Francis P. Matthews, the U.S. Navy's "rowboat" Secretary (asked about his Navy experience when named to the post in 1949, Matthews replied, "Well, I do have a rowboat at my summer home"), was nominated by President Truman last week for a job he has long wanted: Ambassador to Ireland. His four grandparents were born there.
Matthews likes to say that his outstanding job for the Navy was to get Admiral Forrest Sherman to run it. He also managed to weather some roaring storms and rough sailing. He enraged his sea dogs by recommending the firing of Admiral Louis E. Denfeld as Chief of Naval Operations during the unification battle, but gradually won them over. He made a lot of people mad, including Harry Truman, by calling for a preventive war against Russia in a Boston speech last August, but that blew over too. Thereafter, SecNav was often seen but rarely heard from.
To succeed him, the President nominated Dan A. Kimball (see box).