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Purnell, William R.


Photograph of William R. Purnell

U.S. Air Force

William R. Purnell was a rear admiral and chief of staff of the Asiatic Fleet at the outbreak of war. A highly competent officer, he received top ratings from the secret ad hoc selection board convened by Navy Secretary Knox in March 1942. He later sat on the Military Policy Committee that advised Roosevelt on nuclear weapons development.

Service record

1916-8-22     
Lieutenant
Commander, DD Rowan
1940-11-1
Captain
Chief of staff, Asiatic Fleet
1942-2-4

Chief of staff, Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
1942-4-2
Rear admiral  
Commander, Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area
1942-4-20     

Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Material
1943     

Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Fleet


References

Frank (2011; accessed 2012-6-16)

Naval Historical Center (accessed 2008-6-23)
Pettibone (2006)



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