Frederick Jackson Bell – Rear Admiral, United States Navy

Frederick Jackson Bell, a decorated Admiral who wrote several books about the United States Navy, represented an automobile industry group and eventually became an Episcopal minister, died at the VA Medical Center in Miami, Florida. He was 91 and lived in Miami.

His family said cause of death was respiratory failure.

He wrote about the Navy throughout his career, which began with his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1924 and included command of a cruiser that rescued downed aircrews in South Pacific during WWII. His well-received “Room to Swing a Cat” (1938) told salty tales of the Navy of yore, of battles between frigates and the lot of ancient sailors. It was illustrated by his first wife, Pauline Gidden Bell.

His “Condition Red: Destroyer in the South Pacific” (1944) chronicled the exploits of the destroyer Greyson, which he commanded when the Marine Corps landed at Guadalcanal the year be fore. Written with humor, it was praised in reviews and became a best seller.

He retired in 1948 as a Rear Admiral and Director of Enlisted Personnel and became a Vice President of a financial consulting firm in Manhattan. In 1953, he became the executive Vice President for the National Automobile Dealers Association and, as its principal spokesman, defended dealers’ sales practices. Also organized a committee to counter false and misleading advertising by dealers.

He began studying for the clergy in the late 1960’s and was ordained an Episcopal minister in 1971 at age 68. He was associated with the National Cathedral for 10 years. Survived by a sister, Nancy Bell Welch of Long Beach, California; 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. His first wife died in 1968, and his second wife, Lelia Cook Noggle Bell, in 1983. Sep 5, 1903-Oct 29, 1994.

He was buried with full military honors on Tuesday, 8 November 1994 in Section 2, Grave  4735-C, Arlington National Cemetery.

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