Rear Admiral Stout was born 15 June 1903 in
Dover, Ohio to Franklin Lee and Jemima Mae Tong Stout. After graduating
as valedictorian of Roosevelt High School in Dover, he entered the United
States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland on appointment from the Sixteenth
District of Ohio in 1922. Rear Admiral Stout graduated and was
commissioned an Ensign on 3 June 1926. On the same day, he married his
hometown sweetheart, Louise Frederica Finley. Rear Admiral and Mrs.
Stout were the proud parents of three sons: Lieutenant Colonel Herald
Franklin Stout, Jr., U.S. Army Retired, Colonel Bruce Finley Stout, U.S. Army
Retired, and Captain Peter Christian Stout, U.S. Naval Reserve Retired.
Following graduation, Ensign Stout joined USS CINCINNATI (CL 6) as Main
Engine Division Officer, Communications Officer, Radio Officer, Ship's
Secretary and then finally as Gun DivisionOfficer. Upon detachment from
USS CINCINNATI in June 1931, Lieutenant Stout had a years duty as Torpedo and
Communications Officer in the destroyer USS BRECKINRIDGE (DD 148). In
June 1932, he was transferred to the destroyer USS HATFIELD (DD 231) to serve
as Torpedo Officer and First Lieutenant until April 1933.
He reported to the Naval Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland in July
1933. He remained in Annapolis, serving from May 1934 to June 1936 as
an instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics at the
Naval Academy. In June 1936, he was ordered to duty afloat as the
Executive Officer and Navigator of the destroyer USS ELLIOT (DD 146) for
three years, returning to the Naval Academy in 1939 to again serve as an
instructor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Physics.
After instruction at the Mine Warfare School, Yorktown, Virginia, Lieutenant
Commander Stout assumed command of USS BREESE (DM 18). He was in
command of that destroyer minelayer, docked at Pearl Harbor, when the
Japanese attacked on 7 December 1941. Guns from USS BREESE shot down
one enemy bomber during the attack. Subsequently, USS BREESE put to sea
and participated in a depth-charge attack on a midget submarine.
In September 1942, Commander Stout became Commissioning Commanding Officer of
the destroyer USS CLAXTON (DD 571), which operated with Destroyer Squadron
TWENTY-THREE ("Little Beaver" Squadron) in the Solomons. For
outstanding service in command of USS CLAXTON he was awarded two Navy
Crosses. Excerpts from the citations follow:
Navy Cross: "For extraordinary heroism during a night engagement
with six enemy Japanese warships off Bougainville, British Solomon Islands,
on 24-25 November 1943. Seeking out and fearlessly engaging a powerful
enemy, (he) fought his ship with resolute courage and daring aggressiveness,
frequently risking his own personal safety to press home vigorous,
unrelenting attacks upon Japanese surface forces. By his extreme valor
and inspiring leadership, he evoked the indomitable fighting spirit which
enabled the gallant officers and men under his command to contribute
materially to the crushing defeat imposed on the enemy in the sinking of four
ships and the serious damaging of two others. An expert seaman and
tactician, Captain Stout retired the USS CLAXTON from the engagement without
loss or damage."
Second Navy Cross: "For extraordinary heroism in action against
enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on the night of 1-2 November
1943. With his Task Force engaging a Japanese surface force of superior
fire power, (he) hurled the full fighting strength of his ship against the
enemy and, by his inspiring leadership and skilled combat tactics, aided his
Task Force in sinking five hostile warships, in damaging four others and in
completely routing the enemy, thereby contributing materially to the
successful establishment of our beachhead on Bougainville Island."
He is entitled to the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to Destroyer
Squadron TWENTY THREE.
Detached from command of USS CLAXTON in March 1944, he next served as
Commander, Destroyer Division TEN, consisting of four destroyers.
