Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN: First African American to Command an Aircraft Carrier: by Ric Murphy

Rear Admiral Larry Chambers, USN: First African American to Command an Aircraft Carrier: by Ric Murphy

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The first African-American aircraft carrier commander, Rear Admiral Lawrence Cleveland Chambers (1929- ) played a prominent role as captain of the USS Midway during the Vietnam War. During the evacuation of Saigon--known as Operation Frequent Wind--he famously ordered several UH-1 helicopters pushed overboard to make room for an escaping South Vietnamese Air Force major to land his Cessna. Chambers, who had only commanded Midway for a few weeks, gave the order believing (wrongly) that he would be court-martialed for the $10 million loss. This biography covers his early life and military career, including his role in the desegregation of the U.S. Navy during a period racial strife.