The following table shows the officers assigned to command higher echelons of the American submarine force.

Several commands changes names/designations during the course of the war - generally, they are listed under the most well-known of those designations.

Information comes primarily from the endorsements to the  reports filed by sub commanders filed after each war patrol, thus the focus is on commands which administered boats serving in combat. On many occasions an
officer other than assigned commander signed the endorsement to the patrol report. They are listed in
italics in the table below.

The rank given for commanding officers is the highest rank I am aware of them holding during their tour.

For the dates associated with the command tour, exact dates of assuming command and being relieved are usually not listed in my sources but are used where available. For the most part, however,dates shown here
represent the earliest/latest dates my sources show the officer as being in command. If only one date is listed, that is the only date I know of right now on which the officer held that command.

"Prior assignment" is not necessarily the officer's most recent duty before assuming command but the most recent assignment I know he held. By the same token, "Subsequent assignment" is not necessarily the assignment
held immediately following being relieved of command. All ships listed as prior or subsequent assignments are submarines unless otherwise noted.
SUBMARINE COMMANDERS : Higher Commands
Command
Commander (USNA Class)
Dates in Command
Prior Assignment
Subsequent Assignment
Date of
Rank
Next Promotion
Notes
Commander Submarine Force
RADM Wilhelm L. Friedell
(1905)
19 May 1938 - 1 Nov
1940
C.O. USS Colorado (BB-45)
COMSUBSCTFOR
23 Jun
1938
   
Commander Submarines Scouting
Force
RADM Wilhelm L. Friedell
(1905)
1 Nov 1940 - 17 Jan
1941
COMSUBFOR
Commandant, Mare Island Navy
Yard
23 Jun
1938
   
  RADM Thomas Withers
(1906)
17 Jan 1941 - 1 Feb
1941
Inspector-of-Ordnance-in-
Charge, Naval Torpedo Station,
Newport
Commander Submarines
Scouting Force Pacific Fleet
1 Dec
1940
   
Commander Submarines Scouting
Force Pacific Fleet
RADM Thomas Withers
(1906)
1 Feb 1941 - 1 Jan 1942
Commander Submarines
Scouting Force
COMSUBPAC
1 Dec
1940
   
Commander Submarine Force,
Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC)
RADM Thomas Withers
(1906)
1 Jan 1942 - 14 May
1942
Inspector-of-Ordnance-in-
Charge, Naval Torpedo Station,
Newport
Commandant, Portsmouth Navy
Yard
1 Dec
1940
   
  RADM Robert H. English
(1911)
14 May 1942 - 21 Jan
1943
COMSUBRON 4
  May 1942
Died 21 Jan 1943
Killed in aircraft accident
while on inspection tour to
California
  VADM Charles A.
Lockwood, Jr. (1912)
15 Feb 1943 - 17 Dec
1945
COMSUBSOWESPAC
USN Inspector General
5 Oct
1943
  Moved HQ from Pearl
Harbor to Guam Jan 1945
and ceased endorsing
patrol reports.
  RADM John H. Brown, Jr.
(1914)
21 Jan -13 Feb , 24 Mar
- 16 Apr , 17-18 May ,
13-21 Dec 1943; 5 Jan,
14 Feb,  6 -11 Mar, 11 -
13 Apr, 4  - 8 May, 3 - 9
Jul, 8 -11 Aug, 6 - 11
Sep, 6 - 12 Oct, 23 Dec
1944
COMSUBRON 4
COMSUBTRAINPAC, later Deputy
COMSUBPAC
19 Jan
1943
   
  RADM Charles W. Styer
(1918)
14 May 1943
    13 Apr
1943
   
  Capt. John B. Griggs (1919)
3 Oct 1943
    17 Jun
1942
   
  Commo. Merrill Comstock
(1917)
11 - 13 Aug 1944, 13
Mar - 2 Jul 1945
    20 Oct
1944
  Along with Yeomans
endorsed most patrol
reports in 1945
  Capt. Elmer E. Yeomans
(1924)
3 Jun - 23 Jul 1945
COMSUBPAC Staff
  1 Jun
1943
  Along with Comstock
endorsed most patrol
reports in 1945
               
Deputy COMSUBPAC
RADM John A. Brown
(1914)
25 Jan 1945 - 23 Apr
1945
COMSUBTRAINPAC
Commander TF 93
19 Jan
1943
  COMSUBPAC in 1949
  Commo. Merrill Comstock
(1917)
2 Aug 1945 - 20 Oct
1945
Chief of Staff, COMSPUBPAC
  20 Oct
1944
   