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against enemy
Japanese forces in Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands, 7 December 1944"
he was awarded the Silver Star Medal. The Citation further states in
"Skillfully directing the ships in his command participating in the
shore bombardment and fire support of our troops, screening activities, and
fighter director duties, Captain Stout contributed materially to the success
of our landing forces as well as to the protection of our Naval units in the
assault area. Maintaining the anti-aircraft defense of his ships, he
was largely responsible for the destruction of fourteen hostile planes during
the repulse of an intense enemy air attack."
From February 1945 until January 1946, he was Commander, Destroyer Squadron
FIFTY SIX, consisting of six to ten destroyers, after which he served as
Chief Staff Officer to Commander, San Francisco Group, Pacific Reserve
Fleet. In June 1948, he assumed command of the destroyer tender USS
SIERRA (AD 18) and between September 1949 and January 1952 had duty in
connection with industrial plants with the Officer of Naval Material, Navy
Department, Washington, DC.
In January 1952, he became Commander, Mine Squadron THREE, Commander, Western
Pacific Minesweeping Force and Commander, Task Group 95.6, operating in the
Korean area of hostilities. He was awarded the Distinguished Service
Medal, cited in part as follows:
"Against enemy aggressor forces in Korea from 18 February 1952 to 12
February 1953, Captain Stout used the forces at his disposal with maximum
effectiveness in sweeping approach channels for amphibious landings and naval
gun strikes, island defense areas, and harbors of ports under siege by naval
units while providing effective patrols to safeguard swept areas. He
was eminently successful in maintaining and disseminating mine intelligence,
in rendering search and rescue assistance for downed aviators, in conducting
salvage operations, and in furthering the training and operation of the
Republic of Korea naval minesweeping force. Exhibiting exceptional
versatility in deploying his group to assist in the blockade of North Korea,
Captain Stout skillfully directed his units in capturing prisoners, in
destroying or damaging enemy sampans and in interdicting trains along the
east coast railroad carrying vital supplies to hostile forces opposing the
United States EIGHTH Army. By his superb professional ability, marked
courage in the face of enemy fire and unswerving devotion to the fulfillment
of his mission, he contributed immeasurably to the success of naval
operations in the Korean Theater."
Captain Stout reported in April 1953 as Assistant Chief of Staff for
Logistics to the Commandant of the Eleventh Naval District, with headquarters
in San Diego, California, and in that capacity also served as District Plan
Officer. He remained there and in 1956 was the Acting Commandant of the
Eleventh Naval District until relieved of all active duty pending
retirement. On 30 June 1956, Captain Stout was transferred to the
retired list of the United States Navy and simultaneously advanced to the
rank of Rear Admiral on the basis of combat awards.
In addition to the Navy Cross with gold star, the Distinguished Service
Medal, the Silver Star Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, Rear
Admiral Stout was awarded the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the Yangtze
Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with star, the American
Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star and
two bronze stars (seven engagements), the World War II Victory Medal, the
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp, the China Service Medal, the
National Defense Service Medal with one bronze star, the Pearl Harbor
Commemorative Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service
Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the Korean Presidential Unit
After Naval retirement, Rear Admiral Stout was a senior Reliability Design
Engineer with Convair Corporation, who produced the Atlas missile, and later
a Reliability Engineer with Astronautics, both Divisions of General Dynamics
Corporation. Ten years following the death of Louise Frederica Stout,
he married Zoe E. Anderson on 25 July 1976 in the church where they met and
worked together. Rear Admiral Stout was a Brother of the Fraternity of
Free and Accepted Masons. He was a charter and continuing member of the
United Church of Christ of La Mesa, California when he died on 23 March 1987.
A summary of Rear Admiral Stout's life was best said by Mrs. Stout:
"Herald was a multifaceted man who brought many skills, a breadth of
knowledge, a keen intellect, courage, dignity, a deeply moral and religious
character, dedication to duty and a delightful sense of humor to his roles as
a Naval Officer, a husband and father, a typographer, a genealogist, a
publisher, and all the other activities in which he engaged. Above all
else was his self identity as a Naval Officer. His greatest pride was
his ship, the CLAXTON, the crew who served him on that ship, and the part
they played in breaking the back of the Japanese Navy."