Open main menu

Claude Vernon Ricketts (February 23, 1906 – July 6, 1964) was a four-star admiral in the United States Navy, who served as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations from 1961 to 1964.

Claude Vernon Ricketts
Claude V. Ricketts.JPG
Born(1906-02-23)February 23, 1906
DiedJuly 6, 1964(1964-07-06) (aged 58)
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1929–1964
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands heldVice Chief of Naval Operations
Battles/warsWorld War II
Cold War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Navy Commendation Medal
RelationsRAdm Myron Ricketts (son)



Graduated from high school in Kansas in 1922. Originally enlisted in the Navy, Ricketts attended the United States Naval Academy and became an officer upon his graduation in 1929. He was captain of the boxing team for two years at Annapolis. As a lieutenant, he was the gunnery officer on board the USS West Virginia (BB-48) during the attack on Pearl Harbor. In addition to his duties with the anti-aircraft battery, he helped attend dying captain Mervyn Bennion, with the aid of Doris Miller; assisted in counter-flooding the ship after it heeled over from six torpedoes and two bombs; and assisted in fire fighting.[1][2] He was awarded with the Legion of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal for his service in World War II.

Ricketts commanded USS Saint Paul (CA-73) during 1955. In July 1952 he became head of the Amphibious Warfare Branch in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations under command of Admiral William Fechteler. He later became commander of the Second Fleet and then assumed duties as the Vice Chief of Naval Operations in September 1961. He succeeded admiral James Sargent Russell in this capacity.

Admiral Claude Vernon Ricketts died of a massive heart attack on July 6, 1964, while still in office. He was posthumously awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his service as Vice Chief of Naval Operations. After his death, the destroyer USS Biddle was renamed USS Claude V. Ricketts (DDG-5) in his honor, as was Ricketts Hall[3] at the Naval Academy.

Claude's son Rear Admiral Myron Ricketts, USN Ret., designed and engineered many ships.[citation needed]


See alsoEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
James S. Russell
Vice Chief of Naval Operations
Succeeded by
Horacio Rivero, Jr.


  1. ^ Pearl Harbor Battle Report
  2. ^ Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships history quoted at
  3. ^ Kiland, Taylor Baldwin; Howren, Jamie (2007). A Walk in the Yard: A Self-guided Tour of the U.S. Naval Academy. Naval Institute Press. Retrieved 2011-06-15. See also: United States Naval Academy#Halls and principal buildings.