(Task Force 70)

Task Force 70 (SEVENTH Fleet)


The Seventh Fleet was based at Naval Operating Base, Subic Bay, Luzon, in the Philippines, the main operational command for naval forces in the western Pacific. It departed the Philippines on 26 June 1950 and was assigned to NAVFE on 28 June. It remained the major naval operational command in Korean waters throughout the war.


Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble 6 May 1950 (Rear Admiral J. M. Hoskins, acting commander at the beginning of the war)

Vice Admiral H. M. Martin 28 Mar. 1951
Vice Admiral Robert P. Briscoe 3 Mar. 1952 (dual command of NAVFE)
Vice Admiral J. J. Clark 20 May 1952

•Vice Adm. Arthur D. Struble (20 May 1950 - 28 March 1951)
•Vice Adm. Harold. M. Martin (28 March 1951 - 3 March 1952)
•Vice Adm. Robert P. Briscoe (3 March - 20 May 1952)
•Vice Adm. Joseph. J. Clark (20 May 1952 - 1 December 1953)
•Vice Adm. Alfred M. Pride (1 December 1953 - 9 December 1955)

United States Seventh Fleet

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United States Seventh Fleet

Seventh Fleet
Active 1943–Present
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type Fleet
Part of United States Pacific Fleet
Garrison/HQ United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka
Nickname 'Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club' (Vietnam War)
Vice Admiral Scott H. Swift
Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid


Scott R. Van Buskirk

The Seventh Fleet is the United States Navy's permanent forward projection force operating forward deployed in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near Japan and South Korea. It is a component force of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U.S. fleets, with 50 to 60 ships, 350 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. With the support of its Task Force Commanders, it has three major assignments:



The Seventh Fleet's area of responsibility, 2009.

The fleet once had its headquarters in Gaeta, Italy, commanded by a Vice Admiral. However, beginning in 2004, the Sixth Fleet staff was combined with United States Naval Forces Europe staff, up to that time headquartered in London. Since then the staff has operated as a single entity with a four star admiral who serves as Commander, Naval Forces Europe and Commander, Naval Forces Africa. This admiral has a three star Deputy Commander who also carries the title Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. The staff as a whole is known as Commander, Naval Forces


The Seventh Fleet was formed on 15 March 1943 in Brisbane, Australia, during World War II, under the command of Admiral Arthur S. "Chips" Carpender. It served in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) under General Douglas MacArthur, and the Seventh Fleet commander also served as commander of Allied naval forces in the SWPA.

Most of the ships of the Royal Australian Navy were also part of the fleet from 1943 to 1945 as part of Task Force 74 (formerly the Anzac Squadron). The Seventh Fleet—under Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid—formed a large part of the Allied forces at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. After the end of the war, the 7th Fleet moved its headquarters to Qingdao,, China.


Princeton of the United States Third Fleet on fire east of Luzon at the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

After the war, on 1 January 1947, the Fleet's name was changed to Naval Forces Western Pacific. On 19 August 1949, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War, the force was designated as United States Seventh Task Fleet. On 11 February 1950, the force assumed the name United States Seventh Fleet, which it holds today.

In late 1948, the 7th Fleet moved its principal base of operations to the Philippines, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur E. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander Naval Forces Far East, a component of General Douglas MacArthur/a>'s occupation force.

Korean War

Seventh Fleet units participated in all major operation of the Korean War and Vietnam war. The first Navy jet aircraft used in combat was launched from a Task Force 77 (TF 77) aircraft carrier on 3 July 1950. The landings at Inch'ŏn, Korea/a> were conducted by Seventh Fleet amphibious ships. The battleships Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri and Wisconsin all served as flagships for Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet during the Korean War. During the Korean War, the Seventh Fleet consisted of Task Force 70, a maritime patrol force provided by Fleet Air Wing One and Fleet Air Wing Six, Task Force 72, the Formosa Patrol, Task Force 77, and Task Force 79, a service support squadron.


Of the 50-60 ships typically assigned to Seventh Fleet, 18 operate from U.S. facilities in Japan and Guam. These forward-deployed units represent the heart of Seventh Fleet, and the centerpieces of American forward presence in Asia. They are 17 steaming days closer to locations in Asia than their counterparts based in the continental United States. It would take three to five times the number of rotationally-based ships in the U.S. to equal the same presence and crisis response capability as these 18 forward deployed ships. On any given day, about 50% of Seventh Fleet forces are deployed at sea throughout the area of responsibility.

