SATURDAY EVENING GUEST SPEAKER
REAR ADMIRAL JAMES H. FLATLEY, III USN (RET)
Rear Admiral James H. Flatley III was born in San Diego, California, on 9 January 1934. He was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Naval Academy in June 1956 and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 1957.
His operational assignments included Fighter Squadron 33 on USS INTREPID, Carrier Air Wing THREE on SARATOGA, Fighter Squadron 213 on USS KITTY HAWK, Commanding Officer, Fighter Squadron 31 on USS SARATOGA, Commander, Attack Carrier Air Wing SEVEN on USS INDEPENDENCE, Commanding Officer, USS CALOOSAHATCHEE (AO-98), and Commanding Officer, USS SARATOGA (CV-60). In addition, Rear Admiral Flatley served as Commander, Carrier Group Eight, Commander, Carrier Battle Forces Second Fleet and Commander, Task Force Sixty in the Mediterranean.
He has served ashore as Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, as Commander of Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, as Director, Strike and Amphibious Warfare, and as Deputy Director, Naval Warfare in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations.
Rear Admiral Flatley earned his Masters of Business Administration from Auburn University in 1970, coincident with attending the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base. He is a graduate of the Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River MD.
His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit with four Gold Stars, Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars, Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V", Air Medal with Silver Star and with numeral 24 indicating 350 combat missions, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" and Silver Star, Navy Achievement Medal with Combat "V", the Presidential Unit Citation with Bronze Star and lesser U.S. and Foreign Awards.
Rear Admiral Flatley’s honors include the United States Navy League's John Paul Jones Award for Inspirational Leadership, the Admiral Arleigh Burke Award for commanding the most improved of 245 Navy ships in the Atlantic Fleet, and the National Recreation and Parks Association Award to the military member of the Armed Forces who contributed most to the health and welfare of his command.
Rear Admiral Flatley is married to the former Nancy Monica Christie of Norfolk, Virginia. They are blessed with six children, twenty-four grandchildren and five great grandchildren. Their two oldest sons are retired Navy fighter pilots and a Naval Academy graduate daughter is married to a Navy fighter pilot currently commanding the Naval Aviation Training Command. Another daughter married a Navy Flight Surgeon who went on to serve as the Navy’s Chief Radiation-Oncologist, before retiring to private practice. Their remaining son and daughter and their families enjoy a normal American lifestyle. Five grandchildren/grandchildren-in-law are serving proudly in the United States Marine Corps, another is a student in Navy Flight Training on the way to becoming a 4th generation Navy fighter pilot, another is a 2/C Midshipman at the Naval Academy. The many remaining grandchildren are successful mothers and fathers contributing to their time and talent to their respective communities!
Rear Admiral Flatley retired from active duty on 31 July 1987 after a distinguished 31 year career. Subsequent to retirement, Rear Admiral Flatley served as Director of Government Programs at Cambridge Research Corporation, Tysons Corner, Virginia and then as General Manager and Chairman of the Board of Intermarine USA, building the US Navy’s MHC Class fiber-glass minesweepers in Savannah, Georgia. Following the completion of the MHC program, Rear Admiral Flatley served the State of South Carolina for seven years as CEO of Patriots Point Development Authority and Executive Director of Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum located on Charleston’s Harbor, in Mt Pleasant, SC. Rear Admiral Flatley became a Roper St Francis Healthcare System Board Trustee in 1996, serving both Bon Secours-St Francis and Mt Pleasant Hospitals in that capacity to date. In 2003 Rear Admiral Flatley was appointed as Chairman of the Board of the South Carolina Maritime Security Commission charged with reestablishing and overseeing the South Carolina Naval Militia.
Rear Admiral Flatley was inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame in 2000 and was recognized as the South Carolina Hospital Association’s “Trustee of the Year” in 2007.