RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Governor Ralph Northam will declare Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Day on June 2 in honor of the 50th anniversary of his promotion to admiral, according to the Navy League of the Richmond Virginia Council.
Gravely, originally from Richmond, was the first African-American admiral in the United States Navy. He rose from the rank of Seaman to Vice Admiral and was the first African American to command a US Navy warship.
According to a press release, his firsts also include “the first African-American to command an American warship in combat conditions (TAUSSIG DD 746), the first African-American to command a large naval warship (JOUETT CG 29), the first admiral African-American, the first African-American to achieve the rank of Vice-Admiral, and the first African-American to command a US fleet (Commander of the US 3rd Fleet). “
The Navy paid tribute to him by giving his name to a destroyer, the USS SAMUEL G. GRAVELY JR.
The Richmond Virginia Council Navy League (RVCNL) of the United States will be holding a ceremony in honor of the anniversary of Gravely’s promotion at the Virginia War Memorial on June 2 at 10:30 a.m.
According to RVCNL, The Northam Proclamation of Admiral Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. Day will be read and presented to the crew of the USS GRAVELY.
“Representatives from the Richmond Navy League Council, the United States Navy and members of Admiral Gravely’s family will recognize the many accomplishments of his naval career and his role in breaking down barriers in the military for African Americans and other minorities, ” a version of RVCNL.
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