Generous individuals and naval organizations have enabled the Naval Institute to complete the oral history of retired Vice Admiral Samuel L. Gravely Jr., the Navy’s first black flag officer. Listed below, these supporters made tax-deductible gifts to underwrite the project and enable the Naval Institute to continue producing oral histories.
Samuel Gravely was born in Richmond, Virginia, in June 1922. After attending Virginia Union University, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve in September 1942, and was commissioned in December 1944. During his 38-year career, Admiral Gravely served as Commander, Third Fleet, and as director of the Defense Communications Agency. His seagoing commands include the Falgout (DER-324) and Jouett (DLG-29). He retired on 1 August 1980.
Among other oral histories for which the Naval Institute is seeking support are those of retired Admiral J. Paul Reason, the Navy’s first black four-star; retired Lieutenant Commander Wesley Brown, the first black Naval Academy graduate; and Jesse Arbor, a member of the Golden Thirteen, the Navy’s first commissioned black line officers.
Launched in 1969, the Naval Institute’s oral history program is one of the oldest in the country. Used in combination with documentary sources, oral histories offer a richer understanding of naval history. Often they contain candid recollections and explanations never entered into contemporaneous records and can capture the atmosphere of a particular event or era in a manner not available in official documents.
For information about opportunities to underwrite oral histories, please contact Naval Institute Foundation Executive Director Kirk McAlexander at (410) 295-1056, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org  , or by mail at 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21402.
Sponsors of Vice Admiral Gravely’s Oral History
Jerome D. Davis
Mack C. Gaston
Gilbert H. McKelvey
Ernest N. Taylor Jr.
National Naval Officers Association
Surface Navy Association
Corporate Partnerships Are Thriving
The Naval Institute is honored to have earned the support of a large cadre of corporations and foundations in 2003. Projects assisted by these valued associates include essay and photo contests, seminars, oral histories, book subventions, the photo archives, and Proceedings. We gratefully acknowledge the following organizations that stepped forward to help the Institute fulfill its mission:
Integrated Coast Guard Systems
McCormick Tribune Foundation
Navy Federal Credit Union
Early Birds of Aviation
Booz Allen Hamilton
EADS North America
William Penn Foundation
Articles on technology and innovation are made possible in part by a grant from Battelle Memorial Institute
Foundation News Archives
January 2004