Riley Franklin McConnell was a United States Navy officer who served during World War I and World War II. McConnell was awarded the Navy Cross for service during World War II. A US Navy destroyer escort was named in his honor in 1943.
Riley Franklin McConnell was born 22 July 1884 at Gate City, Virginia. McConnell graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy on 7 June 1909.
For over three decades he carried out a wide variety of assignments. During World War I he served as navigator in USS Arkansas; later, he had duty as executive officer in USS Ohio, USS Relief, and USS Chicago; and in 1935 and 1936 he commanded USS Milwaukee. Following instruction at the Naval War College, he served on the staff of Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, between 1925 and 1927. Commissioned captain on 1 September 1934, he returned to the Asiatic Fleet and served as Chief of Staff from 30 October 1936 to 25 July 1939.
For distinguished service during this period, he received the Navy Cross. On 22 August 1939 McConnell assumed command of the Naval Training Station at San Diego, California, where he died while on active duty on 12 July 1940.
The USS McConnell launched on 28 March 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Grace Otteson McConnell, and commissioned at Brooklyn Navy Yard 28 May 1943, was so named in his honor.