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Robert Gralla Becomes Fourth Jew to Attain Rank of Vice Admiral in United States Navy

May 9, 1969
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rear Admiral Arthur Robert Gralla has been promoted to Vice Admiral and is the fourth Jew to attain that rank in U.S. Naval history. Vice Admiral is the equivalent of Lt. General in the Army, a three star rank. Admiral Gralla was also named by President Richard M. Nixon as Navy Inspector General. He has been in the Navy for 35 years. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1934, Admiral Gralla was raised in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn where he attended a Hebrew school. His father for many years was chief clerk at New York City Police headquarters. Admiral Gralla won the Bronze Star and Gold Star during World War II. In 1959 he commanded the Navy missile test ship Norton Sound when she fired the first nuclear armed rockets 300 miles into space.

The only other Jews to attain the rank of Vice Admiral were Adolph Marix, who commanded the battleship Maine until a few weeks before she blew up in Havana harbor in 1898; Ben Morreel, who commanded the Navy Seabees (construction batallions) in the closing days of World War II; and Herschel Goldberg, who recently retired as Chief of the Navy Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

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