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Montgomery, Alfred Eugene (1891-1961)


Photograph of Alfred E. Montgomery

Naval Archives #80-CF-8005-1

"Monty" Montgomery commanded United States Task Group 58.2 from the Marshalls campaign to the end of the Pacific war.  He was qualified both as a submariner and an aviator, having served in submarines from 1915 and completed flight training in 1922. He commanded Ranger and Essex before being recommended for early promoted to flag rank in late 1942 by John Towers, the Navy's leading aviator.

Montgomery participated as a prospective commanding officer in the Marcus raid of August 1943. His wartime service in command of a carrier division in Task Force 50 included strikes against Wake, Rabaul, the Gilberts, and the Marshalls. He made the first strike against Truk in early 1944. Transferred to a carrier division in Task Force 38/58, he served in the Marianas and the Philippines. He was among the admirals who were critical of Spruance for failing to destroy the Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea (Tuohy 2007):

Results of the action were extremely disappointing to all hands, in that important units of the enemy fleet, which came out in the open for the first time in over a year and made several air attacks on our superior force, were able to escape without our coming to grips with them.

For his part, Spruance once exhibited a rare display of temper when Montgomery failed to include a battleship bombardment as part of his operational plan for Roi-Namur.

After the war, Montgomery rose to command of 5 Fleet.

Montgomery was a skilled and aggressive carrier commander, evaluated by Towers in late 1943 as "Energetic, courageous and determined." However, he suffered from frequent migraine headaches that left him sufficiently irritable that he was more respected than adored.

Service record

1891-6-12      

Born at Omaha, Nebraska
1912
Ensign     
Graduates from Naval Academy, standing 29th in a class of 156. Assigned to BB West Virginia
1915

Submarine school
1918
Lieutenant
Commander, SS R-20
1921

Flight school
1924

Commander, Torpedo and Bombing Squadron 1
1925

Executive officer, Naval Air Station San Diego
1928

CVL Langley
1932

CA Chicago
1934
Commander
Commander, Naval Air Station, Anacostia
1936

Executive officer, CV Ranger
1939-10

Director, Flight Division, Bureau of Aeronautics
1940
Captain
Commander, CV Ranger
1941-10-1

Chief of staff, Carriers, Atlantic Fleet
1942-5-31
Rear admiral     
Commandant, Naval Air Training Center
1943-8

Commander, Carrier Division 12
1944-5

Commander, Carrier Division 3
1945-2

Commander, Fleet Air, West Coast
1945-7-20
Vice admiral      Commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet
1946-8

Commander, 5 Fleet
1949

Commander, Naval Operating Base Bermuda
1951-6-30

Retires
1961-12-15

Dies at Bremerton

References

Boatner (1996)

Dupuy et al. (1992)
Morison (1953)
Pettibone (2006)

Tillman (2005)
Tuohy (2007)


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