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Published on Nov 8, 2012
James Vincent Forrestal (February 15, 1892 -- May 22, 1949) was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense. Forrestal was a supporter of naval battle groups centered on aircraft carriers. In 1954, the world's first supercarrier was named USS Forrestal in his honor, as is the headquarters of the United States Department of Energy. He is also the namesake of the Forrestal Lecture Series at the United States Naval Academy, which brings prominent military and civilian leaders to speak to the Brigade of Midshipmen, and of the James Forrestal Campus of Princeton University in Plainsboro Township, New Jersey.