanded responsibilities following the Cuban crisis.  During that critical period it was necessary to detect and prevent hit and run raids against Cuban positions  and shipping.  The integration into the normal district resources of a large number of men, aircraft, and vessels to achieve the desired results involved exceptionally careful planning and daily execution of detail.  For meritorious achievement in performing those duties, the then Captain Childress was awarded the Coast Guard Commendation Medal during his next tour of duty at Headquarters.

After receiving the appointment of flag officer to rank as permanent Rear Admiral from July 1, 9164, RADM Childress was transferred from Miami back to Washington to assume the post of Chief of Operations of the Coast Guard.  In July 1966, he became Commander, First Coast Guard District, Boston, Mass, his last tour of duty until he retired July 13, 1968.

In addition to the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, RADM Childress has the following decorations: for World War II service, the American Defense, American Area, Asiatic-Pacific, and Victory Medal; others include the National Defense Service Medal, Korean War, as well as the Expert Pistol Shot and Expert Rifleman's Medals.

RADM Childress is married to Norma S. of New London, Conn.  They have three children, Ronda Ruth, William W., Jr., and Robert D.

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