Vice Admiral Emmett H. Tidd
United States Navy, Retired
Emmett Hulcy Tidd was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, on October 6, 1923, son of Colonel Luzerne M. Tidd, U. S. Army, Retired and Mrs. (Vallie B. Williamson) Tidd. He graduated from Central High School, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, then attended the University of Oklahoma at Norman, from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1945. He enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve as an Apprentice Seaman in December 1942 and while at the University of Oklahoma was a member of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit. Upon graduation, he was commissioned Ensign in the U. S. Naval Reserve, February 24, 1945 and advanced progressively in rank to that of Vice Admiral on 5 March 1974. He transferred from the Naval Reserve to the U. S. Navy in November 1953 while serving in the rank of Lieutenant.
After receiving his commission in 1945, he had duty training a pre-commissioning crew of the destroyer GYATT at Norfolk, Virginia, and upon commissioning of the USS GYATT (DD-712), July 2, 1945 joined her as First Lieutenant. After shakedown training in the Caribbean, that destroyer had a variety of duties in the Atlantic in addition to local operations with aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. He was detached from the GYATT in March 1946 and released from active duty. While on inactive duty, he was active in the Naval Reserve Training Program.
Ordered into active naval service (the first Naval Reserve officer recalled to active duty in Tyler, Texas, for the Korean hostilities), he reported in August 1950 for duty in connection with the reactivation of the USS FRANK E. EVANS (DD-752). That destroyer was re-commissioned on September 15, 1950 and was in the first division of reactivated destroyers to reach Korea, arriving in January 1951. He was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”. “For meritorious achievement … while serving as Bombardment Intelligence Officer on the Staff of Commander Wonsan Bombardment and Patrol Element, during the periods from June 11, 1951 to June 19, 1951 and June 28, 1951 to July 13, 1951
During the period March 1952 to April 1954, he was in the Officer Procurement Office in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., after which he served as Operations Officer in the destroyer USS RADFORD (DDE-446). While on board that antisubmarine destroyer, he took part in the evacuation of Tachen Islands, located off the Chinese Coast. Detached from the RADFORD in April 1955, he next had duty as Operations Officer, Antisubmarine Warfare Officer and Gunnery Officer on the Staff of Commander Escort Destroyer Squadron ONE (subsequently re-designated Commander Destroyer Squadron TWENTYFIVE), which was engaged in advanced hunter/killer experimental tactics in the Hawaiian and Western Pacific areas. In November 1956 he assumed command of the USS FORCE (MSO-455), and was engaged in special operations in the Pacific and Atlantic while deployed to Panama.
From August 1958 to June 1959 he attended the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College., Newport, Rhode Island. From July 1959 to April 1961 he served in the strategic Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department. On May 3, 1961 he was promoted to the rank of Commander and assumed command of the destroyer USS RICHARD B. ANDERSON (DD-786) on the same day. During his command of the Anderson, the ship participated in “Operation Swordfish” and was the standby firing ship, and platform for the surface scientific camera party nearest ground zero, for the first operational firing and detonation of the nuclear warhead on an ASROC (Anti Submarine Rocket). This period also included operational deployments in the Eastern Pacific with the Third Fleet during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with the Seventh Fleet Fast Carrier Striking Force. In April 1963 he took command of the guided missile destroyer USS Charles F. ADAMS (DDG-2) and in July 1964 was detached to return to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations for duty again in the Strategic Plans Division. “For meritorious service from July 1964 to July 6, 1967…” he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Second Navy Commendation Medal.
In June 1968 Captain Tidd assumed command of the destroyer tender USS EVERGLADES (AD-24) and was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the Third Navy Commendation Medal. “For meritorious service … from August 10, 1968 to December 10, 1968…” while deployed to the Mediterranean in command of that tender.
In May, 1969 he reported as Chief of Staff and Aide to then Vice Admiral Zumwalt who was Commander United States Naval Forces, Vietnam and Chief, Naval Advisory Group, Military Assistant Command, Vietnam. “For exceptionally meritorious service … (in that capacity) from May 1969 to May 1970… ” he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
Captain Tidd next had orders to take command of the newly modernized guided missile cruiser, USS Columbus (CG-12) in Norfolk. However, in May 1970 while enroute from Vietnam, he was selected for promotion to Rear Admiral and his orders to USS Columbus were changed: to report to the CNO, for duty, Washington, DC.
In June 1970 he became Special Assistant to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Vice Chief of Naval Operations for Decision Coordination, Navy Department. On detachment, he was awarded the Legion of Merit “for exceptionally meritorious service…” In August 1971 he assumed command of Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla SIX, and while deployed to the Sixth Fleet he was embarked in the USS America (CV-66) as Commander Task Group 60.2 and CTG 502.2, until relieved in March 1972.
On 5 April 1972 he assumed command of the Navy Recruiting Command with orders to “prepare for the end of the draft and commence recruiting the All Volunteer Force.” On December 13, 1973 he was awarded a Gold Star in lieu of the second award of the Distinguished Service Medal for his outstanding service as Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. On March 5, 1974 Rear Admiral Tidd was promoted to Vice Admiral. He continued to serve as Commander, Navy Recruiting command until relieved in May 1975.
On 7 June 1975 Vice Admiral Tidd assumed Command of the Naval Surface Force, US Pacific Fleet. During this period, the final consolidation of all Cruisers, Destroyers, Frigates, Amphibious, Mine Warfare, Service Force Ships, Tenders and Repair Ships, the Special Forces (SEALS), and Amphibious Warfare Schools of the Pacific Fleet, were all consolidated under one Command: the Commander Naval Surface Force, U. S. Pacific Fleet. When the task of consolidating the Naval Surface Forces, Pacific Fleet was completed, Admiral Tidd requested retirement. After over 33 years of service, he was retired from the Navy on 31 July 1976 with the permanent rank of Vice Admiral. On behalf of the President of the United States, he was awarded a Second Gold Star in lieu of the Third Award of the Distinguished Service Medal, “For exceptionally meritorious service … .” At that time, the Naval Surface Force of the Pacific Fleet consisted of 183 ships and over 55 thousand people.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal with two Gold Stars, the Legion of Merit and the Navy Commendation Medal with two Gold Stars and Combat “V”, Vice Admiral Tidd has the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon with star, the Naval Reserve Medal; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; China Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal with bronze star; Korean Service Medal with three stars; United Nations Service Medal; and the Vietnam Service Medal. From the Republic of Vietnam, he has the National Order of Vietnam (Fifth Class), Gallantry Cross with Bronze Palm, the Republic of Vietnam Honor Medal (First Class) and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device. He also has the Korean Presidential Unit Citation Badge.
Admiral and Mrs. Tidd have two sons and a daughter-in-law serving on active duty in the Navy: CDR Mark L. Tidd, Chaplain Corps, USN; CDR (Captain, Select) Kurt W. Tidd, Surface Warfare Officer, USN; and Kurt’s wife: LCDR Eileen Scanlan, U. S. Navy Medical Corps, specializing in Internal Medicine. She is a veteran of Desert Shield/Desert Storm and was decorated with the Bronze Star for her combat tour in Iraq with the First Armored Division.
In retirement, Vice Admiral Tidd served on the Board of Directors of Atlas Van Lines, Inc. and for ten years was a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the Armed Services YMCA, serving as their Chairman in 1981and 1982. Vice Admiral and Mrs. Tidd reside in Arlington, VA except for an average of about 180 days each year, traveling and camping in their motorhome which they affectionately call, “The Great White Whale.”