Stuart H. Ingersoll, 84, a retired Navy vice admiral who was a highly decorated carrier commander in World War II and later commanded the Seventh Fleet, died of respiratory failure Jan. 29 at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Newport, R. I. He lived in Newport.
As the war drew to its end, Adm. Ingersoll was appointed commandant of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. In the late 1940s, he was director of the strategic plans for the Navy. During the 1950s, he commanded a carrier division, and was chief of staff of both the Atlantic and Pacific fleets. He was commanding officer of the Seventh Fleet and the U.S. Taiwan Command from 1955 to 1957. He was president of the Naval War College before he retired in 1961.
In the early days of World War II, Adm. Ingersoll, then a captain, served as air operations officer for escort convoys in the North Atlantic. He then was ordered to the Pacific and given command of the carrier Monterey. He received the Navy Cross, the Navy's highest award for valor except for the Medal of Honor, for his Pacific service.
The citation accompanying the decoration hailed his "extraordinary heroism" as the Monterey's skipper off Formosa when his ship "came under heavy Japanese aerial attack while boldly penetrating hazardous waters on Oct. 13 and 14, 1944. Capt. Ingersoll fearlessly held his course and, hurling the full fighting strength of his ship against the formation of attacking planes, waged furious battle despite the terrific odds and succeeded in blasting a number of hostile aircraft from the sky with no damage to his vessel."
The citation also spoke of his actions in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where he struck "repeated blows at the enemy and inflicted heavy damage and destruction upon capital ships of the Japanese Fleet in a bitterly fought, decisive engagement."
In 1945, he was promoted to rear admiral, and in March was named commandant of midshipmen at the Naval Academy. He received his promotion to vice admiral in 1955.
Adm. Ingersoll was born in Springfield, Mass. He was a 1921 graduate of the Naval Academy. In World War I, he served aboard a battleship in the Atlantic. Before World War II, he served in destroyers, battleships and aircraft carriers. He received his wings as a naval aviator in 1926.
In addition to the Navy Cross, his decorations included two Distinguished Service Medals and two Legions of Merit.
His first wife, the former Josephine Sprigman of Washington, died in 1964. His second wife, Elinore Dorrance Hill, died in 1977.
Survivors include two daughters by his first marriage, Mrs. Verne H. Jennings Jr. of Falls Church and Sally I. Kurts of Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.; a son, Stuart H. Jr., of Ijamsville, Md., and seven grandchildren.