Following the end of the Cold War, the two major military scenarios in which the Seventh Fleet would be used would be in case of conflict in Korea or a conflict between People's Republic of China and Taiwan (Republic of China) in the Taiwan Strait.

It was reported on 10 May 2012 that USS Freedom (LCS-1) would be despatched to Singapore in the northern spring of 2013 for a roughly 10-month deployment. On 2 June 2012 the U.S. and Singaporean Defense Ministers announced that Singapore has agreed 'in principle' to the US request 'to forward deploy up to four littoral combat ships to Singapore on a rotational basis.' Officials stressed however that vessels will not be permanently based there and their crews will live aboard during ship visits.

Fleet Commanders

•Vice Adm. Arthur S. Carpender (15 March-26 November 1943)
•Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid (26 November 1943 - 20 November 1945)
•Vice Adm. Daniel E. Barbey (20 November 1945 - 2 October 1946)
•Vice Adm. Charles M. Cooke, Jr. (2 October 1946 - 28 February 1948)
•Vice Adm. Oscar C. Badger II (28 February 1948 - 28 August 1949)
•Vice Adm. Russell S. Berkey (28 August 1949 - 5 April 1950)
•Rear Adm. Walter. F. Boone (5 April - 20 May 1950)
•Vice Adm. Arthur D. Struble (20 May 1950 - 28 March 1951)
•Vice Adm. Harold. M. Martin (28 March 1951 - 3 March 1952)
•Vice Adm. Robert P. Briscoe (3 March - 20 May 1952)
•Vice Adm. Joseph. J. Clark (20 May 1952 - 1 December 1953)
•Vice Adm. Alfred M. Pride (1 December 1953 - 9 December 1955)
•Vice Adm. Stuart H. Ingersoll (19 December 1955 - 28 January 1957)
•Vice Adm. Wallace M. Beakley (28 January 1957 - 30 September 1958)
•Vice Adm. Frederick N. Kivette (30 September 1958 - 7 March 1960)
•Vice Adm. Charles D. Griffin (7 March 1960 - 28 October 1961)
•Vice Adm. William A. Schoech (28 October 1961 - 13 October 1962)
•Vice Adm. Thomas H. Moorer (13 October 1962 - 15 June 1964)
•Vice Adm. Roy L. Johnson (15 June 1964 - 1 March 1965)
•Vice Adm. Paul P. Blackburn (1 March - 9 October 1965)
•Rear Adm. Joseph W. Williams, Jr. (9 October - 13 December 1965)
•Vice Adm. John J. Hyland (13 December 1965 - 6 November 1967)
•Vice Adm. William F. Bringle (6 November 1967 - 10 March 1970)
•Vice Adm. Maurice F. Weisner (10 March 1970 - 18 June 1971)
•Vice Adm. William P. Mack (18 June 1971 - 23 May 1972)
•Vice Adm. James L. Holloway III (23 May 1972 - 28 July 1973)
•Vice Adm. George P. Steele (28 July 1973 - 14 June 1975)
•Vice Adm. Thomas B. Hayward (14 June 1975 - 24 July 1976)
•Vice Adm. Robert B. Baldwin (24 July 1976 - 31 May 1978)
•Vice Adm. Sylvester Robert Foley, Jr. (31 May 1978 - 14 February 1980)
••Vice Adm. Carlisle A.H. Trost (14 February 1980 - 15 September 1981)
•Vice Adm. M. Staser Holcomb (15 September 1981 - 9 May 1983)
•Vice Adm. James R. Hogg (9 May 1983 - 4 March 1985)
•Vice Adm. Paul F. McCarthy, Jr. (4 March 1985 - 9 December 1986)
•Vice Adm. Paul D. Miller (9 December 1986 - 21 October 1988)
•Vice Adm. Henry H. Mauz, Jr. (21 October 1988 - 1 December 1990)
•Vice Adm. Stanley R. Arthur (1 December 1990 - 3 July 1992)
•Vice Adm. Timothy W. Wright (3 July 1992 - 28 July 1994)
•Vice Adm. Archie R. Clemins (28 July 1994 - 13 September 1996)
•Vice Adm. Robert J. Natter (13 September 1996 - 12 August 1998)
•Vice Adm. Walter F. Doran (12 August 1998 - 12 July 2000)
•Vice Adm. James W. Metzger (12 July 2000 - 18 July 2002)
•Vice Adm. Robert F. Willard (18 July 2002 - 6 August 2004)
•Vice Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert (6 August 2004 - 12 September 2006)
•Vice Adm. William Douglas Crowder (12 September 2006 - 12 July 2008)
•Vice Adm. John M. Bird (12 July 2008 - 10 September 2010)
•Vice Adm. Scott R. Van Buskirk (10 September 2010 - 7 September 2011)/td>
•Vice Adm. Scott Swift (7 September 2011 - Present))