               
Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet,
Administration
Capt. Charles B. Momsen
(1920)
early 1943
Hawaiian Sea Frontier
COMSUBRON 2
18 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. John B. Griggs (1919)
26 May 1943 - Sep 1943
    17 Jun
1942
  concurrently COMSUBRON
12
  Capt. Charles D. Edmunds
(1920)
1943 - 18 Jan 1944
C.O. Submarine Base Pearl
Harbor
COMSUBPAC Subordinate
Command
18 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. John B. Griggs (1919)
18 Jan 1944 - 20 Mar
1944
    17 Jun
1942
  concurrently COMSUBRON
12
  Capt. Willard M. Downes
(1920)
20 Mar 1944
    18 Jun
1942
  concurrently COMSUBRON
8
  Capt. Joseph A. Connolly
(1921B)
2 Jul 1944
C.O. Naval Operating Base
Midway
C.O. USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37)
     
  Capt. Leo L. Pace (1921A)
15 Sep 1944 - 30 Nov
1944
    20 Jun
1942
  Acting; COMSUBRON 20
  RADM John H. Brown, Jr.
(1914)
12 Mar 1945
    19 Jan
1943
   
  Commo. Merrill Comstock
(1917)
22 Mar 1945
    20 Oct
1944
   
  Commo. George C.
Crawford (1921B)
16 Jul 1945- 12 Oct
1945
    24 May
1945
   
               
Submarines Training, Pacific Fleet
(COMSUBTRAINPAC)
RADM John H. Brown, Jr.
(1914)
12 Nov 1943 - 29 Apr
1945
COMSUBRON 4
Deputy COMSUBPAC
19 Jan
1943
   
  Commo. Merrill Comstock
(1917)
13 Jul 1945
         
               
Chief of Staff, COMSUBPAC
Capt. Charles W. Styer
(1918)
Mar 1941 - Aug 1942
COMSUBDIV 16
COMSUBRON 10
1 Jan
1942
13 Apr 1943
 
  Capt. John B. Griggs, Jr.
(1919)
Aug 1942 - Apr 1943
  COMSUBRON 12
17 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Stuart S. Murray
(1919)
Apr 1943 - 15 Nov 1943
Chief of Staff,
COMSUBSOWEPAC
Commandant of Midshipmen,
USNA
17 Jun
1942
   
  Commo. Merrill Comstock
(1917)
15 Nov 1943 - Jun 1945
VCNO Staff
Deputy COMSUBPAC
20 Oct
1944
   
  Commo. George C.
Crawford (1921B)
Jun 1945 - 21 Jan 1946
COMSUBRON 24
Chief of Staff Commandant
Portsmouth Navy Yard
24 May
1945
  COMSUBLANT in 1952
  Captain Frank T. Watkins
(1922)
31 Jan 1946 - 7 Feb
1946
Duty in Navy Department
  21 Jun
1942
  COMSUBLANT in 1954
  Capt. Lucius H. Chappell
(1927)
15 Feb 1946
    20 Mar
1945
   
               
Submarine Force Pacific Fleet
Subordinate Command Midway
CDR Willard M. Downes
(1920)
18 Oct 1942 - 20 Sep
1943
        Concurrently COMSUBRON
8
  Capt. Charles W. Styer
(1918)
20 Sep 1943 - 12 Nov
1943
  Commander, Submarine Base,
New London
13 Apr
1943
  Concurrently COMSUBRON
10
  Capt. John B. Longstaff
(1920)
12 Nov 1943 - 24 Dec
1943
    18 Jun
1942
  Concurrently COMSUBRON
14
  Capt. Joseph A. Connolly
(1921B)
2 Jan 1944 - 7 Feb 1944
    20 Jun
1942
  Possibly Acting;
COMSUBDIV 45
  Capt. Charles D. Edmunds
(1920)
15 Feb 1944 - 20 Aug
1944
    18 Jun
1942
  Concurrently COMSUBRON
6
  Capt. Leo L. Pace (1921A)
17 May 1944 - 31 May
1944; 7 Sep 1944 - 14
Sep 1944
        Acting; COMSUBRON 20
  Capt. John M. Will (1923)
21 Sep 1944 - 27 Nov
1944
COMSUBDIV 62
COMSUBRON 28
1 May
1943
   
