Retired Navy Rear Adm. Neil Kittrell Dietrich, 80, a former U.S. Naval attache to Britain and commander of the Hawaiian Sea Frontier, died of cardiac arrest June 3 at his home in Washington.
In World War II, Adm. Dietrich served as the executive officer of the battleship Alabama and as a logistics officer and deputy chief of staff on the staff of the commander of Naval forces in Europe during the Normandy invasion.
He also served as an aide to three Chiefs of Naval Operations: Fleet Adm. Ernest J. King, Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz and Adm. Forest P. Sherman. He was the Naval attache in London in 1952 and 1953 and commander of the Hawaiian Sea Frontier and the Pearl Harbor Naval Base from 1956 until his retirement in 1958.
His numerous assignments at sea included command of a destroyer and the cruiser Houston.
After leaving the service, he settled in Washington and headed the local office of the Hazeltine Corporation until his second retirement in 1974.
Adm. Dietrich, who was born in Hopkinsville, Ky., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1923. His military decorations included the Legion of Merit and decorations from France and Britain.
Survivors include his wife, the former Janet Jenkins of Washington; two daughters, Diane D. Shepherd of La Jolla, Calif., and Dr. Shelby D. Rector of South Pasadena, Calif., and six grandchildren.