Notable People

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Rear Admiral George A. Knudsen


George Andrew Knudsen was born on March 29, 1907, at Baltimore, Md., and was graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1925.  He entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with an appointment as cadet in August 1927.

He was graduated and commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Coast guard on May 15, 1930, and subsequently advanced in rank as follows: Lieutenant (jg), May 15, 1933; Lieutenant, May 15, 1935; Lieutenant Commander, January 1, 1942; Commander, December 1, 1943; Captain, March 1, 1951; Rear Admiral July 1, 1960.  Retired July 1, 1965.

He served his first assignment as an officer aboard the destroyer Davis out of New London for three years.  During that period he was assigned temporarily as target practice observer aboard the Cutter Carrabasset.  From June 1933 to July 1934, he was assistant engineer aboard the cutter Mendota, base at Norfolk, Va.  He was then transferred tot he Coast Guard Academy as instructor of electrical engineering.  Four years later in July 1938, he reported to the Cutter Bibb at Norfolk as navigator.  His first command was the Coast Guard Cutter Argo based at Newport, R.I., which he held from October 1939 to June 1941.  During the last several months of that assignment he was also Captain-of-the-port of Newport.

Between June 1941 and June 1942, at the outset of World War II, he was first Lieutenant and damage control officer aboard the Coast Guard-manned attack troop transport Leonard Wood (APA-12).  The Wood in that period engaged in training and amphibious warfare exercises off the coast of North Carolina and in the Chesapeake Bay, then delivered British troops from Nova Scotia to Bombay, India.  During the remainder of 1942 and most of 1943 he served as Assistant Chief, Administrative Management, at Coast guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

After completing preparatory training at the Submarine Chaser Training Center in Miami in January 1944, he saw the patrol frigate USS Gulfport (PF-20) through her pre-commissioning stages at New Orleans and assumed command of her in September that year.  He commended the frigate on convoy duty with Task Force 54 between Norfolk, Va., and Oran, Algeria.  Transferred to the Pacific theatre of war, he commanded Escort Division 25 from the patrol frigate USS Long Beach (PF-34) as flagship from February to July 1945.  He helped return her to peacetime status.

His first post-war station was Coast Guard Headquarters, where he first served as Assistant Chief, Demobilization Division until October 1946, then as Administrative Aide to the Commandant until September 1950.  He commanded the 255-ft. Cutter Minnetonka based at Long Beach, Calif., during the next two years.

Again assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, he served as Chief, Reserve Division from July 1952 to August 1955.  After attending the National War College for a year, he assumed command of the Coast Guard Base at Alameda, Calif., in July 1956.

In August 1958, he became Chief of Staff of the Eleventh Coast Guard District which has administrative offices in Long Beach, Calif.  In May 1959, he was located in Miami as Chief of Staff of the Seventh Coast Guard District which includes the Territory of Puerto Rico and areas of the Caribbean.  In June 1960, he became Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District (relieving Rear Admiral William W. Kenner, USCG, on his retirement).  This was followed by confirmation of the Senate of his permanent appointment to a Rear Admiral from a Captain on July 1, 1960.  He had been nominated by the President earlier in the year (Jan. 27, 1960) to fill the vacancy created by retiring RADM Kenner.

In June 1961, RADM Knudsen assumed the post of Chief, Office of Personnel at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., which he held until his retirement on July 1, 1965.  RADM Knudsen was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious performance of outstanding services during this last tour of duty, and during his former tour of duty as Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District, Miami, from June 1960 to June 1961.

RADM Knudsen's World War II campaign and service medals and ribbons include the American Defense with fleet clasp, American Area, European-African-Middle Eastern Area, Asiatic-Pacific Area, World War II Victory.

RADM Knudsen was married in 1934 to the former Theresa Josephine K. of New London, Conn.  They have two children, Ann Marie, and George A., Jr.

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