Cover image for Famous American admirals
Title:
Famous American admirals
Author:
Reynolds, Clark G.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Van Nostrand Reinhold, [1978]

©1978
Physical Description:
xvii, 446 pages : portraits ; 26 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780442260682
Format :
Book

On Order

Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One Ainsworth, Walden Lee "Pug" (November 10, 1886--August 7, 1960). USNA (Minn.) 1910 (73/130). Embarking upon a career as a surface line officer in ordnance and gunnery, Ainsworth served aboard the battleship Idaho (BB-24) and auxiliary cruiser Prairie (1910-14) before joining the battleship Florida (BB-30) for the Vera Cruz occupation and subsequent cruises (1914-17). During World War I, he served in the transport DeKalb , the captured liner America , and the armored cruiser Frederick , on the latter as gunnery officer. Following ordnance duty ashore at Charleston, West Virginia (1919-21), Lieutenant Commander Ainsworth was executive officer of the transport Hancock and the cruiser Birmingham (CL-2) before taking command of the destroyer Marcus (DD-321) in 1922. Ordnance and other shore duty at Pittsburgh and New York Navy Yard preceded his assignment to the Asiatic Fleet in 1926 as Destroyer Squadron gunnery officer aboard the flagship, destroyer tender Black Hawk (AD-9). He commanded the destroyer Paul Jones (DD-230) (1927-28) and then taught navigation at the Naval Academy. With these skills, he served as navigator of the battleship Idaho (BB-42) and the cruiser Pensacola (CA-24) with the Battle and Scouting forces respectively (1931-33). Shore duty in the Panama Canal Zone followed.     Commander Ainsworth completed the senior course at the Naval War College (1935-36) before reporting aboard the battleship Mississippi (BB-41) as executive officer (1936-38). Promoted to captain, he led the Naval ROTC unit at Tulane University prior to assuming command of Destroyer Squadron Two in the Moffett (DD-362) in the Caribbean in July 1940. In that capacity he patrolled the French Antilles following the fall of France and Atlantic waters against Axis submarines until the U.S. formally entered World War II. On December 20, 1941, he took command of the Mississippi , transferring with her from the Atlantic to the Pacific where on July 4, 1942, he was detached to become Commander Destroyers Pacific Fleet.     Promoted to rear admiral in December 1942, Ainsworth combined his genial personality and rigid disciplinary qualities to lead one of Adm. W.F. Halsey's cruiser-destroyer forces as Commander Cruiser Division Nine during the Solomon Islands campaign throughout 1943. With three or four light cruisers, including his flagship Nashville (CL-43) and up to ten destroyers, Admiral Ainsworth conducted many night bombardment raids against New Georgia and Kolombangara islands from January to July. On July 6 in the night battle of Kula Gulf, he led his Task Force 67 in capping the Japanese "T" and sinking two Japanese destroyers, although he lost one of his own cruisers. Six nights later his ships engaged another Japanese surface force in the battle of Kolombangara, sinking a Japanese cruiser though with considerable damage to his own force. These operations supported Halsey's landings in the central Solomons and continued into the northern Solomons until early 1944.     Shifting from the South to the Central Pacific and his flag to the cruiser Honolulu (CL-48), Admiral Ainsworth commanded a bombardment force of battleships and destroyers at the landings in the Marianas and Palau islands during the summer of 1944. His similar role during the assault on Leyte in October ended abruptly when his flagship was severely damaged by an aerial torpedo and he was appointed "type" commander of all cruisers and destroyers in the Pacific Fleet (October 1944-July 1945). Admiral Ainsworth's last duty (1945-48) was as Commandant, Fifth Naval District and Commander Naval Operating Base Norfolk. Upon his retirement in December 1948 he was advanced to vice admiral. Ammen, Daniel (May 16, 1819--July 11, 1898). A boyhood friend of Ulysses S. Grant in Ohio, Ammen entered the Navy as midshipman from that state in July 1836, studying for three months at West Point where his brother Jacob (later General) taught. After initial service in the storeship Relief and frigate Macedonian (1836-38), he cruised the West Indies in the sloops of war Levant and Vandalia (1838-39) before joining the sloop Preble which took him to the Mediterranean Station (1840-41). Promotion to passed midshipman followed a tour at the Naval School in Philadelphia (1841-42). Then several short assignments culminated in his attachment to the storeship Lexington which supplied the Mediterranean Squadron. Ammen joined the sloop Vincennes for a tour with the East India Squadron (1845-47), after which he worked with the U.S. Coast Survey (1847-49, 1851-52). He returned to the Mediterranean aboard the frigate St. Lawrence (1850) and to South American waters to explore Paraguay's rivers with the steamer Water Witch (1853-54). Lieutenant Ammen served in the Brazil Squadron on the brig Bainbridge (1854-55) and at the U.S. Naval Observatory (1855-57) before going to the Pacific aboard the sidewheel steam sloop Saranac (1857-58) and then the Squadron flagship, the screw frigate Merrimack (1858-60). He was next ashore at the Naval Rendezvous at Baltimore (1860-61).     During the summer of 1861, Ammen participated in the North Atlantic blockade as an officer of the steam frigate Roanoke before taking command of the gunboat Seneca in September. He led this vessel in the successful attack on Port Royal, South Carolina, in November and in operations along the Carolina and Florida coasts until transferring briefly to command of the gunboat Sebago in August 1862. Commander Ammen brought the ironclad Patapsco into commission in January 1863 and led her in the bombardments of Fort McAllister, Georgia, in March and the Charleston, South Carolina, forts in April before taking sick leave. He returned to the blockade of the latter port during the summer as aide to Adm. J.A.B. Dahlgren before ill health again forced him to withdraw from the fighting. Following brief service as commander of the screw sloop Shenandoah , Ammen boarded the merchantman Ocean Queen to escort 220 naval recruits from New York to Panama; when they mutinied en route, in May 1864, he led a small group in suppressing them, personally shooting two of the leaders. Command of the steam sloop Mohican followed in October, during which he participated in both attacks against Fort Fisher, North Carolina, and in the final operations against Charleston (1865).     After helping to recover naval equipment in North Carolina, Ammen brought the seagoing monitor Miantonomah into commission (1865-66), was promoted to captain in July 1866, served at Hartford, Connecticut (1866-67), and commanded the screw steamer Piscataqua (1867-69), flagship of the Asiatic Station. Profiting from his childhood friendship with the now President Grant, Captain Ammen spent the years of the Grant administration in Washington as Chief of the Bureau of Yards and Docks (1869-71) and Chief of the Bureau of Navigation (1871-78). Commissioned commodore in April 1872, he also served as secretary of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1872-76). He was promoted to rear admiral in December 1877 and retired the following June.     Admiral Ammen continued to serve the Navy, however. He actively supported the Nicaraguan canal scheme during the 1880's, invented a cask life raft which was adopted by the Navy, wrote two histories, The Atlantic Coast (1883) concerning the Civil War, and the autobiographical The Old Navy and the New (1891), and designed the experimental harbor defense "Ammen ram" Katahdin (1896). (Continues...) Excerpted from FAMOUS AMERICAN ADMIRALS by Clark G. Reynolds. Copyright © 1978 by Litton Educational Publishing, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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