Admiral James Richardson’s Dress White Cap

Identified gold embossed name in sweatband.

SKU: JM21-617a Category:

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This cap is identified by use of Admiral James O. Richardson’s name embossed in gold on the leather sweatband, and the insertion of a gold embossed card in the crown lining. Admiral Richardson (1878 – 1974), served in the navy from 1902 to 1947. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, and took part in the Asiatic Squadron during the Philippine campaign. In 1905, Lieutenant Richardson commanded  two boats in the Torpedo Boat Flotilla in the Atlantic. During WWI he was on another gunboat in the South China Patrol.

Richardson was promoted to rear admiral in 1934, and had various commands during the years leading up to WWII, including service as and Aide to Chief of Staff to Admiral J.M. “Bull” Reeves in the Destroyer Scouting Force. Next he was assistant to Admiral William D. Leahy in 1937 and was involved in the search for Amelia Earhart.  In 1938 Richardson became the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation,  and the following June of 1939, took command of Battle Force, U.S. Fleet in the Pacific with temporary rank of Admiral.

Richardson, during his naval service had become on the Navy’s foremost experts on Japanese warfare, and strategy. He was apposed to moving the Pacific Fleet then based at San Diego, California, to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. President Roosevelt and his Secretary of State made the change without seeking the advise of his military advisors. Richardson protested this move to the President and to others in authority or having the political ear. He believed that Guam and Hawaii were necessary for U.S. defense, and these islands would provide needed bases in the coming war. He saw Hawaii initially, to exposed and remote for adequate defense, yet his advise fell on deaf ears, and would soon be replaced in command of the Pacific Fleet by Admiral Husband E. Kimmel.  Upon his relief, Richardson reverted to his permanent rank of rear admiral, and placed on the Navy General Board in the office of the Secretary of the Navy until his retirement in 1942, with the rank of admiral, and remained on active service with the Navy Relief Society, and Special Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

Knowing today that the U.S. had known of the coming attack on Pearl Harbor, replacing Richardson spared him the embarrassment and disgrace that befell his replacement, Admiral Kimmel.  After it was all said and done, Admiral Richardson was most correct in his assessment and recommendation for the Pacific Fleet. Higher powers had other purposes in mind for bringing America into WWII.


The cap is made by “BERKSHIRE CAPS.” There is no size label but approximately a 7 1/4.  Condition is fine with some light staining and wear overall. The bullion work in fine, and both gilt bullion and silver metal insignia show a nice untouched patina.

A nice hat with great historical naval significance in WWII.

Additional information

Weight 4 lbs