Paul Henry Nitze was an American statesman who served as United States Deputy Secretary of Defense, U. S. Secretary of the Navy, Director of Policy Planning for the U. S. State Department, he is best known for being the principal author of NSC 68 and the co-founder of Team B. He helped shape Cold War defense policy over the course of numerous presidential administrations. Nitze was born in Amherst, the son of Anina Sophia, a homemaker, William Albert Nitze, a professor of Romance linguistics who concluded his career at the University of Chicago, his parents were both of German descent. His ancestors came from the region of Magdeburg in the state of Germany. In his memoir, From Hiroshima to Glasnost, Paul Nitze describes how as a young boy he witnessed the outbreak of World War I while he was traveling in Germany with his father and sister, arriving in Munich just in time to be struck by the city crowds' patriotic enthusiasm for the imminent conflict. Nitze attended The Hotchkiss School, where he was a member of the class of 1924 and the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.
He entered the field of investment banking. In 1928 and 1929, the Chicago brokerage firm of Bacon and Company sent Nitze to Europe. Upon his return, he heard Clarence Dillon predict the Great Depression and the decline of the importance of finance. Having attained financial independence through the sale to Revlon of his interest in a French laboratory producing pharmaceutical products in the United States, Nitze took an intellectual sabbatical that included a year of graduate study at Harvard in sociology and constitutional and international law. In 1929 he joined investment bank Dillon, Read & Co. where he remained until founding his own firm, P. H. Nitze & Co, in 1938, he returned to Dillon, Read as Vice-President from 1939 through to 1941. In 1932, he married Phyllis Pratt, daughter of John Teele Pratt, a Standard Oil financier, of Ruth Baker Pratt, Republican Congresswoman for New York, she died in 1987. They had four children: Heidi, Peter and Phyllis Anina; the journalist Nicholas Thompson, who wrote a biography of Nitze and George F. Kennan, is his grandson.
He was married to Elisabeth Scott Porter from 1993 until his death in 2004. Nitze's brother-in-law, Walter Paepcke, founded Aspen Skiing Company. Nitze continued to ski in Aspen until well into his 80s. Nitze entered government service during World War II after having been hired by his Wall Street colleague James Forrestal when Forrestal became an administrative assistant to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In 1942, he became finance director of the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, working for Nelson Rockefeller. In 1943 he became chief of the Metals and Minerals Branch of the Board of Economic Warfare, until he was named director, Foreign Procurement and Development Branch of the Foreign Economic Administration that year. From 1944 to 1946, Nitze served as director and as Vice Chairman of the Strategic Bombing Survey for which President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Legion of Merit. One of his early government assignments was to visit Japan in the immediate aftermath of the nuclear attacks and assess the damage.
This experience framed many of his feelings about the power of nuclear weapons and the necessity of arms control. In the early postwar era, he served in the Truman Administration as Director of Policy Planning for the State Department, he was the principal author in 1950 of the influential but secret National Security Council policy paper, NSC 68, which provided the strategic outline for increased US expenditures to counter the perceived threat of Soviet armament. From 1953 to 1961, Nitze served as president of the Foreign Service Educational Foundation while concurrently serving as associate of the Washington Center of Foreign Policy Research and the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. In 1956 he attended the Project Nobska anti-submarine warfare conference, where discussion ranged from oceanography to nuclear weapons. Nitze co-founded the School of Advanced International Studies with Christian Herter in 1943 and the world-renowned graduate school, based in Washington, D.
C. is named in his honor. His publications during this period include U. S. Foreign Policy: 1945–1955. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed Nitze Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. In 1963, Nitze became the Secretary of the Navy, serving until 1967. According to the US Navy "as the Navy secretary, he raised the level of attention given to quality of Service issues, his many achievements included establishing the first Personnel Policy Board and retention task force, obtaining targeted personnel bonuses. He lengthened commanding officer tours and raised command responsibility pay." Following his term as Secretary of the Navy, he served as Deputy Secretary of Defense, as a member of the US delegation to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. Fearing Soviet rearmament, he opposed the ratification of SALT II. Paul Nitze was a cofounder of Team B, a 1970s intelligence think tank that challenged the National Intelligence Estimates provided by the CIA; the Team B reports became the intellectual foundation for the idea of "the window of vulnerability" and of the massive arms buildup that began toward the end of the Carter administration and accelerated under President Ronald Reagan.
