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Kodiak Alaska Military History



The official web site of the Kodiak Military History Museum


Captain William K. Rhodes

Text from KODIAK BEAR September 5, 1952.

After telling the men of Kodiak Naval Station that he was glad to return to Kodiak, Captain William K. Rhodes, New Commanding Officer, went on to say that, "All regulations will remain unchanged except one". "In the future, said the Captain, there will be no work on Saturday mornings".

Captain Rhodes, who has been in Naval Aviation since 1927, assumed command of the Naval Station on Saturday morning, August 30th in Hangar One. After reading his orders transferring him from Naval Base, Phila. Pa., where he was Chief of Staff, he said that the men of the Station are welcome to call upon him for professional or personal advice.

In a press interview last Friday afternoon, Captain Rhodes said that he first came to Kodiak in the fall of 1938. The group that he was attached to was made up of 12 officers and 65 enlisted men. Operating from a camp set up at Shannon Point on Woman's Bay [sic], their purpose was to test equipment and materials and to make studies of conditions on Kodiak Island.

When not flying their six PBYs the men made the most of the fishing and hunting in the area which was to become Kodiak Naval Station. According to the Captain, duck hunting was very good in the Bell's Flat area and fishing in the Buskin couldn't be beat.

Graduation from the Naval Academy in 1925, Captain Rhodes' first cruise was aboard Admiral Dewey's flagship, the USS OLYMPIA. In 1927 he went into Naval aviation and learned to fly in an N-9 plane. Serving aboard the USS Langley, CV1, was one of the notable highlights in the Captain's career.

During World War II Captain Rhodes served as the Executive Officer of the USS CORE, CVE, Captain of the USS Barnes, CVE, and Commanding Officer of Fleet Air Wing 12 at Key West, Florida. Other carriers he has served aboard include the SARATOGA, LEXINGTON, and RANGER.

Captain Rhodes, whose wife has accompanied him to Kodiak, calls Shelbyville, Indiana his home. The Rhodes have one son William K. Rhodes, Jr., who is in his second year at the Naval Academy.


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