Theodore A. Torgerson

Rear Admiral


Rear Admiral Torgerson

USS Skagit 1955

Annapolis, Maryland

Theodore A. Torgerson, 86, a Navy Rear Admiral who retired in 1966 as director of communications for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died of cardiac arrest May 1,1994 at his home in Annapolis.

Admiral Torgerson served 35 years in the Navy. His assignments included service as assistant chief of staff for communications of the U.S. European Command in Paris, duty as the Navy liaison to Congress and command of USS Waldron (DD 699) 1945 - 1946, USS Soley (DD 707) 1946 - 1947, USS Skagit (AKA 105) 1953 - 1955 and USS Toledo (CA 133).

He was born in Clarkfield, Minn., attended St. Olaf College for two years and then taught in a one-room school in Red Lake County, Minn., for two years. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927 and graduated in 1931 earning a letter for baseball.

During the 1930s, he served at sea in the Atlantic and Pacific, studied applied communications at the Naval Academy Postgraduate School and was assistant coach for the Naval Academy football team.

He was an Atlantic Fleet staff officer from 1939 to 1942. Later during World War II, he served on the staff of the commander of the Pacific Fleet.

After the war, he commanded destroyers and served in staff assignments in Italy and England. He was commanding officer of the Attack Cargo Ship Skagit in 1954 and in this capacity participated in the evacuation of Vietnamese civilians from Hanoi to Saigon after the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu.

In retirement, Adm. Torgerson lived in Annapolis, where he was treasurer of Historic Annapolis and did gardening.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Augusta Burwell Melvin Torgerson of Annapolis; two children, William T. Torgerson and Augusta T. White, both of Annapolis; a sister, Dora T. Bilbrough of Phoenix; and three grandchildren.