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Adm Frank Benton Kelso, II
Birth: Jul. 11, 1933
Fayetteville
Lincoln County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Jun. 23, 2013
Norfolk
Norfolk City
Virginia, USA

US Navy Admiral. He served as the Chief of Naval Operations from July 1990 to May 1994, during the time of the infamous Tailhook Association scandal. He attended public schools in Fayetteville, Tennessee and the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland in 1952. After his graduation in 1956 he served on the cargo ship USS Oglethorpe before attending Submarine School in 1958. On completion of training, he was assigned to the submarine Sabalo before returning to Submarine School for nuclear power training in January 1960 and then served one year in the Nuclear Power Department at the school. He then had submarine assignments as part of the pre-commissioning crew of Pollack, Engineering Officer aboard the Daniel Webster, and Executive Officer of the Sculpin. From January 1969 to August 1971 he was assigned to the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School at the U.S. Naval Training Center Bainbridge, Port Deposit, Maryland, serving as its Commanding Officer. His follow-on tours included the Commanding Officer of the submarine Finback, Staff of Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and Commanding Officer of the submarine Bluefish. He was then assigned as the Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet and Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic from September 1975 to July 1977. He then served as Commander, Submarine Squadron 7 until reporting as Division Director, Submarine Distribution Division in the Naval Military Personnel Command, and Section Head of the Submarine Programs Section in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Manpower, Personnel and Training) in September 1978. In February 1980 he was selected for promotion to the rank of rear admiral. He was then selected as Director, Strategic Submarine Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington DC, and then was assigned as Director, Office of Program Appraisal, Office of the Secretary of the Navy. In February 1985 he became Commander Sixth Fleet and NATO Commander Naval Striking Force and Support Forces Southern Europe. During this tour, forces under his command launched raids on Libya in defiance of Colonel/President Muammar Gaddafi's claim that Libya's territorial waters extended 200 miles into the Gulf of Sidra. On June 30, 1986, Kelso was promoted to the rank of admiral and assumed the duties of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet and in November 1988 he became the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic and Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command. On June 29 1990 he succeeded Admiral Carlisle A.H. Trost to became the Navy's 24th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in Washington DC, where he directed the Navy's military actions in the Persian Gulf War. In 1991 he attended the Tailhook Association meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada to gain first-hand information from aviators who were part of Operation Desert Storm following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. During the months following this meeting, allegations of sexual harassment of hotel guests and other sexual misconduct on the part of naval aviators began to surface and from the resulting investigations, over 100 aviators were implicated in overt acts of sexual misconduct. None were court-martialed, though over half of those implicated were informally disciplined and the careers of several senior officers were essentially ended. The US Secretary of the Navy Lawrence Garrett ultimately resigned and Kelso was forced to retire two months early amid the scandal and aviator complaints that he had failed to ensure due process for accused personnel. Nonetheless, the Navy and its leadership were roundly criticized for minor punishments handed out to a few officers. He offered his resignation to President Bill Clinton in 1992 but it was rejected. From January to June 1993 he served as the acting US Secretary of the Navy. He retired in April 1994 with nearly 38 years of continued active military service. Among his military decorations and awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal (with two stars), the Legion of Merit (with three stars), the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal. He died from complications of a fall and severe head injury at the age of 79. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Thomas Benton Kelso (1898 - 1969)
  Wista Ernestine Muse Kelso (1910 - 1984)
 
 Spouse:
  Landess McCown Kelso (1934 - 2012)
 
Burial:
Rose Hill Cemetery
Fayetteville
Lincoln County
Tennessee, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Michael Pitcock
Record added: Jun 23, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 112790390
Adm Frank Benton Kelso, II
Added by: Michael Pitcock
 
Adm Frank Benton Kelso, II
Added by: Michael Pitcock
 
Adm Frank Benton Kelso, II
Added by: Michael Pitcock
 
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Admiral, thank you for your lifetime of service to our country serving United States Navy. May you rest in peace, sir.
- Daniel Moran
 Added: Jun. 23, 2016

- sjm
 Added: Jun. 23, 2016

- sjm
 Added: Jul. 11, 2015
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