Team B came to the conclusion that the Soviets had developed new weapons of mass destruction and had aggressive strategies with regard to a potential nuclear war. Team B's analysis of Soviet w
J. William Middendorf
John William Middendorf II is a former Republican United States diplomat and Secretary of the Navy. John William Middendorf II received a Bachelor of Naval Science degree from College of the Holy Cross in 1945. In World War II, he served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 as engineer officer and navigator aboard USS LCS 53, he was discharged from the Navy in 1946. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in 1947, where he was a member of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and the Owl Club, he graduated from New York University's Graduate School of Business Administration, receiving an M. B. A. in 1954. He became an investment banker and in 1963 in partnership with Austen Colgate formed his own company, Middendorf and Company. An early member of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign, he served as treasurer of that campaign, continued to have the same duties with the Republican National Committee from 1965–1969. Shortly after taking office in 1969, President Richard Nixon appointed Middendorf as United States Ambassador to the Netherlands.
Middendorf served in this position until June 1973. In 2009 it was shown that in late 1969 Middendorf gave a large false moonstone to former prime minister of the Netherlands Willem Drees during a visit to the Netherlands of the Apollo 11 crew; this stone was exhibited in the Rijksmuseum for a long time. After returning to the U. S. he became Under Secretary of the Navy. However, when his nomination seemed to be stalled, he discovered that Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger had a candidate of his own. Whereupon, Middendorf paid a personal call on many of the senators he had worked with while he was Treasurer of the Republican Party—and soon enough he had been nominated and confirmed as Secretary of the Navy, serving until the end of the Administration of President Gerald Ford; as he would write, "Life is relationships. Politics is compromise." During his tenure and again using his legislative contacts, Middendorf helped increase the Navy budget by 60 percent while the Army and Air Force budgets remained flat.
Programs he championed included the OHIO-class ballistic missile submarine and the companion Trident missile, the Aegis surface-launched missile system. He championed the F/A-18 carrier-based fighter attack aircraft—which Middendorf arranged to have dubbed "Hornet," as a tribute to his Revolutionary War ancestor merchant-shipping Captain William Stone, who donated two ships to the fledgling Navy which were renamed "Wasp" and "Hornet." Those names survived many years and many ships, but as the fleet began to shrink and as ship-naming became more political—i.e. Breaking the old rules and naming ships after living politicians—there weren't enough new candidates for traditional names. Incoming President Carter invited Middendorf to stay on as Secretary of the Navy. During the Carter presidency, Middendorf was back in the private sector, as President and Chief Executive Officer of Financial General Bankshares. Next, he headed the CIA transition team for incoming President Ronald Reagan and was named Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador.
He served in the post until 1984, when he accepted appointment as U. S. Representative to the European Community serving until 1987. In 2006, Middendorf published a book describing his work with the Goldwater campaign. Glorious Disaster: Barry Goldwater's Presidential Campaign and the Origins of the Conservative Movement details how Goldwater's campaign became the foundation of the modern Conservative movement. In 2011, he published his Potomac Fever, he is a prolific composer of symphonies and 100 marches for ships of the U. S. Navy. Ambassador Middendorf is a member of the board of directors of the International Republican Institute, he is a member of the board of trustees for the Heritage Foundation, an influential Washington, D. C. based public policy research institute. He is a member of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the Revolution and the Naval Order of the United States. Superior Honor Award, U. S. Department of State, 1974 Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, 1975.
Other honors include: Hudson River Muse
James Earl Carter Jr. is an American politician and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, he served as a Georgia State senator from 1963 to 1967 and as the 76th governor of Georgia from 1971 to 1975. Carter has remained active in public life during his post-presidency, in 2002 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in co-founding the Carter Center. Raised in Plains, Carter graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1946 with a Bachelor of Science degree and joined the United States Navy, where he served on submarines. After the death of his father in 1953, Carter left his naval career and returned home to Georgia to take up the reins of his family's peanut-growing business. Carter inherited comparatively little due to his father's forgiveness of debts and the division of the estate among the children, his ambition to expand and grow the Carters' peanut business was fulfilled. During this period, Carter was motivated to oppose the political climate of racial segregation and support the growing civil rights movement.
