Joseph Riddick Scullion was born on January 31, 1912, at Norfolk, Va., where he was graduated from Maury High School in 1929. After studying architecture at the University of Virginia for a year, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with an appointment as cadet on July 30, 1931. He was graduated with a B.S. Degree and a commission as Ensign in the Coast Guard on May 27, 1935.
Subsequently he advanced in rank to Lieutenant (jg), May 27, 1938; Lieutenant, May 25, 1941; Lieut. Commander, December 1, 1942; Commander, March 1, 1944; Captain, June 1, 1957; Rear Admiral, July 8, 1964.
He served his earliest assignments as deck officer on board the Coast Guard Cutters Electra, Sebago, and Bibb. From May 1939 to July 1942, during World War II, he was Executive Officer of the Maritime Training Ship American Seaman at St. Petersburg, Fla.
After a year as instructor of navigation at the Coast Guard Academy, he served as Executive Officer of the 327-ft. Cutter Duane on North Atlantic convoy escort duty from July 1943 to August 1945.
With the conclusion of the war he next commanded the former Separation Center No. 5 at Portsmouth, Va., for a year. Then from June 1946 to August 1948, he served as Chief of the Reserve and Auxiliary Section at the 5th Coast Guard District office in Norfolk, Va., with collateral duty as Public Information Officer.
After next completing a year of study at the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, he was assigned as Chief, War Plans Section, Program Analysis Division, at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., from February 1949 to October 1952. At that time he took command of the 255-ft. Coast Guard Cutter Iroquois, based at Honolulu.
He served his next tour of duty as Executive Officer of the Coast Guard Receiving Center at Cape May, N.J., from July 1954 to July 1957. During the following three years, he served as Commander, Coast Guard Group, Norfolk, and as Captain-of-the-Port of Norfolk and Newport News area.
Assigned to Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., in May 1960, he served first as Chief, Enlisted Personnel Division until September 1962, then as Assistant Chief, Office of Personnel until July 1963. At that time he became Chief of Staff of the 17th Coast Guard District, Juneau, Alaska.
Following his appointment to the permanent rank of Rear Admiral as of July 8, 1964, he was ordered back to Coast Guard Headquarters to duty as Comptroller of the Coast Guard effective August 2, 1964. He became Chief, Office of Personnel at Headquarters in July 1965.
In July 1966, Rear Admiral Scullion returned to Juneau, Alaska, to serve two years as Commander, 17th Coast Guard District, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit. From there he returned to Coast Guard Headquarters to his former post as Chief, Office of Personnel effective in August 1968.
RADM Scullion’s World War II service medals and ribbons include the following: American Defense (one star); American Area; European-African-Middle Eastern Area (two star); World War II Victory; and Navy Occupation. He also has the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service, and United Nations Medal. He was presented the Legion of Merit in August 1968.
RADM Scullion is married to the former Frances L. of Norfolk, Va. They have three children, Martha F., Joseph R., Jr., and John B.