WORTH BAGLEY (1924 - 2016)

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BAGLEY Worth Harrington Bagley A Navy admiral who retired in 1975 as vice chief of naval operations, died October 9, 2016 at his home in La Jolla, California. He was 92. Bagley did not come upon a naval career by happenstance. He was born in Annapolis, Maryland on July 29, 1924 to then Commander David Worth Bagley and Marie Louise Harrington Bagley, the niece of Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II. He was also the namesake of his uncle, Worth Bagley, the only naval officer killed in the Spanish-American War. His father's naval career took his family, which included older brother, David and younger brother, Tennent "Peter", to France, Washington, DC., San Diego, and Honolulu, before Bagley returned to his birthplace to attend the Naval Academy. He graduated a year early in 1946 due to World War II, and then began a career that would culminate in his selection as the youngest four-star admiral in naval history, including service as Commander in Chief of Naval Forces Europe (1973-74) and as Vice Chief of Naval Operations (1974-75). His older brother, David, also became an admiral, marking the only instance in U.S. Navy history where two brothers attained four-star rank. He served as commanding officer of USS Bridget, USS Lawrence, and USS Canberra. As a flag officer, he served as Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Flotilla Seven and Director of the General Planning and Programming Division of the Navy Department. His military decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals and two Legions of Merit. His time serving as Director of the General Planning and Programming Division and as Vice Chief of Naval Operations came at a crucial time in naval history, as the Navy confronted Soviet expansion and modernization, the withdrawal of forces from Vietnam, and an array of personnel reforms, including the introduction of women at sea, the implementation of the Navy Equal Opportunity Manual, the Navy's first affirmative action plan, and the expansion of programs for minority recruitment. After retiring, Bagley served as a fellow at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, which published his Sea Power and Western Security: The Next Decade in 1977; served on the Quadrennial Defense Review board in 1986; co-authored a nationally syndicated column; and owned and operated a small business in San Diego. He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Sidney McFarland Bagley; their children Jonathan M. Bagley, Judith W. Bagley, and Jeffrey M. Bagley; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brothers and by his beloved son, Worth H. Bagley, Jr. Services private. Services private.
Published in The Washington Post on Dec. 4, 2016
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