For a 44-year Navy career that spanned both world wars, Halsey was awarded the Legion's Distinguished Service Medal posthumously in 1985.

In its resolution, the National Executive Committee stated that Halsey "distinguished himself during his naval career in numerous command assignments, culminated by his assignment as the Commander, Third Fleet, and the Commander, Western Pacific Forces, from June 1944 until November 1945." Also, "the formal surrender of the Japanese was signed on board his flagship, the USS Missouri, in Tokyo Bay, Sept. 1, 1945, following the last attack of World War II on mainland Japan by forces under his command."

Halsey, son of a Navy captain, launched his own naval career upon graduating from the Naval Academy in 1904. During World War I, he commanded USS Shaw and earned the Navy Cross.

In 1935, Halsey earned his wings as a naval aviator and commanded USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier. In 1940, he became commander, Aircraft Battle Force, a position in which he was serving when the United States entered World War II.

"Bull" Halsey later was promoted to fleet admiral, the fourth and last officer with that rank, retiring in 1947.

He later served on the boards of two subsidiaries of the International Telephone and Telegraph Co. He was also elected honorary vice president of the Naval Historical Foundation. Halsey died in 1959, at 76.

For more on Halsey, click here (


View more Distinguished Service Medal recipients