Notable People

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Rear Admiral Fred A. Nichols


Born: November 6, 1885

Birthplace: Bridgeport, Conn.

Enters USCG: Appointed as a Cadet from N.Y. on July 6, 1905, in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (forerunner of the U.S. Coast Guard).  At that time Cadets were trained at the School of Instruction (early Coast Guard Academy) on board the Cutter Itasca, at Arundel Cove, Md.  He was graduated with a commission of Third Lieutenant (Ensign) on January 28, 1908.

Assignments by Reporting Dates

March 1909: Reported board the Cutter Androscoggin, based at Portland, Me.

May 1920: Assigned to Cutter Forward at Key West, Fla., as Second Lieutenant.

January 1912: Assigned to Cutter Woodbury at East Port, Me., until July 1915, and then to the Cutter Ossipee at Portland, Me.  He remained with the latter throughout World War I.

November 1919: Assigned as first Lieutenant in the Cutter Earp at New London, Conn.

April 1920: Transferred to Cutter Unaiga at San Francisco.

December 1921: Became Commander of the Southern Division, San Francisco, and Captain of the Port.

August 1924: Assigned to the Receiving Unit at Philadelphia, Pa.

June 1925: Commanded the Destroyer McCall out of New York, one of the Destroyer Force used by the Coast Guard in an all-out war against rum runners.

June 1926: Assumed command of the Destroyer Downes operating with Division One out of Boston, Mass., against rum-runners.

October 1927: Became Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Base 18, Woods Hole, Mass.

August 1930: Assumed command of the Cutter Champlain, based at Stapleton, N.Y.

May 1934: Assumed command of Coast Guard Base Six, Ft., Lauderdale, Fla.

July 1935 (WWII): Assigned as Purchasing Officer of the Coast Guard Store, Brooklyn, N.Y.

June 1943 through remainder of WWII: Stationed at New Orleans as Southern Inspector which he held until the spring of 1946 when he became ill and was confined to the U.S. Naval Hospital Philadelphia.

Retires: He retired with 40 years of service on October 1, 1946, at which time he was advanced from Captain to Rear Admiral on the retired list.

Civilian Career: Following his retirement he and his wife settled permanently at Staten Island.  After six months of inactivity, he accepted a position with Moore-McCormack Lines, New York, as Navigation Consultant which he handled full time for three years.  He then worked for many years on a part-time basis with that company in the same capacity with added status as Inspector.

During the early years of his retirement he attended Radar Operational Training School at the U.S. Maritime Service, N.Y., and studied Radar and Loran with Sperry Company.  He joined the U.S. Power Squadron in Brooklyn and took courses in piloting and navigation along with weather.  He served on committees affiliated with Merchant Marine Institute with regard to accuracy of Electronics Navigation.

He held members in the Coast Guard Alumni Association, Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Institute of Navigation, New York Chapters Planetarium, Radio Technical Commission for Marine Services, Pratt Institute Engineers Alumni Assoc., TAMPA Post of the American Legion, and the Retired Officers Assoc.

Rear Admiral Nichols died on August 10, 1972, at the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital, Staten Island, N.Y.  He was 86, and one of the few old timers remaining from the Revenue Cutter Service.

He is survived by his wife Edith, one daughter, four sons, and grandchildren.

Graveside services with full military honors will beheld at Arlington National Cemetery, at 1:00 P.M., Monday August 14, 1972.

Summary of His Appointments in Rank: Cadet, Julye 6, 1905; Ensign (3rd Lieut.), January 28, 1908; Lieutenant (jg) (2nd Lieut.), April 16, 1908; Lieutenant (1st Lieut.), March 16, 1919; Lieut. Commander, January 12, 1923; Commander, October 26, 1926; Captain, July 1, 1939; Rear Admiral (on retired list), October 1, 1946.

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