FRANKEL, SAMUEL BENJAMIN (1905–1996), U.S. naval officer. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Frankel graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1929. He served on various U.S. warships in Nicaragua and in the Asiatic fleet between 1929 and 1936 before being sent to Riga, Latvia, to study Russian. During World War II he was assistant naval attaché at the United States embassy in Moscow and later assistant naval attaché for air in Murmansk-Archangel until 1944. He was sent to Pearl Harbor in 1945 to serve on the staff of the commander-in-chief of the United States Pacific Fleet and as officer in charge of the Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas. In 1946 he served in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (Intelligence Division), assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington until 1948. He then served as naval attaché in Nanking, China. He remained in his post for a year after the Communist revolution before returning to the United States in 1950 to become director of the naval intelligence school. From 1953 to 1956 he was assistant head of naval intelligence in the Pacific fleet and was later a senior intelligence officer in the Navy Department in Washington, and promoted to rear admiral. In May 1960 Frankel became deputy director of naval intelligence and in the following year was appointed chief of staff of the Defense Intelligence Agency, a post he retained until his retirement in 1964.
Frankel was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his "exceptionally meritorious service" as assistant naval attaché in the U.S.S.R., in 1941–42; directing the repair and salvaging of damaged U.S. vessels; and helping in the rescue and repatriation of survivors of sunken ships. For several years Frankel served on the board of the Tolstoy Foundation, a New York-based organization dedicated to assisting displaced persons of Russian origin. In 1972 he retired to California, where he lectured on China and Russia at San Diego State University's Continuing Education Center of Rancho Bernardo.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.