Wyoming War Heroes Salute: Vice Admiral Francis Xavier McInerney
Born in Cheyenne in March 1899, Francis Xavier McInerney was commissioned from the US Naval Academy in June 1921. He would serve many tours before he’d be Vice Admiral McInerney by 1940. After all the battles, medals, and death in 1956, The USS McInerney would sail in 1979.
In 1935, McInerey got a degree from George Washington University Law School, and was an instructor, himself, at the Annapolis Post-Graduate School. As America entered World War II in 1941, McInerney had just assumed command of a destroyer ship, the USS Smith. He participated in the earliest strikes in the Solomons and the Battle of the Coral Sea.
The Vice Admiral a list of different ships and then it was whole fleets. He was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat “V,” the Navy Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, the Silver Star, and Legion of Merit. Otherwise Mac wasn’t all that busy – when not helping save civilization.
VADM McInerney would move up into more prestigious naval positions. Assigned as Senior Representative Commander of Destroyers in the South Pacific, in March 1944 he was also named Chief of Staff for Commander of Operational Training Command, Pacific Fleet. He assumed command of the battleship USS Washington in June 1945. In October 1946, McInerney reported as Commanding Officer of the Naval Receiving Station, Treasure Island, California. He took command of Cruiser Division Three in March 1949. In January 1950, he became Commander of Amphibious Training Command, Pacific Fleet.
In this series that continues until Memorial Day, McInerney is obviously the most celebrated military figure so far, but if you look at homeofheroes.com, there’s a list of all 721 war heroes just from the state of Wyoming. They are all listed A to Z by city they hailed from. Of the six names under Cheyenne, all six are just in alphabetical order – none distinguished from the other. We thank them all for how they did serve our country, and thank all other 715 from Wyoming. They’re all our heroes.