  Capt. George C. Crawford
(1921B)
4 Dec 1944 - 15 Feb
1945
  Chief of Staff, COMSUBPAC
20 Jun
1942
24 May 1945
Concurrently COMSUBRON
24
  Capt. Kenneth C. Hurd
(1925)
30 Mar 1945 - 7 May
1945
    20 Jul
1943
  Concurrently COMSUBRON
32
  Capt. Charles W. WIlkins
(1924)
1945 - 10 Sep 1945
         
               
Commander Submarines Patrol Force
RADM Richard S. Edwards
(1906)
1 Nov 1940 - 1 Feb 1941
C.O. USS Colorado (BB-45)
COMSUBLANT
    Command became
COMSUBLANT
Commander Submarines Atlantic
Fleet (COMSUBLANT)
RADM Richard S. Edwards
(1906)
1 Feb 1941 - 3 Jan 1942
Commander Submarines Patrol
Force
Deputy Chief of Staff, COMINCH
1 May
1941
15 Aug 1942
 
  Capt. Elwin F. Cutts (1908)
3 Jan 1942 - 30 Mar
1942
C.O. USS Pennsylvania (BB-38)
  1 Jan
1936
  Acting; Commander,
SUBRON 1 and Submarine
Base New London
  RADM Freeland A. Daubin
(1909)
30 Mar 1942 - 23 Nov
1944
COMSUBRON 4
Commandant, New York Navy
Yard
30 Jun
1942/
26 Nov
1941
   
  RADM Charles W. Styer
(1918)
9 Sep 1944 (acting); 23
Nov 1944 - 1946
Commander, Submarine Base,
New London
Assistant CNO (Coordinator of
Undersea Warfare)
13 Apr
1943
   
  RADM John Wilkes (1916)
1946 - 1947
C.O. USS Birmingham (CL-62)
  1 Jan
1943
   
               
Chief of Staff, COMSUBLANT
CDR Robert H. Smith (1920)
Dec 1940 - 1942
Navigator USS Pennsylvania
(BB-38)
C.O. USS Sperry (AS-12)
1 Apr
1940
before May 1942
Killed in plane crash 21 Jan
1943
  Capt. Norman S. Ives (1920)
1942 - 31 Aug 1942
COMSUBDIV 43
COMSUBRON 50
18 Jun
1942
KIA 2 Aug 1944
 
  Capt. John B. Longstaff
(1920)
31 Aug 1942 - 3 Jul
1943
COMSUBRON 7
COMSUBRON 14
18 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. George C. Crawford
(1921B)
3 Jul 1943 - Jul 1944
COMSUBDIV 43
COMSUBRON 24
20 Jun
1942
24 May 1945
(Commodore)
 
  Capt. Wakeman B. Thorp
(1921B0
Jul 1944 - 1945
C.O. USS Griffin (AS-13)
       
  Capt. Ian C. Eddy (1930)
1945
C.O. USS Pargo (SS-264)
       
  Capt. Chester C. Smith
(1925)
1946
COMSUBRON 30
  20 Jul
1943
   
               
Commander Submarines, Asiatic
Fleet (COMSUBAF)
Capt. Walter E. Doyle
(1913)
1 Dec 1941 - 10 Dec
1941
  Commander Service Force Asiatic
Fleet
1 Jul 1940
retired 1 Jul 1943
Concurrently SUBRON 20
  Capt. John Wilkes (1916)
10 Dec 1941 - 26 May
1942
  C.O. USS Birmingham (CL-62)
1 Jan
1942
1 Jan 1943
Command became
Commander Submarines
Southwest Pacific
               
Commander Submarines, Southwest
Pacific (COMSUBSOWEPAC)
RADM Charles A.
Lockwood, Jr. (1912)
26 May 1942 - 5 Feb
1943
Naval Attache, London
COMSUBPAC
16 May
1942
5 Oct 1943
Command had been
Submarines, Asiatic Fleet
  Capt. Allan R. McCann
(1917)
10 Feb 1943 - 7 Mar
1943
Duty in Bureau of Navigation
  20 Jun
1942
25 Mar 1943
Acting;  Concurrently
COMSUBRON 6
  RADM Ralph W. Christie
(1915)
7 Mar 1943 - 15 Mar
1943
        Command became
Submarines, Seventh Fleet;
               
Commander Submarines, Seventh
Fleet (COMSUB7THFLT)
RADM Ralph W. Christie
(1915)
15 Mar 1943 - 30 Dec
1944
COM TF 72; then Inspector of
Ordnance, Newport RI
Commandant, Puget Sound Navy
Yard
9 Nov
1942
   
