Rear Admiral Alexander Lawton Ford, United States Coast Guard (Retired), was born in Savannah, Georgia, on November 5, 1905. He received his early education in that city, and in 1924 accepted an appointment as a cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn.
Graduated and commissioned an Ensign on March 8, 1927, he subsequently was promoted in rank as follows: Lieutenant (jg), March 8, 1929; Lieutenant, March 8, 1931; Lieutenant Commander, May 25, 1940; Commander, September 1, 1942; and Captain, March 20, 1945. He advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral upon his retirement October 31, 1951.
His first assignments were aboard various cutters and destroyers of the Coast Guard until the spring of 1933, when he was assigned as Communications Officer of the 3rd Coast Guard District, New York, where he served for four years. A tour of sea duty followed, from 1937 until he served for four years. A tour of sea duty followed, from 1937 until early 1941. At the outbreak of World War II, he was serving on the Cutter Sebago as Executive Officer. This tour of duty ended when the U.S. Government gave the Sebago-class vessels to the British Government. He was then assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. for duty in the Communications Section.
Detached a year later, he was ordered to Duluth, Minn., to establish the office of the Captain of the Port in that city. In the summer of 1943 he was assigned to place in commission and assume command of Escort Division 25, a division of frigates which operated with the Seventh Fleet, U.S. Navy, in the Southwest Pacific. While on this assignment, the division participated in all of the amphibious landings in the Southwest Pacific, including the invasion of Leyte Gulf. For extremely meritorious service rendered while on this assignment aboard the USS Long Beach, and subsequently, the USS Sam Pedro and the USS Coronado, Rear Admiral Ford was awarded the Legion of Merit with Combat V.
After many months of duty in the Southwest Pacific, Escort Division 25 returned to Boston, Mass., where Rear Admiral Ford was detached and assigned to the transport USS Wakefield as Executive Officer. A tour of duty as Commanding Officer of the USS Admiral Hughes (AP-124) followed.
Rear Admiral Ford, on May 15, 1946, was designated Chief of Staff, 2nd Coast Guard District, St. Louis, Mo., where he remained until February '49. At that time he was ordered to the 5th Coast Guard District, Norfolk, Va., to assume command of the Cutter Ingham, in which capacity he served until March 1950. He then was named Operations Chief for the District, performing that duty until his retirement in October 1951.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, Rear Admiral Ford earned the following medals: American Defense Service with sea clasp, American Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign and World War II Victory.
Rear Admiral Ford married the former Ella G. of Henderson, Ky., on March 11, 1933. They are the parents of two children, Sally Thornton Ford and Alexander Lawton Ford III.