Roy Alexander Gano – Vice Admiral, United States Navy

Date Icon Publish Date

Nickname “Red”
Place of birth Pipestone, Minnesota
Place of death Falls Church, Virginia
Years of service 1922-1964
Rank Vice Admiral
Commands Military Sea Transportation Service (1959-1964)
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards Navy Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Bronze Star Medal

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Roy Alexander “Red” Gano (December 3, 1902 – January 20, 1971) was a Vice Admiral in the United States Navy who served in World War II and the Korean War.

A native of Pipestone, Minnesota, Gano attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1926. He returned to the Academy as a postgraduate student in 1934.

He married Harriet Pauline Howard, July 18, 1929.

Gano spent much of his early career at sea. He served first in the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43), 1926-29, then was assigned to several destroyers: USS John D. Edwards (DD-216), 1929-30; USS Edsall (DD-219), 1930-31; USS MacLeish (DD-220), 1931-32; and as Engineer on board USS Dewey (DD-349), 1934-37.

From 1937-1939, he served as Special Engineer, U.S. Navy Research Lab, Bellevue, Washington. In 1941, he was assigned as Material Officer and Commander, Destroyer Battle Force.

Gano spent the first part of the war in sea-going commands. He served as Material Officer and Commander, Task Force 8, Alaska, 1941-42; and Commander of the destroyer USS Dyson (DD-572), 1942-44. For the remainder of the war, 1944-1946, he served as Assistant Director, U.S. Navy Communications for Administration, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C.

From 1946-1948, Gano served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5, also Destroyer Division 51, Japan-Korea area, 1946-48. He then returned to shore duty as Director of Recruiting, Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1948-50; then as Director, Enlisted Personnel Division, 1950-51.

He returned to sea in 1951 as Commander of the cruiser USS Saint Paul (CA-73), deployed to Korea, a command he held until 1952. He was then assigned as Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander, Service Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 1952-54; Commander, Service Squadron 3, in the evacuation of refugees from Northern Indochina, 1954;

In 1954, Gano was promoted to Vice Admiral, and was assigned as Assistant Chief for Logistics, holding that position until 1955. He then served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Far East and U.N. Commands, 1955-56; Deputy Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service, 1956-58; Commander, Amphibious Group 2, 1958-59; and Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service, 1959-64.

Vice Admiral Gano retired from active duty in 1964 and then served as Vice President of Moore-McCormack Lines, Washington, DC, 1964-71. He also served as President and Chairman of the Board of United Seamen's Service from 1961 to 1971.

During his career, Admiral Gano was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with gold star, the Navy Cross with gold star, Legion of Merit with gold star, and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. The Admiral died on January 20, 1971 and was buried with full military honors in Section 5 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Harriet Howard Gano (February 8, 1902-January 31, 1991) is buried with him.


Born at Pipestone, Minnesota, December 3, 1902, Roy Alexander Gano graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1926 and was a Postgraduate student in 1934. He married Harriet Howard, July 18, 1929.

Gano was commissioned an Ensign and advanced through the grades to Vice Admiral in 1954.

During his career, Admiral Gano was assigned to U.S. ships Tennessee, 1926-29, John D. Edwards, 1929-30, Edsall, 1930-31, MacLeish, 1931-32. He was the Engineer, USS Dewey, 1934-37; Special engineer, USN Research Lab, Bellevue, Washington, 1937-39; Material officer and Commander, Destroyer Battle Force, 1941; Material officer and Commander, Task Force 8, Alaska, 1941-42; Commander, USS Dyson, 1942-44; Assistant Director US Navy Communications for Administration, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Washington, D.C., 1944-46; Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5, also Destroyer Division 51, Japan-Korea area, 1946-48; Director of Recruiting, Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1948-50; Director, Enlisted Personnel Division, 1950-51; Commander, USS St. Paul, Korea, 1951-52; Chief of Staff and Aide to the Commander, Service Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 1952-54; Commander, Service Squadron 3, in the evacuation of refugees from Northern Indochina, 1954; Assistant Chief for Logistics, 1954-55; Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration, Far East and U.N. Commands, 1955-56; Deputy Commander, Military Sea Transportation Service, 1956-58; Commander, Amphibious Group 2, 1958-59, Military Sea Transportation Service, 1959-64.

Admiral Gano retired from active duty in 1964 and then served as Vice President of Moore-McCormack Lines, Washington, DC, 1964-71.

During his career, Admiral Gano was awarded the Bronze Star with gold star, the Navy Cross with gold star, Legion of Merit with gold star, and the Distinguished Service Medal. The Admiral died on January 20, 1971 and was buried with full military honors in Section 5 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Harriet Howard Gano (February 8, 1902-January 31, 1991) is buried with him.

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GANO, ROY ALEXANDER

  • VADM U.S.N.
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 12/03/1902
  • DATE OF DEATH: 01/20/1971
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 5  SITE 40
    ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

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