Vice-Admiral Ralph Lucien HENNESSY, DSC, CD

Vice-Admiral Ralph Lucien HENNESSY, DSC, CD

Vice-Admiral Ralph Lucien HENNESSY, DSC, CD

Vice-Admiral Hennessy joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a Cadet in 1936.  From 1936 until 1939 he conducted his training with the Royal Navy (RN) in HM Ships Frobisher, Resolution and Neptune, returning to Canada in 1939 to serve in HMCS Assiniboine.  In June 1941 he became the First Lieutenant in Assiniboine, and in 1943 he was appointed First Lieutenant in HMCS Restigouche.  He came ashore in September 1943, as the Executive Officer of HMCS Kings, the wartime Officers' Training School in Halifax, with acting rank of Lieutenant-Commander.  Six months later, he assumed command of Kings with the acting rank of Commander.  Reverting in rank to Lieutenant-Commander, between 1944 and 1945 he commanded the destroyers HMC Ships Gatineau and Assiniboine.  In 1945 he commissioned the destroyer HMCS Micmac as her first Commanding Officer, and in 1947 attended the RCAF staff course in Toronto, Ont.  Promoted to Commander in 1948, he was appointed to Naval Service Headquarters (NSHQ) as the Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel, and in 1949 became Director of Manning at NSHQ.  In 1949 he was appointed to HMCS Stadacona in Halifax, NS as the Officer-in-Charge, Junior Officers' Technical and Leadership Courses.  In 1951, he became the Commander (Executive Officer) in the cruiser HMCS Quebec, and upon promotion to Captain in 1953 assumed command of Quebec.  In 1953 he attended the National Defence College, Kingston, Ont.  In 1954 he was appointed in command of the destroyer HMCS Algonquin and Commander First Canadian Escort Squadron.  In 1956, he was appointed to London, England, as the Deputy Naval Member, Canadian Joint Staff – London and as Canadian Member and Chairman of the Naval Board of NATO's Military Organization for Standardization.  In 1958 he returned to NSHQ as the Director Naval Training, and in 1960 on promotion to Commodore assumed the duties of Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel.  In 1963 he returned to Halifax, NS as the Commodore, Personnel to Flag Officer Atlantic Coast (FOAC).  Returning to Ottawa in 1964, he served in Canadian Forces Headquarters (CFHQ) as the Chairman of Military Manpower Studies.

Upon promotion to his present rank in July 1966, Vice-Admiral Hennessy was appointed to the post of Comptroller-General of the Canadian Armed Forces and Principal Naval Adviser.  In 1969 he became Chief of Personnel in CFHQ, until his retirement in 1970. He died 13 June 2014.