PASSING OF ADMIRAL RALPH W. COUSINS, USN (RET)

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R 072311Z AUG 09
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NAVADMIN 233/09

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SUBJ/PASSING OF ADMIRAL RALPH W. COUSINS, USN (RET)//



RMKS/1. IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS THAT I ANNOUNCE THE PASSING OF ADMIRAL 
RALPH W. COUSINS, USN (RET) ON 5 AUGUST 2009. ADMIRAL COUSINS' 
EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP AND INSPIRING SERVICE HAD A PROFOUND IMPACT ON 
THOSE WHO WEAR THE UNIFORM AND OUR NATION. ADMIRAL COUSINS WILL BE 
BURIED AT PENINSULA FUNERAL HOME IN NEWPORT NEWS, ON 14 AUGUST AT 1100.

2. BORN 24 JULY 1915, IN OKLAHOMA, COUSINS GRADUATED FROM LUTHER L. 
WRIGHT HIGH SCHOOL IN IRONWOOD IN 1932. HE ATTENDED GOGEBIC COMMUNITY 
COLLEGE FROM 1932-33 PRIOR TO BEING APPOINTED TO THE U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY 
IN 1933, WHERE HE GRADUATED IN 1937 AND WAS COMMISSIONED AS AN ENSIGN. 
AS A JUNIOR OFFICER, HE SERVED ON BOARD USS PENNSYLVANIA AND ON THE 
STAFF OF COMMANDER IN CHIEF, U.S. FLEET. HE SERVED ON BOARD THE 
AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS LEXINGTON AT THE OUTBREAK OF WORLD WAR II. IN MAY 
1942, HE WAS ON BOARD LEXINGTON WHEN SHE WAS LOST AS A RESULT OF ENEMY 
ACTION IN THE BATTLE OF CORAL SEA. HE CONTINUED TO RISE IN RANK, AND IN 
APRIL 1945 WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF REAR ADMIRAL AND ASSUMED COMMAND 
OF ATTACK CARRIER AIR GROUP ELEVEN AND OPERATED FROM VARIOUS AIRCRAFT 
CARRIERS IN THE PACIFIC. HE SERVED AS MILITARY ASSISTANT TO THE DEPUTY 
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FROM 1963-65. IN 1965, HE REPORTED FOR DUTY AS 
COMMANDER, CARRIER DIVISION NINE, OPERATING IN THE GULF OF TONKIN AND 
WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMBINED STRIKE EFFORTS OF THREE ATTACK CARRIER 
GROUPS. IN 1970, HE WAS PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF ADMIRAL. FROM 1970-1972, 
HE SERVED AS THE VICE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS. IN OCTOBER 1972, HE 
WAS APPOINTED SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER OF THE ATLANTIC FLEET. COUSINS 
RETIRED FROM ACTIVE DUTY IN 1975. HIS LEADERSHIP SKILLS WERE APPLIED TO 
THE PRIVATE SECTOR AT NEWPORT NEWS SHIPBUILDING AND TENNECO EUROPE, 
UNTIL HE RETIRED AGAIN IN 1985 TO HIS HOME IN NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA.

3. ADMIRAL COUSINS IS SURVIVED BY TWO NIECES, DR. LUCY ELIZABETH 
HAIRSTON AND JACQUELINE CORBETT, AND ONE NEPHEW, COLES HENNESSY 
HAIRSTON. HIS WIFE OF 60 YEARS, MARY GORDON MCBRIDE COUSINS, PRECEDED 
HIM IN DEATH.

4. RELEASED BY VICE ADMIRAL SAM J. LOCKLEAR III, DIRECTOR, NAVY 
STAFF.//

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