Captain Arthur Peter Ismay, USN (Retired)

A Biography


Captain Arthur Peter Ismay was born in Bronxville, New York, on 2 May 1927.   He joined the United States Navy as an enlisted man in November 1945.   In the summer of 1947 he was sent to the United States Naval Academy, graduating as an Ensign in the Class of 1951.   Upon graduation, he served as the Antisubmarine Warfare Officer on board USS Philip DD-498.   In September 1953, he was reassigned to be the Executive Officer on board USS Ruddy AM-380.   In January 1955, less than four years after his graduation from the Naval Academy, and as a Lieutenant Junior Grade, he began his first command tour in USS Spoonbill MSC-202.   In January 1956, he was reassigned to be a Flag Aide to Commander, Sea Transport Service, Atlantic.   In June 1956, Ismay was promoted to Lieutenant, and assigned to be the Flag Aide to Commander, Training, Pacific.

From August 1957 to May 1958, Lieutenant Ismay was the Executive Officer on board USS Otterstetter DER-244.   After this tour, Ismay was briefly inactive, before returning to active duty in February 1959 as the Assistant Plans Officer to Commander, Carrier Division Four.   He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in September 1960.   From July 1962 to June 1964, he was the Officer-In-Charge of USS Sequoia AG-23. Just before his tour ended, he married Mary C. Carns, the daughter of Major General Carns, U.S. Army.  

He then attended the Armed Forces Staff College and Defense Language Institute, East Coast.   In June 1965, he arrived in Vietnam as the Flag Secretary to Chief, Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam.   In August, he was promoted to Commander, and in October, he was reassigned to Coastal Squadron One.

At the time of Ismay's arrival, the Squadron was just being organized, and it was called Boat Squadron One, consisting of two Swift Boats (PCFs) and only a small number of personnel.   By the time his tour ended in November 1966, Ismay had 84 Swift Boats, three experimental Patrol Air Cushion vehicles and over 750 men. Coastal Squadron One played an influential role in Operation Market Time, the patrolling of Vietnam's waterways.

After his tour in command, Ismay was assigned to Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as the Assistant Special Warfare Officer.   From July 1970 to June 1970, Commander Ismay studied at the University of Rochester to earn his Masters in Systems Analysis.   In July 1970, he was assigned to the Staff of Commander in Chief, Pacific, as the Assistant Plans and Policy officer. He was promoted to Captain in July 1971.

Captain Ismay retired on 1 September 1974 ending a career spanning nearly 29 years.