This is the United States Seventh Fleet Korean War order of battle.

June 25, 1950

In a teleconference between Washington and Tokyo that evening, General MacArthur received his instructions. The JCS ordered him to send any ammunition and equipment to Korea which he believed necessary to prevent the loss of the key Sŏul-Kimp'o-Inch'ŏn area. He was to give such supply movements air and naval cover, and take such additional action as proved necessary to safeguard the evacuation of noncombatants from Korea. To augment naval cover, the JCS ordered the U. S. Seventh Fleet to Sasebo Harbor where it was to report to Vice Adm. C. Turner Joy, Commander of Navy Forces, Far East (COMNAVFE). The JCS warned MacArthur that further high level decisions might be expected as the situation developed.

June 25, 1950

The Fleet's principal base of operations was on the island of Luzon, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur E. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander Naval Forces Far East. There were, however, certain problems implicit in this arrangement: Admiral Radford's area of responsibility included potential trouble spots outside the limits of the Far East Command; lacking an aviation section on his staff, the control of a carrier striking force and of patrol squadrons would present problems for ComNavFE; Admiral Struble was senior to Admiral Joy.

Although early postwar policy had called for the maintenance of two aircraft carriers in the Western Pacific, the reductions in defense appropriations had made this impossible: for some time prior to January 1950 no carrier had operated west of Pearl; current procedure called for the rotation of single units on six-month tours of duty.  In these circumstances Admiral Struble's Seventh Fleet Striking Force, Task Force 77, was made up of a carrier  "group" containing one carrier, a support "group" containing one cruiser, and a screening group of eight destroyers. The duty carrier in the summer of 1950 was USS Valley Forge (CV-45), an improved postwar version of the Essex class, completed in 1946, with a standard displacement of 27,100 tons, a length of 876 feet, and a speed of 33 knots.

Flagship of Rear Admiral John M. Hoskins, Commander Carrier Division 3, Valley Forge had reported in to the Western Pacific in May, at which time her predecessor, USS Boxer (CV-21), had been returned to the west coast for navy yard availability.

June 26, 1950


On the following day, June 26 in Tokyo, MacArthur received the four point directive which had been drawn up and approved at the Blair House meeting. Since he had already ordered the ammunition to be sent to South Korea and alerted his air and naval forces to provide protection for the evacuation of the 2,000 American civilians from Sŏul and could do nothing about the Seventh Fleet except await its arrival, that left only one unfulfilled item: dispatching the "survey party" to South Korea to find out what was going on and determine what else the ROKs might need. The very same afternoon MacArthur chose a GHQ section chief, Brigadier General John H. Church, to command the party (twelve other officers and two enlisted men) and told him to go to Korea immediately.[3-23]

 John Church was then only several days shy of his fifty-eighth birthday, older even than JCS Chairman Omar Bradley. He was "homey" and "frail" and sick, almost crippled by arthritis. To relieve the agonizing pain, he kept a bottle of whiskey close at hand. Although far from well, Church was not lacking in courage. As a young lieutenant in World War I he had twice been wounded leading infantry units in the trenches. In World War II, as chief of staff of the crack 45th Infantry Division, he had been in the thick of the fighting in Sicily, at Salerno, at Anzio (where he temporarily commanded an infantry regiment), and in southern France. Later, as assistant division commander (ADC) of Alex Bolling's 84th Infantry Division in the ETO, he had fought in Holland and Germany, where he was wounded for the third time. In the two world wars Church had won a DSC and two Silver Stars for heroism, plus a host of other medals.