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 (December 7, 1941 – June 30, 1945). He also was briefly Undersecretary of the Navy (July 3, 1945 – September 2, 1945). He was, at various times, president of New York Trust Company, and a director of Union Pacific, Time, Boeing, Middle South Utilities, Safeway Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch Co., and Servo Corp.

Artemus Gates
United States Under Secretary of the Navy
In office
July 3, 1945 – December 31, 1945
Preceded byRalph Austin Bard
Succeeded byJohn L. Sullivan
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (AIR)
In office
September 5, 1941 – June 30, 1945
Preceded byDavid Sinton Ingalls
Succeeded byJohn L. Sullivan
Personal details
Artemus Lamb Gates

(1895-11-03)November 3, 1895
DiedJune 14, 1976(1976-06-14) (aged 80)
Resting placeLocust Valley Cemetery, Locust Valley, New York, U.S.
Alice Trubee Davison
(m. 1922)
ParentChancy Lamb (great-grandfather)
EducationHotchkiss School
Yale University (BA)
ProfessionBusinessman, naval aviator
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/serviceNaval Reserve Flying Corps
UnitFirst Yale Unit
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsNavy Distinguished Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
Croix de Guerre



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, the First Yale Unit of the Naval Reserve Flying Corps 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, and by France with the Croix de Guerre and was made an officer of the Legion of Honor of France.


Alice Trubee Davison, 1909–10, by Cecilia Beaux

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.


  1. ^ Phillips, Kevin (2004). American dynasty: aristocracy, fortune, and the politics of deceit in the house of Bush. Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-303431-5.
  • 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 Assistant Secretary of the Navy
September 5, 1941 – June 30, 1945
Succeeded by
Preceded by Under Secretary of the Navy
July 3, 1945 – December 31, 1945
Succeeded by