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Artemus Lamb Gates (November 3, 1895 – June 14, 1976) was an American businessman, naval aviator, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air in charge of naval aviation efforts in World War II (7 December 1941 - 30 June 1945). He also was briefly Undersecretary of the Navy (3 July 1945—2 September 1945). He was, at various times, President of New York Trust Company, and a director of Union Pacific, TIME, Boeing, Middle South Utilities, Inc., Safeway, Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., and Servo Corp.


A great grandson of lumber baron Chancy Lamb and a grandson of lumber baron Artemus Lamb, he grew up at "Oakhurst" in Clinton, Iowa. He was graduated from Hotchkiss School in 1914 and received his B.A. degree as a member of the class of 1918 at Yale University. He was a member of Skull and Bones, one of the best known of the secret societies based at Yale University.[1] Gates was captain-elect of the Yale football team in 1917

Military service

During World War I, there was formed a Yale Unit of the Naval Reserve Flying Corps. The unit was closely associated with the Skull and Bones. The Yale unit was often referred to snidely as the millionaire squadron. While training in Florida the pilots often were wheeled to their planes in wheel chairs pushed by Black porters. Artemus Gates was a member of the Yale unit. He helped rescue downed fliers, was shot down, taken prisoner by the Germans and escaped. Previous flying experience enabled him to become an ensign in naval aviation in March, 1917. He was released from active service in February, 1919, as lieutenant-commander. Because of service on the front Mr. Gates was decorated by the United States government with the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, by Great Britain with the Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom), and by France with the Croix de Guerre and was made an officer of the Legion of Honor of France.


Gates married Alice Trubee Davison, a banking heiress and a sister of fellow Bonesman F. Trubee Davison, on January 3, 1922. They had two daughters, Diane and Cynthia.


  • "History of the Lumber and Forest Industry of the Northwest" by George W. Hotchkiss Illustrated Chicago 1898 p. 590-593
  • "The Clinton Advertiser" Monday December 20, 1915 p. 6
  • "1886 History of Clinton" Lamb, Chancy 165 & 170-171
  • "Iowa Its History and Its Foremost Citizens" The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company 1916 p. 1830
  • "The Saturday Evening Post" December 21, 1918 p. 12
  • "The Clinton Herald" Monday December 10, 1945 p. 8
  • "Wolf's History of Clinton 1911" p. 731
  • "1946 History of Clinton" p. 50, 69, 88, 97, 98, 143 & 169
  • "The History of Clinton 1976 The Almanac" p. 536
  • "The Iowan" September 1956
  • "Biography Index". Volume 10: September, 1973-August, 1976. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1977.
  • "Biography Index". Volume 12: September, 1979-August, 1982. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1983.
  • "The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography". Volume 59. New York: James T. White & Co., 1980.
  • "Biography and Genealogy Master Index". Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group, 1980-2
Government offices
Preceded by
David Sinton Ingalls
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (AIR)
September 5, 1941 – June 30, 1945
Succeeded by
John L. Sullivan
Preceded by
Ralph Austin Bard
Under Secretary of the Navy
July 3, 1945 – December 31, 1945
Succeeded by
John L. Sullivan

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