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National Academy of Engineering Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10
Membership Directory
PublisherNational Academies Press
Copyright2002
ISBN978-0-309-08457-4
Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 10

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  • ALBERT G.MUMMA
    
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             ALBERT G.MUMMA                                           175
    
                            ALBERT G.MUMMA
    
    
                                      1906–1997
    
                                  BY DAVID S.POTTER
    
                REAR ADMIRAL ALBERT G.MUMMA, U.S. Navy (retired), died July
            15, 1997, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Funeral services were held in the Naval
            Academy Chapel, followed by interment in the Naval Academy Cemetery with
            full military honors.
                Admiral Mumma was born on June 2, 1906, in Findlay, Ohio. He was a
            member of a family with an outstanding military tradition. His father, Colonel
            Morton G.Mumma, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, class of 1900.
            His two brothers, Rear Admiral Morton C.Mumma, Jr., and Major George
            E.Mumma, were both graduates of the Naval Academy.
                Admiral Mumma received his early education at Army posts in Iowa,
            Texas, the Philippines, and Washington, D.C. After graduation from Iowa High
            School in Iowa City in 1922, he entered the U.S. Naval Academy with a
            congressional appointment from Iowa.
                He was a member of the rifle team and also a midshipman battalion officer
            while at Annapolis. He graduated with distinction, eighteenth in a class of 456.
            He also received the award established by the class of 1924 for highest standing
            in the graduating class for the course in the Department of Engineering and
            Aeronautics. During 1932 to 1934 he continued his education with a course in
            naval engineering at the Naval Postgraduate School of the Naval Academy. He
            also attended the L’Ecole d’Application du Genie Maritime in Paris from 1934 to
            1936.
    
    
                 
    
    
             ALBERT G.MUMMA                                           176
    
                Sea duty during his early naval career included service aboard the USS
            Richmond; the USS Seattle, flagship of the United States fleet, in 1927; and the
            USS  Saratoga, the first U.S. carrier, during her fitting-out period and later
            commissioning until June 1931. In 1936, on completion of his studies, he was
            assigned the post of chief engineer of a new destroyer leader, the USS Clark
            (DD361).
                During World War II he served on the staff of the commander of Naval
            forces in Europe and also the Alsos Mission (European technical intelligence)
            mostly in France with the Army. It was in connection with this work that he
            headed the technical group visiting the headquarters of Admiral Doenitz at
            Flensburg and Glucksburg, Germany, just before VE-Day. This activity secured
            Dr. Helmuth Walter and his coworkers, who had been involved in a number of
            weapon systems for the Germans. This was the start of the extensive evaluation
            of the technology of the German wartime projects.
                He returned to the United States after the war and in December 1945 became
            deputy director of ship design for the Bureau of Ships, Navy Department. He was
            also designated as deputy coordinator of nuclear matters and head of the Nuclear
            Ship Propulsion Program until 1948. He was production officer at the San
            Francisco Naval Shipyard from 1949 to 1951. He was promoted to rear admiral in
            1954 and commanded the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, which was being
            converted to nuclear-powered submarine construction. Finally, he became chief
            of the Bureau of Ships in 1955. This was the period of rapid conversion to
            nuclear power plants for naval ships and a time of great change.
                In June 1959, immediately after his retirement from the United States Navy,
            he joined Worthington Corporation as vice-president of engineering. In 1962 he
            was elected to the board of directors. He was rapidly promoted to executive
            vice-president in 1964 and president in April 1967. In November 1967, he was
            elected chairman of the Worthington Corporation. He served in this capacity
            until retirement in July 1971.
                Admiral Mumma was a past president and honorary member of the
            American Society of Naval Engineers as well as past presi
    
    
                 
    
    
             ALBERT G.MUMMA                                           177
    
             dent and fellow of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. He
             received the Admiral Jerry Land Gold Medal given by the latter society for
             contributions to naval architecture. He was elected to the National Academy of
             Engineering in 1976 and served on several committees of the National Research
             Council. He held the degree of honorary doctor of engineering, awarded by
             Newark College of Engineering. In 1971 he was appointed by President Nixon to
             chair the American Shipbuilding Commission to study and report on measures to
             improve the shipbuilding posture of the U.S. Navy and the Merchant Marine.
             This task involved considerable interaction with the civilian and military
             leadership of the Navy. In addition to receiving a number of U.S. decorations, he
             was knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands and holds the Order of Knight
             Grand Officer of Orange Nassau.
                Admiral Mumma was a director of a number of financial and industrial
             organizations. Chief among them were directorships in the Prudential Insurance
             Company of America, the C.R.Bard Corporation, and Kueffel and Esser
             Company. He was also active in community service, particularly education. He
             served as a trustee of the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, Drew University,
             and the St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, New Jersey.
                Admiral Mumma served his country well through his note-worthy career in
             the U.S. Navy and his work in guiding the activities of the American Shipbuilding
             Commission. In addition to being a knowledgeable leader and colleague, he was
             also a pleasure to work with.
    
    
                 
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