He became an activist within the Democratic Party. From 1963 to 1967, Carter served in the Georgia State Senate, in 1970, he was elected as Governor of Georgia, defeating former Governor Carl Sanders in the Democratic primary on an anti-segregation platform advocating affirmative action for ethnic minorities. Carter remained as governor until 1975. Despite being a dark-horse candidate, little known outside of Georgia at the start of the campaign, Carter won the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. In the general election, Carter ran as an outsider and narrowly defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all the Vietnam War draft evaders. During Carter's term as president, two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, were established, he established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, new technology. In foreign affairs, Carter pursued the Camp David Accords, the Panama Canal Treaties, the second round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the return of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama.
On the economic front he confronted persistent stagflation, a combination of high inflation, high unemployment and slow growth. The end of his presidential tenure was marked by the 1979–1981 Iran hostage crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In response to the invasion, Carter escalated the Cold War by ending détente, imposing a grain embargo against the Soviets, enunciating the Carter doctrine, leading an international boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. In 1980, Carter faced a primary challenge from Senator Ted Kennedy, but he won re-nomination at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Carter lost the general election in an electoral landslide to Republican nominee Ronald Reagan. Polls of historians and political scientists rank Carter as an average president. In 2012, Carter surpassed Herbert Hoover as the longest-retired president in U. S. history, in 2017 became the first president to live to the 40th anniversary of his inauguration.
He is the oldest and earliest-serving of all living U. S. presidents. In 2019, Carter surpassed George H. W. Bush as the longest-lived American president in U. S. history. In 1982, he established the Carter Center to expand human rights, he has traveled extensively to conduct peace negotiations, monitor elections, advance disease prevention and eradication in developing nations. Carter is considered a key figure in the Habitat for Humanity charity, he has written over 30 books ranging from politics to poetry and inspiration. He has criticized some of Israel's actions and policies in regards to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and has advocated for a two-state solution. James Earl Carter Jr. was born on October 1, 1924, at the Wise Sanitarium in Plains, Georgia, a hospital where his mother was employed as a registered nurse. Carter was the first U. S. president to be born in a hospital. He was the eldest son of Bessie Lillian and James Earl Carter Sr. Carter is a descendant of English immigrant Thomas Carter, who settled in Virginia in 1635.
Numerous generations of Carters lived as cotton farmers in Georgia. Carter is a descendant of Thomas Cornell, an ancestor of Cornell University's founder, is distantly related to Richard Nixon and Bill Gates. Plains was a boomtown of 600 people at the time of Carter's birth. Carter's father was a successful local businessman, who ran a general store, was an investor in farmland, he served as a reserve second lieutenant in the U. S. Army's Quartermaster Corps during World War I; the family moved several times during Carter Jr.'s infancy. The Carters settled on a dirt road in nearby Archery, entirely populated by impoverished African American families, they had three more children: Gloria and Billy. Carter got along well with his parents, although his mother worked long hours and was absent in his childhood. Although Earl was staunchly pro-segregation, he allowed his son to befriend the black farmhands' children. Carter was an enterprising teenager, given his own acre of Earl's farmland where he grew and sold peanuts.
He rented out a section of tenant housing that he had purchased. Carter attended the Plains High School from 1937 to 1941. By that time, the Great Depression had impoverished Archery and Plains, but the family benefited from New Deal farming subsidies, Earl
Dan A. Kimball
Dan Able Kimball was the 50th U. S. Secretary of the Navy. Kimball was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 1, 1896, he was an Army Air Service pilot during the First World War and maintained an intense interest in aviation thereafter. Beginning in 1920, he was employed by the General Tire and Rubber Company, rising to Vice President of that firm in 1942, he subsequently was an executive of the rocket engine producer Aerojet Engineering Company, a division of General Tire. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air in February 1949 and became Under Secretary of the Navy the following May. Kimball assumed the post of Secretary of the Navy in July 1951 and held that position until the end of the Truman Administration in January 1953, his tenure was marked by the continuation of the Korean War, the resulting expansion of the Nation's defense establishment and considerable technological progress in aviation, naval engineering and other defense-related fields. Returning to business after leaving office, he was President and Chairman of the Board of the Aerojet General Corporation until 1969.
He died on 30 July 1970. This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command
Thomas S. Gates Jr.
