Arthur R. Gralla – Vice Admiral, United States Navy

From a contemporary press report:

Arthur R. Gralla, 85, a vice admiral and decorated World War II veteran who served as inspector general of the Navy and commanded the Military Sealift Command before his retirement in 1971, died of pneumonia May 27, 1998 at Arleigh Burke Pavilion in McLean, Virginia. He lived in Arlington.

As an admiral, he commanded the Destroyer Flotilla II of the Atlantic Fleet and, in the mid-1960s, helped to establish the Naval Ordnance Systems Command. In the latter capacity, he contributed to the modernization of major weapon systems and received the Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts.

He was named Naval inspector general in 1969 and became commander of Military Sealift Command a year later.

Early in his career, he served as an admiral's aide with the Special Service Squadron in the South Atlantic and as a researcher for the Fire Control Research and Development Division in the Navy Department's Bureau of Ordnance.

During World War II, he served in the South Pacific, primarily on the cruiser USS Reno, where he was a gunnery officer. The Reno was credited with downing nearly 20 enemy aircraft. He was decorated for his pivotal role in saving the Reno after it was torpedoed late in 1944.

His post-World War II assignments included serving as a member of the Air Defense Board, instructor at the Armed Forces Staff College, administrative aide to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations and commanding officer of a missile test ship.

His military honors included the Legion of Merit with Gold Star, Navy Marine Corps Medal and Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star.

He was a native of Brooklyn, New York, who got his first taste of life on the sea as an apprentice seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1934 and received a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred Lesser Gralla of Arlington; two sons, Arthur R. Gralla Jr. of Houston and Richard J. Gralla of New Orleans; and three grandchildren.

Buried in Section 66 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

On Friday, May 22, 1998, ARTHUR ROBERT GRALLA, of Arlington, VA, husband of Mildred C. L. Gralla; and father of Arthur R. Jr. and Richard J. Gralla. VADM Gralla is also survived by his grandchildren, Julie E., Arthur R. III and Catherine E. Gralla; and by sisters, Edna Berlly, Muriel Minkoff and Evelyn Kritzer. Interment to be held with full military honors, Monday, 1 June, Arlington National Cemetery, at 9 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Arleigh Burke Pavilion, 1739 Kirby Rd., McLean, VA 22101. Arrangements by Murphy Falls Church Funeral Home.

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