Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN

First African American to Command an Aircraft Carrier


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About the Book

The first African-American aircraft carrier commander, Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland Chambers (1929– ) played a prominent role as captain of the USS Midway during the Vietnam War. During the evacuation of Saigon—known as Operation Frequent Wind—he famously ordered several UH-1 helicopters pushed overboard to make room for an escaping South Vietnamese Air Force major to land his Cessna. Chambers, who had only commanded Midway for a few weeks, gave the order believing (wrongly) that he would be court-martialed for the $10 million loss. This biography covers his early life and military career, including his role in the desegregation of the U.S. Navy during a period racial strife.

About the Author(s)

Ric Murphy is an educator, historian, lecturer and award-winning author. He has served as board chair of several organizations and on numerous additional national and local not-for-profit boards. He lives in Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Ric Murphy

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 53 photos, 5 maps, chronology, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6727-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2753-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Glossary 3
Introduction 5
1. The First Thirty Days 9
2. The Dunbar Years 23
3. The Annapolis Years 34
4. Cold War 49
5. Vietnam War 74
6. Civil Unrest 86
7. Fall of Saigon 101
8. Operation Frequent Wind 116
9. “Bird Dog on Final” 141
10. Port of Sattahip 157
11. Rear Admiral 172
Epilogue 187
Chronology 193
Chapter Notes 205
Bibliography 211
Index 215