After graduation in 1911, he served successively in the USS WEST VIRGINIA (Armored Cruiser #5) and the USS OREGON (Battleship #3), USS CHAUNCEY (Destroyer #3), USS MONADNOCK (a doubleturreted monitor), USS NEW YORK (BB-34), USS ARIZONA (BB-39) until May 1919. Until September 1920, he had duty with the General Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.
VICE ADMIRAL HOWARD FITHIAN KINGMAN
UNITED STATES NAVY
1890 – 1968
Howard Fithian Kingman was born in Hillsboro, North Dakota, on 5 May 1890. He is the only (surviving) son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Richmond Titus Kingman (Alice Maude Fithian, first wife) of Michigan and North Dakota. He is the only surviving grandchild and heir of the late Rear Admiral Edwin Fithian, United States Navy. He received his appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy from North Dakota in 1907. Graduated in June 1911, he served at sea, before being commissioned Ensign, 7 March 1912.
In September 1920, he was assigned to the USS KANSAS (BB-21). A year later he was transferred back to the USS ARIZONA. In June 1923, he reported for instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island for a year after which he had duty in the Office of Naval Communications, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., from June 1924 until August 1925.
He served on the staff of Commander in Chief, Battle Fleet, USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44), for a year from September 1925, and later had duty on USS SEATTLE (Armored Cruiser #11). He commanded the USS DOYEN (DD-280) from November 1927 until August 1928, and in September of that year reported for duty as Assistant Naval Attaché at the American Embassy, London, England.
After his return to the United States in September 1930, he joined the USS MISSISSIPPI (BB-41) in October, until June 1932. Following duty as Aide to the Commandant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., he again had a tour of duty in the Office of Naval Communications, Navy Department. In August 1935, he joined the USS MINNEAPOLIS (CL-36) until June 1937. He then had duty as District Intelligence Officer, Third Naval District, New York, until April 1939.
In May 1939, he served as Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5, until May 1941. Upon his return to the United States, he again had duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. On 24 August 1942, he assumed command of the USS NEVADA (BB-36) until 25 January 1943, when he was designated Commander, Battleship Division 2.
After his return to the United States he became Commandant, Fifteenth Naval District, Balboa, Canal Zone; Commander, Panama Sea Frontier; and Commander, Southeast Pacific, serving from 3 November 1944, until August 1945 when he assumed duty as Commander, Battle Division 9, Pacific Fleet. On 22 November 1945, he relieved Fleet Admiral (then Admiral) William F. Halsey, Jr., USN, as Commander, Third Fleet, hoisting his flag in the USS SOUTH DAKOTA (BB-57). He was detached from command of the Third Fleet on 30 November 1946, and relieved of active duty pending his retirement on 1 February 1947.
Vice Admiral Kingman died in Los Angeles, California, on 4 July 1968. He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Adelaide Bledsoe Cormack Kingman, born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on 12 May 1901, also died in Los Angeles, on 27 January 1999, is buried with him.