Commanding Officer

U.S. Navy photograph

Captain Dennis Joseph Sullivan, U.S. Navy



navycross.jpg Navy Cross
LOMwV.jpg Legion of Merit with Combat "V"
CAR.jpg Combat Action Ribbon
PUC.jpg Presidential Unit Citation
ADM.jpg American Defense Service Medal
ACM.jpg American Campaign Medal
APCM.jpg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
WW2VM.jpg World War II Victory Medal
national_defense_SM.jpg National Defense Service Medal
KSM.jpg Korean Service Medal
PPUC.jpg Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
PLM.jpg Philippine Liberation Medal
Award Criteria


- 1903  Born in Butte, Montana
MIDN 1926 Graduated from U.S. Naval Academy
LTJG 1930-1931 Student at Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida
CAPT 1944 CO, USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE 66) w/TU 52.14.2 at Marinas
CAPT 1944 CO, USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE 66) w/TU 32.7.3 at Palau 
CAPT 1944 CO, USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE 66) w/TU 77.4.3 at Samar
CAPT 1945 CO, USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE 66) w/Special CVE Group at Okinawa 
 CAPT 1951-1952 CO, USS BOXER (CV-21) w/TF 77 at Korea
 CAPT 1954-1956 Chief of Staff, Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD)
RADM  1956 Retired from Naval Service
- 1984 Died at San Diego, California

Short biography of
Captain Dennis Joseph Sullivan, U.S. Navy


Dennis Joseph Sullivan was born on September 26, 1903 in Butte, Montana.  His hometown was Stevensville, Montana.

Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1926.

In 1930 he attended Naval Flight School at Naval Air Station Pensacola.  On January 22, 1931 he was designed as Naval Aiviator #3776.

As Commanding Officer of USS WHITE PLAINS (CVE-66) he served with Task Unit 52.14.2 at the Marinas, Task Unit 32.7.3 at Palau, Task Unit 77.4.3 at Leyte Gulf where he was awarded the Navy Cross and Presidential Unit Citation, and Special CVE Group at Okinawa.

On August 10, 1951 he reported aboard USS BOXER (CV-21) which was off the east coast of Korea and a unit of Task Force 77.  On the 17th he relieved as Commanding Officer.  While in command of BOXER she participated in one of the larest raids on North Korea which earned all hands the Korea Service Medal for wartime duty off Korean coasts.  The ship returned to her homeport in San Diego by Christmas 1951.  In February 1952 BOXER participated in her third Korea war cruise during which time a fatal fire occured aboard.  In June she participated in the Suiho, Yalu River power plants raid.  For the period March 14 to August 1, 1952 he was awared the Legion of Merit with Combat "V".  By August 1952 Captain Sullivan was off to his next duty station.


Captain Dennis J. Sullivan, BOXER's Commanding Officer (center)

 On board USS Boxer (CV-21), during Admiral Radford's helicopter tour of ships operating off North Korea.
Also present is Commander James O'Grady.  
Photo is dated 28 April 1952.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives

He served as Chief of Staff for the newly formed Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) from 1954 to 1956.   

Upon his retirement on June 29, 1954 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.

He was married to Helen Desmond Gallagher of New York in March 1930.  They had four children.

He died in San Diego on August 10, 1984.

Source:  Robert Jon Cox independent research and Susan Sullivan, the Admirals granddaughter and his great niece.

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