1. Education

Born in 1888, Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid (right) graduated from Annapolis in 1908.  Pursuing an interest in gunnery, he later attended the Naval Postgraduate School with a focus in ordnance.  Promoted to rear admiral in August 1941, he was en route to the Pacific to assume command of Cruiser Division Six when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  In this role, he took part in the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway before receiving command of Task Force 16.  Centered on the carrier USS Enterprise, TF16 saw action during the fighting in the Solomons including the Battles of the Eastern Solomons and Santa Cruz.  Ordered north in early 1943, Kinkaid directed the liberation of the Aleutians and overcame complex command issues in the region.  This political skill led to his appointment as commander of the Seventh Fleet and Commander Allied Naval Forces, Southwest Pacific Area.  Reporting to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Kinkaid provided naval support for the campaign in New Guinea and played a key role in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.  Staying in this position until the end of the war, his forces aided in the liberation of the remainder of the Philippines and supported operations in Borneo. Retiring in 1950, Kinkaid died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in 1972.

 

World War II in Pacific:

Photograph Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration

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