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Alan Goodrich Kirk
Admiral Alan Goodrich Kirk
Born (1888-10-30)October 30, 1888
Died October 15, 1963(1963-10-15) (aged 74)
Place of birth Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Place of death Washington, D.C.
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1909-1946
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held U.S. Naval Forces, France
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit
Ambassador to Belgium

In office
1946–1949
President Harry S Truman
Preceded by Charles W. Sawyer
Succeeded by Robert Daniel Murphy
Ambassador to the Soviet Union

In office
July 4, 1949 – October 6, 1951
President Harry S Truman
Preceded by Walter Bedell Smith
Succeeded by George F. Kennan
Ambassador to Taiwan

In office
June 7, 1962 – January 18, 1963
President John F. Kennedy
Preceded by Everett Drumright
Succeeded by Jerauld Wright

Alan Goodrich Kirk (born October 30, 1888, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died October 15, 1963, Washington, D.C.) was an admiral in the United States Navy and an American diplomat.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1909 and served in the United States Navy during World War I and World War II. During his wartime naval service, Alan Kirk became the U.S. naval attaché in London (1939 to 1941). He was Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence from March 1941 but, obstructed and opposed by Rear Admiral Richmond Turner, he was unable to develop the office into an effective centre along the lines of the British Royal Naval Operational Intelligence Centre (which he had seen whilst in London). Eventually, he requested a transfer to an Atlantic destroyer squadron.[1]

Quote, "Deliver for D-Day!"

Kirk served as an amphibious commander in the Mediterranean in 1942 and 1943 (the Allied invasion of Sicily and Italy). In addition, he was the senior U.S. naval commander during the Normandy landings of June 6, 1944 embarked on the heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31), and as Commander U.S. Naval Forces, France during 1944 and 1945. He retired from the Navy as a full admiral in 1946.

After retirement from the United States Navy, Kirk embarked on a diplomatic career, and subsequently served in several United States embassies abroad, beginning with the combined posting of U.S. Ambassador to Belgium/U.S. Envoy to Luxembourg (resident in Brussels, Belgium), 1946–49; as U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, July 4, 1949 to October 6, 1951; and finally as United States Ambassador to Taiwan, June 7, 1962 to January 16, 1963. Admiral Alan G. Kirk took his post as the second president of Amcomlib, in February 1952. As a former U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, he oversaw the recruitment of emigres in New York and Munich, a group that would later form the core of Radio Liberty's staff. Less than a year after taking office, Kirk was forced to resign due to poor health. Also in 1952, he served briefly as Director of the Psychological Strategy Board, which planned for and coordinated government psychological operations.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

Kohnen, David, “Alan Goodrich Kirk: U.S. Navy Admiral of Intelligence and Diplomacy” in John Hattendorf and Bruce Elleman, eds., Nineteen Gun Salute: Profiles in U.S. Navy Leadership in Wartime Operations (Newport, Rhode Island: Naval War College Press, 2010), 75–92.

External links[edit | edit source]

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