  RADM James Fife, Jr.
(1918)
30 Dec 1944 - 28 Aug
1945
COMINCH Staff
Commander Submarines,
Philippine Sea Frontier
7 Apr
1943
   
  Capt. Heber H. McLean
(1921A)
14 - 17 Apr 1944
    20 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. John B. Griggs (1919)
30 Jun 1944
    17 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Elliot H. Bryant (1919)
6 Feb - 2 Mar 1945
    17 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Barton E. Bacon
(1925)
26 - 29 Aug 1945
    20 Jul
1943
   
               
Commander Submarines Philippine
Sea Frontier
RADM James Fife, Jr.
(1918)
28 Aug 1945 - 15 Dec
1945
COMSUB7THFLT
COMSUBLANT (1947)
     
               
Chief of Staff, COMSUBAF,
COMSUBSOWEPAC &
COMSUB7THFLT
Capt. James Fife (1918)
1 Dec 1941 - 28 Jul
1942
Assisatant Naval Attache London
Liaison officer Commander
Southwest Pacific Area
1 Jan
1942
7 Apr 1943
 
  Capt. Stuart S. Murray
(1919)
4 Oct 1942 - Mar 1943
COMSUBDIV 21; then
COMSUBAF Staff
Chief of Staff, COMSUBPAC
17 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Heber H. McLean
(1921A)
Mar 1943 - Dec 1943
COMSUBSOWEPAC Staff
Commander Submarine Base
New London
20 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Philip G. Nichols
(1921B)
Dec 1943 - 23 Dec 1944
COMSUBDIV 162
13th Naval District Staff
20 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Elliot H. Bryant (1920)
31 Jan 1945 - 26 Apr
1945
COMSUBRON 18
  17 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. William L. Wright
(1925)
30 Jul 1945 - 28 Aug
1945
COMSUBDIV 221
  20 Jul
1943
   
               
Commander Task Force 42
RADM Francis W. Rockwell
(1908)
21 Apr 1942 - 6 Aug
1942
Commander 16th Naval District
Commander, Amphibious Force
Pacific Fleet
20 Oct
1941
  Submarines operating from
Brisbane
  Capt. Ralph W. Christie
(1915)
6 Aug 1942 - 21 Dec
1942
COMSUBRON 5
Inspector of Ordnance, Newport
RI; then COMSUB7THFLT
1 Jul 1941
9 Nov 1942
 
  Capt. James Fife (1918)
22 Dec 1942 - Mar 1943
Liaison officer to Commander
Southwest Pacific Area
  1 Jan
1942
7 Apr 1943
Command became TF 72
  Capt. Charles D. Edmunds
(1920)
23 Oct 1942
    18 Jun
1942
   
               
Commander Task Force 72
RADM  James Fife (1918)
Mar 1943 - 3 Mar 1944
  COMINCH Staff
7 Apr
1943
   
  Capt. John M. Haines
(1918)
17 Apr 1944 - 14 Nov
1944
COMSUBRON 16
C.O. USS New Mexico (BB-40)
15 Jun
1942
  TF 72 Disbanded 15 Nov
1944; became TG 71.9;
  Capt. Willard M. Downes
(1920)
23 - 24 Apr 1943
    18 Jun
1942
   
  Capt. Stephen G. Barchet
(1924)
9 Oct 1944
    1 Jun
1943
   
               
Submarines North Pacific
Capt. Oswald S. Colclough
(1921A)
24 Jun 1942 - 30 Sep
1942
COMSUBDIV 101
C.O. USS North Carolina (BB-55)
20 Jun
1942
   
               
Commander Task Force 93
Capt. Franklin O. Johnson
(1921B)
25 -27 Feb 1944
    21 Jun
1942
  Submarines in Alaska
(possibly also
COMSUBRON 45)
               
Commander Task Group 71.9
Capt. John M. Haines
(1918)
15 Nov 1944 - 11 Dec
1944
COMTF72
C.O. USS New Mexico (BB-40)
15 Jun
1942
  Had been TF 72
  Capt. Stephen G. Barchet
(1924)
12 Dec 1944 - 17 Dec
1944
Operations Officer COMSUBLANT
Operations Officer
COM7PHIBFOR
1 Jun
1943
   
  CDR John C. Broach (1927)
17 Dec 1944 - 11 Mar
1945
COMSUBDIV 61
Staff 1st Carrier Task Force
1 Sep
1942
20 Mar 1945
Command dissolved
               
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