Thomas Sovereign Gates Jr. was United States Secretary of Defense from 1959 to 1961 under President Eisenhower. He was promoted from deputy secretary of defense. During his tenure, he established a task force to set nuclear target priorities, he authorized U-2 reconnaissance flights, including the flight of Francis Gary Powers. Born in Germantown, Gates was the son of Thomas S. Gates Sr. an investment banker and lawyer, president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1944, his wife, Marie Gates. Gates graduated from Chestnut Hill Academy, an all-male private preparatory school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1924, he was accepted into the University of Pennsylvania, where his father was serving on the university's board of trustees. At Penn, Gates managed the Penn Quakers football team and was a member of the school's basketball team, where in March 1928, he was arrested along with 16 other students with charges of inciting a riot after Penn defeated Princeton to become Intercollegiate League champions.
A member of Zeta Psi fraternity, the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Gates graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1928. Gates married the former Millicent Anne Brengle on September 29, 1928, they had three daughters. After graduating, he joined his father's Philadelphia-based investment banking firm and Company. In the early to mid-1930's he worked as a bond salesman at Drexel, moved to New York City for two years where he was an apprentice for J. P. Morgan & Company. Gates became a full partner at Drexel and Company in 1940. During World War II he served in the Navy, rose to the rank of lieutenant commander, participated in campaigns in the Pacific and Mediterranean areas, he was released from active duty in October 1945. President Eisenhower appointed Gates Under Secretary of the Navy in October 1953 and Secretary on 1 April 1957, positions in which he earned the president's approval, it was a foregone conclusion when Gates became Defense Secretary Neil McElroy's deputy on 8 June 1959 that he would succeed him.
He entered office with an impressive background of active military experience and more than six years in the Department of Defense. As a top-level DoD official since 1953, Gates was familiar with the 1953 and 1958 Defense Department reorganizations. Believing that the Secretary of Defense had all the authority he needed and that time should be allowed for evaluation of the long range effects of the 1958 amendments, he discouraged efforts to further revamp the department; as a former Secretary of the Navy who had observed the gradual downgrading of service secretary positions, he felt that the service secretaries should play a more important role, he encouraged them to do so. Gates cultivated a good working relationship with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Less than a month after becoming secretary, he reminded the chiefs of their responsibility to apprise him of disputes and proposed to meet with them in order to expedite settlement or bring the issue to the president's attention for final resolution.
Soon Gates and the JCS met on a regular basis, not just in instances. Congressional and other sources applauded Gates for taking the initiative in improving both the JCS organization and the secretary's relations with it. Another important Gates initiative was the creation in August 1960 of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff. Inadequate coordination of targeting plans between the Strategic Air Command and the Navy led to redundancy and disputed priorities; these differences became significant with the advent of the Navy's sea-based Polaris ballistic missiles. Acting on a proposal by SAC Commander in Chief General Thomas S. Power that SAC control strategic weapons targeting, Gates set up the JSTPS; the SAC commander, supported by an integrated joint staff, assumed separate duties as director of strategic target planning, to be, as Gates indicated, "the planning agent for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in developing and keeping up to date the detailed plans which are necessary." When Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh A. Burke objected to the new arrangement, Gates encouraged him to argue his case with President Eisenhower, who upheld Gates's decision.
Thereafter Burke supported the JSTPS and assigned to it qualified naval officers. By December 1960 the JSTPS had prepared the first Single Integrated Operational Plan, which specified for various attack options the timing, delivery systems, targets to be used by U. S. strategic forces. Gates devoted more time than his predecessors Charles E. Wilson and Neil H. McElroy to the development of basic defense policy, a sphere in which the president remained dominant. While he instituted no radical departure from the New Look approach, the changing nature of nuclear weapons and delivery systems, the related assumed need for continental defense systems, the pressing question of how to respond to local or "limited" wars, dictated a gradual shift in defense policy; as Gates pointed out at a congressional hearing in January 1960, the two principal U. S. defense objectives were "to deter the outbreak of general war by maintaining and improving our present capability to retaliate with devastating effectiveness in case of a major attack upon us or our allies" and "to maintain, together with our allies, a capability to apply to local situations the degree of force necessary to deter local wars, or to win or contain them promptly if they do break out."
