R. Adm. James Bertram Hildreth
JAMES BERTRAM HILDRETH born 19 July 1920, died 24 Mar. 2006. His parents were Louis and Jessie Standley Hildreth.He was the second of three children. His sibblings were William Standley Hildreth (1916-1994)and Marylou Hildreth Zimmerman (1926-2000). James was married to the late Kathryn Halliday of Piedmont, CA, from 1941-1972. His second wife Catherine Murphy Steel from 19774-2006.
Hildreth had a distinguished career that spanned 33 years, serving on ships and bases around the world. He entered the Navy through the Reserve Officer Training Corp at the University of California-Berkeley, leaving before final exams of his senior year when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.
He served aboard eight ships, including command of the USS Springfield, flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet. He also commanded the USS George, the USS Hopewell, Destroyer Division 72, and Destroyer Flotillas Four and Eight. In his early career, he served on the USS The Sullivans.
Between 1968-70, the height of the Cold War, Hildreth was commanding officer of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, the only American military facility on Communist soil in the world.
Before retiring, he had earned the Legion of Merit with three gold stars, the Bronze Star Medal with Gold Star and Combat "V", and 11 area combat ribbons.