- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Sheldon H. Kinney, 65, retired rear admiral

Sheldon Hoard Kinney, a retired rear admiral who fought in three wars during his 38-year career in the Navy, died Dec. 11 of cancer in his Annapolis home. He was 86.

Adm. Kinney was born in Pasadena, Calif., and dropped out of high school in 1935 to enlist in the Navy. He was chosen to attend the Naval Academy in 1937 and graduated as a marine engineer in 1941.

Adm. Kinney first served aboard the USS Omaha and then the battleship USS New York, which represented the United States at the last gathering of the world’s great dreadnoughts for the Coronation Review at Spitshead by Britain’s King George VI.

Adm. Kinney took command of the USS Edsall in 1943, becoming the youngest commanding officer of a destroyer. He then commissioned and took command of the destroyer USS Bronstein.

The Bronstein was credited with sinking three German U-boats in one night and putting another out of action. Adm. Kinney was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions and the Bronstein’s crew received a Presidential Unit Citation.

He also commanded ships in the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In addition to the Navy Cross, his decorations included the Legion of Merit (Combat V) with two gold stars, Navy and Marine Corps Medal and Bronze Star (Combat V). He also was awarded the Gold Cross of Merit from the Polish government in exile for spiriting the treasury of the government in gold bullion across the submarine-infested Atlantic from Dakar, Senegal, to New York City for safekeeping — one league ahead of the Nazis.

Adm. Kinney served two tours of duty at the Naval Academy, one as the commandant of midshipmen, and after his retirement was president of the State University of New York Maritime College.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Douglas Kinney of Annapolis; two sons, Douglas Sheldon Kinney of the District and Bruce H. Kinney of Snellville, Ga.; a brother, Donald Kinney of Orange Park, Fla.; three grandchildren and a great-grandson.

A ceremony for Adm. Kinney will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 21 at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery.

The family requests that contributions be sent to the Rear Adm. Sheldon Kinney Memorial, U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, Box 64740, Baltimore, MD 21264.

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