Gates saw no clear distinction between general war and limited war forces. As he put it, "All forces would be employed in a general war. Most of our forces could be employed in a limited war, if required." He noted as an example that aircraft carri
John Lester Hubbard Chafee was an American politician. He served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps, as the 66th Governor of Rhode Island, as the Secretary of the Navy, as a United States Senator. Chafee was born in Rhode Island to a politically active family, he was the son of John Sharpe Chafee. His great-grandfather, Henry Lippitt, was governor of Rhode Island and among his great-uncles were a Rhode Island governor, Charles Warren Lippitt, United States Senator Henry Frederick Lippitt, his uncle, Zechariah Chafee, was a Harvard law professor, a notable civil libertarian. His cousin was Frederick Lippitt, former House Minority Leader for the Rhode Island House of Representatives, he had two daughters and four sons, one of whom is former Rhode Island Governor and former United States Senator Lincoln Chafee. John Chafee graduated from a coeducational primary school, Providence's Gordon School, in 1931 and attended Providence Country Day School. In 1940, he graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.
Chafee was in his third year as an undergraduate at Yale University when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He interrupted his undergraduate studies and enlisted in the Marine Corps, spending his 20th birthday fighting on the island of Guadalcanal from August 8 until November 1942, when the First Marine Division was relieved. After receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant, he fought in the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Following the war, he received degrees from Yale University in 1947 and Harvard Law School in 1950. At Yale, he was a member of the Delta Kappa Skull and Bones fraternities. In 1951, he was recalled to active service to be a Marine rifle company commander during the Korean War with Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. Author James Brady in his memoir of the Korean War and serving as a Marine under Chafee writes: "Nowhere, at any time, did John Chafee serve more nobly than he did as a Marine officer commanding a rifle company in the mountains of North Korea."
And that "He was the only great man I've yet met in my life..."Chafee's military awards include three awards of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Korean Service Medal and the United Nations Korea Medal. Chafee became active in behind-the-scenes Rhode Island politics by helping elect a mayor of Providence in the early 1950s, he ran for a seat in the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1956 and became the minority leader. He was re-elected in 1958 and 1960, the latter a year when many Republicans were swept from office in his state. Chafee was elected governor in 1962, helping create the state's public transportation administration as well as what was known as the Green Acres program, a conservation effort. In 1968 he served as chair of the Republican Governors Association, he served as governor until 1969, when he was defeated by underdog Democrat Frank Licht. Reasons ascribed for the defeat include the fact that, after running three times on a strong anti-income tax platform, Chafee now said that such a tax was imperative.
He was appointed Secretary of the Navy in 1969 by President Richard Nixon. Chafee's tenure as Secretary was marked by a willingness to stand by them. Emblematic of this was his decision to elevate Admiral Elmo Zumwalt as Chief of Naval Operations over 33 more senior officers, his judicious handling of the USS Pueblo situation, in which North Korean forces, during the previous Administration, had boarded and captured a Navy intelligence ship, his action as Secretary of the Navy, most remembered is his disapproval of the recommendation to court martial Commander Lloyd Bucher, the commanding officer of the Pueblo, once the release of the crew had been secured. Because it was clear that the guilt rested on the North Koreans and not Bucher or the sailors on the Pueblo, Chafee stated that "Bucher and his men have suffered enough", that a court martial would only add insult to injury, he served as Secretary of the Navy until 1972 when he resigned to run for the U. S. Senate. After an unsuccessful candidacy for the Senate in 1972 against Democratic incumbent Claiborne Pell, Chafee was elected to that body in 1976, the first Republican to win a Rhode Island Senate election since 1930.
He joined the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in 1977 and made environmental matters a chief concern breaking with his party to the delight of conservation groups. He chaired that committee during his last term in office from 1995 to 1999; as a result of his work, Chafee was a recipient of the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award. Among the bills Chafee fostered while in the minority was the Clean Water Act of 1986, the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act, he was an architect of the 1980 Superfund program to clean up hazardous waste sites as well as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Chafee authored the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982, establishing the Coastal Barrier Resources System. Upon Chafee's death in 1999, the CBRS was renamed the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System. Chafee supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, he took a moderate stance on taxes and government assistance to the needy. On social issues, Chafee was among the most liberal members of the Senate.
