Harold M. Briggs, 95, who served in the Navy for nearly 35 years before retiring in 1961 as a rear admiral, died of pneumonia July 10 at the Hospice of Washington. He lived in the District.
After retiring from active duty, Adm. Briggs became president and chief executive of Washington Technological Associates, an engineering firm. Then in 1965, he became a founder and served for a time as board chairman of Staff Services Inc., a consulting concern.
He had served on the board of the Governor of Maryland's Scientific Advisory Commission and as president of the Montgomery County Educational Foundation. He also was a past president of the Maryland Rotary Club and past vice president of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Navy League and the Army and Navy Club.
Adm. Briggs, a Michigan native, was a 1927 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and received a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. Before World War II, he served aboard destroyers, cruisers and battleships, took part in the neutrality patrols and served as an aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1944, he became executive officer of the light cruiser St. Louis, serving aboard that ship in some of the heaviest naval fighting of World War II. Sailing the Pacific, the ship took part in operations against Japan in Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Iwo Jima. At Leyte Gulf, it was struck by a kamikaze.
His postwar assignments included tours afloat and with the Korean War armistice talks, where he served for a time as secretary and naval staff chief. He went on to command a destroyer squadron in the Atlantic and serve as deputy commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College. He also commanded forces in the Middle East and served as Pan American affairs director in the office of the chief of naval operations.
His military decorations included the Silver Star, four awards of the Legion of Merit and two Bronze Star medals.
Survivors include his wife, the former Helen J. Fadden of Washington; and a daughter, Helen Jane Briggs McNeal of Bethesda.