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From U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs
Sept. 21, 2012

Painting of Vice Admiral Julien J. Le Bourgeois by Tony Sarro, 1976. Oil, framed, 36 x 30.  Commissioned by the Naval War College.NEWPORT, R.I. -- Retired Vice Admiral Julien J. Le Bourgeois, the 38th president of the U.S. Naval War College (NWC), passed away Sept. 16, in Williamsburg, Va.  He was 89.

From August 9, 1974 to April 1, 1977, his administration focused on the consolidation and refinement of the radical changes in curriculum made by the previous administration of Vice Admiral Stansfield Turner.  Vice Adm. Le Bourgeois also initiated action with the Navy Department leading to the creation of a Center for Advanced Research in 1980.  Noteworthy, too, was a project initiated in 1976 for a museum of naval warfare and Navy regional history in the College's original home, Founders Hall.  The building had been Naval Station headquarters until 1974, when it reverted to the College.

Vice Adm. Le Bourgeois became the NWC president after serving two years as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.

Born in Southern Pines, North Carolina, Vice Adm. LeBourgeois graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1945 and served in the Pacific aboard USS Columbia in World War II. Following the war he served on destroyers, with the Office of Naval Intelligence, and as Assistant Naval Attache in Tangier, Morocco.

After duty on the Staff of Commander Destroyer Flotilla Four and on the Joint Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Adm. LeBourgeois placed the destroyer USS Blandy into commission as Executive Officer in November 1957 and was serving aboard that vessel when it transported the Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean Conflict to Washington, D.C., for interment in Arlington National Cemetery. In January 1959, he attended the Armed Forces Staff College then assumed command of the destroyer USS Norris in Newport.

He then served on the Staff of Commander Destroyer Force, Atlantic Fleet and attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He served in the Strategic Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and thereafter, in December 1962, he became Executive Assistant and Senior Aide to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans and Policy.

Vice Adm. LeBourgeois assumed command of the guided missile frigate USS Halsey in September 1965 including service with the U.S. Seventh Fleet. He was subsequently assigned to the Systems Analysis Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and in April 1968 as Executive Assistant and Senior Aide to the Chief of Naval Operations, followed by assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans and Policy to NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

A tribute is online at

Posted by Cmdr. Carla M. McCarthy