He opposed the death penalty, school prayer, the ban on homosexuals serving in the military. Chafee was one of the few Republicans to support strict g
John Bowden Connally Jr. was an American politician. He served as the 61st United States Secretary of the Treasury, he began his career as a Democrat but switched to Republican in 1973. Born in Floresville, Connally pursued a legal career after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. During World War II, he served on the staff of James Forrestal and Dwight D. Eisenhower before transferring to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. After the war, he became an aide to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson; when Johnson assumed the vice presidency in 1961, he convinced President John F. Kennedy to appoint Connally to the position of United States Secretary of the Navy. Connally left the Kennedy Administration in December 1961 to run for Governor of Texas, he held that position from 1963 to 1969. Connally was wounded during the assassination of Kennedy in 1963. Connally was a conservative Democrat. In 1971, Republican President Richard Nixon appointed Connally as his Treasury Secretary. In this position, Connally presided over the removal of the U.
S. dollar from the gold standard, an event known as the Nixon shock. Connally stepped down from the Cabinet in 1972 to lead the Democrats for Nixon organization, which campaigned for Nixon's re-election. Connally was a candidate to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after the latter resigned in 1973, but Nixon chose Gerald Ford instead. Connally sought the Republican nomination for president in the 1980 election, but withdrew from the race after the first set of primaries. Connally did not seek public office again after 1980 and died of pulmonary fibrosis in 1993. Connally was born on February 27, 1917, into a large family in Floresville, the seat of Wilson County southeast of San Antonio, he was one of seven children born to John Bowden Connally Sr. a dairy and tenant farmer. His six siblings included four brothers: Golfrey, Merrill and Stanford Connally and sisters Carmen and Blanche. Connally attended Floresville High School and, upon graduation, was one of the few graduates who attended college.
He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was the student body president and a member of the Friar Society. He subsequently graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the bar by examination. Connally served in the United States Navy during World War II, first as an aide to James V. Forrestal as part of the planning staff for the invasion of North Africa by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, he transferred to the South Pacific Theater. He was a fighter-plane director aboard the aircraft carrier USS Essex and was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery, he was shifted to another Essex-class aircraft carrier, the USS Bennington and was awarded the Legion of Merit. He was involved in the campaigns in the Gilbert, Marshall and Philippine islands, he was discharged in 1946 at the rank of lieutenant commander. On his release from the navy, Connally practiced law in the Alvin Wirtz law firm, until Lyndon Baines Johnson a newly elected senator, persuaded him to return to Washington, D.
C. to serve as a key aide. He had close ties with Johnson before his navy days and maintained them until the former president's death in 1973. Two of Connally's principal legal clients were the Texas oil tycoon Sid W. Richardson and Perry Bass, Richardson's nephew and partner, both of Fort Worth. Richardson's empire in the 1950s was estimated at $200 million to $1 billion. Under Richardson's tutelage, Connally gained experience in a variety of enterprises and received tips on real estate purchases; the work required the Connallys to relocate to Fort Worth. When Richardson died in 1959, Connally was named to the lucrative position as co-executor of the estate. Connally was involved in a reported clandestine deal to place the Texas Democrat Robert Anderson on the 1956 Republican ticket as vice president. Although the idea fell through when Dwight Eisenhower retained Richard Nixon in the second slot, Anderson received a million dollars for his efforts and a subsequent appointment as treasury secretary, the same position that Connally would fill for Nixon fourteen years in 1971.
Moreover, in another coincidence, Anderson had been Eisenhower's first Navy secretary, the post that Connally filled for John F. Kennedy in 1961. At the 1960 Democratic convention in Los Angeles, Connally led supporters of Senator Lyndon Johnson, he claimed that John F. Kennedy, if nominated and elected, would be unable to serve as president for a full term because of Addison's disease and dependence on cortisone. Kennedy, had wrapped up the needed delegates for nomination before the convention opened. Kennedy realized that he could not be elected without support of traditional Southern Democrats, most of whom had backed Johnson. Therefore, Johnson was offered the vice-presidential nomination. At Johnson's request, in 1961 President Kennedy named Connally Secretary of the Navy. Connally resigned eleven months to run for the Texas governorship. During Connally's secretaryship, the Navy had a budget of $14 billion and more than 1.2 million workers–600,000 in uniform and 650,000 civilian–stationed at 222 bases in the United States and 53 abroad.
Connally directed the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea on a new kind of "gunboat diplomacy." The USS Forrestal landed in Naples and brought gifts to children in an orphanage. Connally ordered gifts: to a hospital in Cannes, France that treated children with bone diseases. Presents were sent to Turkish children in Cyprus and to a camp in Beirut for homeless Palestinian refugees; the Bay of Pigs incident occurred under his w