After service in battleships and destroyers, he completed flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1925. During World War II, he commanded the seaplane tenders, Matagorda and Golsborough, The escort carrier Nassau and the light carrier Cabot.
Rear Admiral Michael participated in the battle for Tarawa, Guam, Saipan, Truk, Phillipine Sea and Leyte Gulf.
He was twice awarded the nation’s second highest decoration, the Navy Cross, for heroism while in command of the USS Cabot. Promoted to Commodore in 1945, he served as Commanding Officer of NAS Alameda and Commander of air bases in Northern California until 1948. He retired from the Navy as a Rear Admiral in 1949.