Ralph W. Cousins, 94, a retired Navy admiral who directed naval air operations during the Vietnam War and later became the Navy's second-highest-ranking officer and the top commander of NATO forces, died Aug. 5 at a hospital in Newport News, Va., of complications from a fall. FOR THE RECORD: Cousins obituary: The obituary of Navy Adm. Ralph W. Cousins in Saturday's Section A said that he was commander of all NATO forces from 1972 to 1975. He was the supreme allied commander of NATO's Atlantic command. —
From 1967 to 1969, during some of the fiercest fighting of the Vietnam War, Cousins was commander of the attack carrier strike force and was responsible for all naval aviation operations carried out from aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin. He developed tactics for combating antiaircraft missiles fired at Navy airplanes and in 1967 directed the first successful attack on a missile installation in North Vietnam.
In 1970, when he was promoted to the rank of four-star admiral, he became vice chief of naval operations, the Navy's second-highest office. For the final years of his naval career, from 1972 to 1975, Cousins was simultaneously the commander of the U.S. Atlantic fleet and the supreme allied commander in charge of all NATO forces.
After his Navy retirement, he joined Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, the largest private shipyard in the world. His tenure as president from 1977 to 1979 was marked by labor strife and layoffs of more than 5,000 of the company's 19,500 workers.
Ralph Wynne Cousins was born July 24, 1915, in Eldorado, Okla. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1937 and became a Navy pilot in 1940.
During World War II, he served aboard the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that was sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. In that battle, Cousins led dive-bombing attacks against a Japanese aircraft carrier, despite heavy antiaircraft fire, and was awarded the Navy Cross, the service's second-highest award for valor.
Producer of 'Barnaby Jones'
Philip Saltzman, 80, a TV writer and producer best known for his work on the detective drama "Barnaby Jones," died in his sleep Aug. 14 at the Motion Picture & Television Country House in Woodland Hills, according to his wife, Caroline.
Saltzman was executive producer of the 1970s TV series "Barnaby Jones," starring Buddy Ebsen. He was also a producer on "The F.B.I." and "Columbo," as well as the 1975 TV movie "Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan."
He began his Hollywood career in the late 1950s as a writer on the TV anthology " Alcoa Theatre."
He went on to write scripts for "The Rifleman," "The Third Man," "Perry Mason," "The Fugitive" and "Felony Squad," among others.
Born in Hermosillo, Mexico, to Russian immigrant parents, he moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was a child. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in English from UCLA.