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George Thomas Alexander
37th Naval Governor of Guam

In office
February 8, 1938 – April 20, 1940
Preceded by Benjamin McCandlish
Succeeded by George McMillin
Personal details
Born August 25, 1888
Died 16 January 1952(1952-01-16) (aged 63)
Nationality United States
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy United States Navy
Rank US-O6 insignia Captain
Commands USS Sterett
USS Porter
USS Astoria
USS Wichita
Awards Navy Cross

James Thomas Alexander (August 25, 1888 – January 16, 1952) was a United States Navy Captain who served as the 37th Naval Governor of Guam. He served as a commanding officer of ships during both World War I and World War II, receiving the Navy Cross for his actions during the First World War. He was an outspoken advocate for increase naval power and bases to improve American defensive networks. As Governor, he improved the defenses of Guam by building additional military facilities, dredging the Apra Harbor, increasing the officers on the island, and building a sea wall.


Alexander was born on August 25, 1888 and lived much of his life in Kansas. He died on January 16, 1952.[1]

Naval careerEdit

Alexander graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1910.[1] While there, he rowed for the Navy Midshipmen men's crew team.[2] During World War I he served as commanding officer of both the USS Sterett and the USS Porter, for which he received the Navy Cross.[1] Following the war, he commanded the Navy Ammunition Depot in Hawaii.[3] In the 1930s, Alexander proved a strong advocate for the strengthening of American sea power as the key to maintaining a healthy national defense.[4] Following his governorship, he commanded the USS Astoria.[5] He commanded the USS Wichita during World War II.[6] He retired from the Navy as a Captain.[1]


Alexander served as Naval Governor of Guam from February 8, 1938 to April 20, 1940.[7] Air travel became more prevalent during his tenure as more people traveled to the island from the mainland United States and air mail arrived frequently. He recommended various methods to make the island more defensible, including building additional warehouses and harbor facilities, dredging Apra Harbor, constructing a sea wall and oil storage facilities, and the erection of six new officers barracks.[8] He had to negotiate with the Japanese government in arranging the return of a number of Japanese fisherman who had been rescued when there ship Daichs Saiho Maru sunk in a restricted area of the Guamanian coast.[5] He also oversaw the 1940 United States Census on the island.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "James Thomas Alexander". Archived from the original on 20 May 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  2. "Sport at Naval Academy". New York City. 2 May 1909. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  3. Annual Report of the Secretary of the Interior for the Fiscal Year. 2. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1920. p. 97. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  4. "Hold Strong Navy Essential to Peace: Commander Alexander, Despite Bans on "Controversial" Talks, Pleads for Sea Power". New York City. 28 October 1931. p. 15. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Japanese Fishing Vessel Wrecked on Guam in Area Closed to Aliens; 24 of Crew Saved". New York City. 16 January 1940. p. 12. 
  6. Schratz, Paul (2000). Submarine Commander: A Story of World War II and Korea. Lexington, Kentucky: University of Kentucky Press. ISBN 0-8131-0988-4. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  7. "Naval Era Governors of Guam". Guampedia. Guam: University of Guam. 10 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2011. 
  8. "Claim a Majority for Guam Defense: Governor of Guam Reports". New York City. 22 January 1939. pp. 1–2. 
  9. United States Census Bureau (1940). Sixteenth Census of the United States. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. p. 1205. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 

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