Capt. Arthur Tenney Emerson Jr. was born on Feb. 7, 1923 in Annapolis, Md., the son of a retired Navy captain.
He entered the Naval Academy on June 14, 1939 and was commissioned an ensign on June 19, 1942. His biography boasts that he was the “youngest man in his Naval Academy class, and possibly the youngest man to graduate there from in recent history.
His first tour of duty was on USS Pennsylvania from July, 1942 to March, 1944. He served as assistant navigator and gunnery officer. He was promoted to lieutenant junior grade on May 1, 1943.
He reported to USS Guam (CB-2) in March, 1944 and was promoted to lieutenant on July 1, 1944.
His next tour of duty was as flag secretary on the staff of commander, Cruiser Division 14. He served as an aide and assistant communication’s officer on the staff of commander, Training Command, Pacific from July, 1946 to February, 1948.
He served as executive officer on USS Raby (DE-698) and in October, 1949, he reported to the staff of Destroyer Squadron One, where he was promoted to lieutenant commander.
He returned to the Naval Academy in 1951 to serve as an instructor in the department of Ordnance and Guns. He also coached wrestling and lacrosse. During his tour on USS Walton (DE-36 1), he served as commanding officer, won the Battle Efficiency Award and was promoted to commander.
In 1957, he reported to Naval Station, Pearl Harbor as executive officer and in July, 1958, he became the commanding officer for four months, before resuming duties as executive officer.
He reported to the Naval War College in August, 1959 and then served on board USS Wilkinson (DL-5) as commanding officer from July, 1960 to May, 1962. He was promoted to captain on July 1, 1962, during his tour of duty at commander, Destroyer Division 252. In 1963, he served as an aide on the staff of commander-in-chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He worked for some time in Washington, D.C. as the head, National Policy Section, Strategic Plans Division. He became the squadron commander of Destroyer Squadron One from October, 1967 to August, 1969.
In September, 1969, he reported as commanding officer, Recruit Training Command and became the center commander of NTC in June, 1970. He retired from the Navy on July 1, 1972.
His decorations include the Bronze Star with Combat “V”; the Joint Service Commendation Medal; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V and one Gold Star; Meritorious Service Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star. He also earned the Republic of Vietnam Navy Distinguished Service Medal; American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
Medal with one Silver Star; World War II Victory Medal; Navy Occupation Service Medal with “Asia” clasp; China Service Medal with three Bronze Stars; Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars; United Nations Service Medal; Philippine Liberation Ribbon; Korean Presidential Unit Citation; and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with device.
Capt. Emerson married the former Peggy Barbour and they had three children.
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