Greenslade, John W.

Greenslade was commander of 12 Naval District, based in San Francisco, at the start of the Pacific War. This was no small responsibility as San Francisco was the most important port on the West Coast.

Greenslade had participated in the Haiti Expedition of 1914 and served in the First World War as captain of the Housatonic, a minelayer assigned to the North Sea Barrage. He also was lead author of Landing Force Manual, adopted by the Navy in 1918. In 1940, Greenslade, now a rear admiral and acknowledged expert on naval bases, authored the Greenslade Program for expanding facilities in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Panama and participated in the survey of the Bermudas for suitable locations for naval bases under the terms of the destroyers-for-bases deal with Britain. He helped negotiate a compromise with the Vichy commander, Admiral Robert, over the status of Martinique.

Greenslade stirred up controversy in 1942 by seizing Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay for Navy use. The city felt that the Navy had not offered a fair price for the improvements to the island and sued for a better settlement.

Service record

Lieutenant commander     

Commander, AM Housatonic
Assistant, General Board
Rear admiral
Board of Experts, Atlantic Bases ("Greenslade Board")
Vice admiral     
Commandant,  12 Naval District

Coordinator of Naval Logistics, Pacific Coast


Conn, Engelman, and Fairchild (1961; accessed 2012-10-6)

Hough, Ludwig, and Shaw (accessed 2012-10-6)

Naval Historical Center (accessed 2008-3-1)

"Treasure Island Accord" (accessed 2007-7-3)

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