Capt. Joseph Anthony Connolly was born in in The Bronx, New York City on June 13, 1898. He attended Fordham University before his appointment to the Naval Academy in 1917. In the summer of 1918, he saw service in World War I as a midshipman on USS Maine. He participated in intramural intramural athletics as an undergraduate and played football.
He graduated in 1921 and was assigned to USS Utah, flagship of the European Squadron, having junior offerr duties.
In 1924, he was transferred to USS Gilmer and after a brief service on that destroyer, he had submarine instruction aboard USS Chewink at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., completing the course in 1925.
He commanded USS 0-6 in 1927 and then returned to Annapolis for instruction in General Line at the Postgraduate School, completing it in 1929.
He then commanded USS R-1 and S-24 and in 1933, he returned to New London for duty as an instructor. In June, 1935, he served as gunnery officer of the battleship USS Arkansas.
He helped fit out USS Porter and served as executive officer and navigator until 1938.
After a two-year shore tour at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., as professor of Naval Science and Tactics, he became the operations and tactical officer on USS Richmond. In February, 1941, he served on the staff of commander, Submarines, Asiatic Fleet, as assistant maintenance officer.
Following that, he served as commander, Submarine Division 45 and as commander, Submarine Squadron 22. He was at Manila, Philippine Islands on Dec. 8, 1941 when war was declared and during the next five months, Submarine Squadron 22 served at Mariveles, Corredgidor and Australia.
In recognition for his service, he received the Army Distinguished Unit Badge for duty on the staff of commander, Asiatic Fleet, in defense of hte Philippines while under Army command from Dec. 8 to 31, 1941.
For services as assistant maintenance officer on the staff of commander, Submarines, Asiatic Fleet, from the commencement of hostilities until the latter part o May, 1942, he received a Letter of Commendation with ribbon and combat distinguishing device "V", awarded by the Secretary of the Navy.
He also received the Legion of Merit for 'exceptionally meritorious conduct,' from February, 1941 to Sept. 9, 1944.
Upon returning to the United States, he became assistanc commandant for logistics, First Naval District, Boston. On Nov. 19, 1945, he became commanding officer of USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37). He transferred to command of USS Boston (CA-69) and served until July, 1946. He then became commander, Naval Operations Base, Okinawa, where he served from August, 1946 to April, 1947. He was then ordered to staff duty with the Naval Forces, Far East. In 1948, he assumed command of NTC where he served for three years until his retirement on June 30, 1951.
Other awards Rear Adm. Connolly received during his career include the Naval Unit Commendation Ribbon: the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (USS Maine); the American Defense Service Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; American Campaign Medal; and the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Group.
No further information is available after 1951. If anyone has any further information regarding his Naval career following his tour at NTC or date of death, please contact the webmaster.
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