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Alan Goodrich Kirk

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Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk (October 30, 1888 – October 15, 1963) was a senior officer in the United States Navy and a diplomat.

Alan Goodrich Kirk
Alan g kirk.jpg
Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk
United States Ambassador to Belgium
In office
PresidentHarry S Truman
Preceded byCharles W. Sawyer
Succeeded byRobert Daniel Murphy
United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union
In office
July 4, 1949 – October 6, 1951
PresidentHarry S Truman
Preceded byWalter Bedell Smith
Succeeded byGeorge F. Kennan
United States Ambassador to Taiwan
In office
June 7, 1962 – January 18, 1963
PresidentJohn F. Kennedy
Preceded byEverett F. Drumright
Succeeded byJerauld Wright
Personal details
Born(1888-10-30)October 30, 1888
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedOctober 15, 1963(1963-10-15) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
RelationsWife Lydia Chapin Kirk
AwardsNavy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/serviceSeal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service1909–1946
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
CommandsU.S. Naval Forces, France
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II


He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1909 and served in the United States Navy during World War I and World War II. During his wartime naval service, Alan Kirk became the U.S. naval attaché in London (1939 to 1941). He was Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence from March 1941 but, obstructed and opposed by Rear Admiral Richmond Turner, he was unable to develop the office into an effective centre along the lines of the British Royal Naval Operational Intelligence Centre (which he had seen whilst in London). Eventually, he requested a transfer to an Atlantic destroyer squadron.[1]

Quote, "Deliver for D-Day!"

Kirk served as an amphibious commander in the Mediterranean in 1942 and 1943 (the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy). In addition, he was the senior U.S. naval commander during the Normandy landings of June 6, 1944, embarked on the heavy cruiser USS Augusta, and as Commander U.S. Naval Forces, France during 1944 and 1945. He retired from the Navy as a full admiral in 1946.

After retirement from the United States Navy, Kirk embarked on a diplomatic career, and subsequently served in several United States embassies abroad, beginning with the combined posting of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium/U.S. Envoy to Luxembourg (resident in Brussels, Belgium), 1946–49; as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, July 4, 1949, to October 6, 1951; and finally as United States Ambassador to Taiwan, June 7, 1962, to January 16, 1963.

Admiral Kirk took his post as the second president of Amcomlib, in February 1952. As a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, he oversaw the recruitment of emigres in New York City and Munich, a group that would later form the core of Radio Liberty's staff. Less than a year after taking office, Kirk was forced to resign due to poor health. Also in 1952, he served briefly as Director of the Psychological Strategy Board, which planned for and coordinated government psychological operations.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gannon, Michael (1991). Operation Drumbeat. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 160–161. ISBN 0-06-092088-2.
  2. ^ "Staff Member and Office Files: Psychological Strategy Board Files". Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.

Further readingEdit

  • Kohnen, David. Alan Goodrich Kirk: U.S. Navy Admiral of Intelligence and Diplomacy. In: John Hattendorf and Bruce Elleman (Eds.). Nineteen Gun Salute: Profiles in U.S. Navy Leadership in Wartime Operations. Newport, Rhode Island: Naval War College Press, 2010, pp. 75–92.
  • Kirk, Lydia. Postmarked Moscow.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Charles W. Sawyer
United States Ambassador to Belgium
1946 – 1949
Succeeded by
Robert Daniel Murphy
Preceded by
Walter Bedell Smith
United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union
1949 – 1951
Succeeded by
George F. Kennan
Preceded by
Everett Drumright
United States Ambassador to Taiwan
1962 – 1963
Succeeded by
Jerauld Wright