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Adm William Lowndes "Willie" Calhoun
Birth: Jul. 13, 1884
Palatka
Putnam County
Florida, USA
Death: Oct. 19, 1963
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA

US Navy Admiral. His military career transited World Wars I and II and he held two Pacific fleet commands during World War II. After graduating from Palatka High School in Palatka, Florida he received an appointment to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in 1902, and graduated in February 1906. After serving two years at sea, then required by law, he received his commission in February 1908. His first assignment was on board the cruiser USS Chattanooga in the Pacific, he remained there November 1908, when he reported to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, for duty on the battleship USS New Jersey. In May 1909 he was ordered to Puget Sound, Washington, to join the armored cruiser USS Maryland, and served as Gunnery Officer for eighteen months, and for one month as Chief Engineer as additional duty. During that period, the USS Maryland won the Gunnery Trophy and Battle Efficiency Pennant. In July 1913 he reported as Inspector of Ordnance of the Connecticut District, Watervliet Arsenal, West Troy, New York, and Lake Torpedo Boat Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut; and in December 1914 was assigned additional duty as Inspector-Instructor of Naval Militia, Bridgeport and South Norwalk, Connecticut. From August 1915 until December of that year he had instruction in submarines on board the USS Columbia, USS Tonopah and USS Cheyenne, and qualified for command of submarines. He was then ordered to Long Beach, California, to fit out the submarine USS L-7, as Prospective Commanding Officer, with additional duty as Inspector of Machinery and Ordnance at Craig Shipbuilding Company, Long Beach, California, and Works of Hall Scott Motor Company, West Berkeley, California. As additional duty he also commanded the destroyer USS Farragut, was Inspector-Instructor of Naval Militia at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, California, and in June 1917 served as Acting Inspector of Machinery, Works of the California Shipbuilding at Long Beach, and as a member of the Joint Merchant Vessel Board, Twelfth Naval District Section, in San Francisco, California. In December 1917 he became Commander, Submarine Force Division 1, US Atlantic Fleet, later designated Commander Submarine Flotilla 1, Atlantic. In December 1918, after the end of World War I, he was assigned additional duty as Commander Submarine Base and Naval Air Station, Coco Solo, Canal Zone, Panama. In April 1919 he served temporary duty with the Cruiser Force, US Fleet, and in May joined the battleship USS Mississippi, in which he served as Gunnery Officer until December 1920. During this tour, the USS Mississippi won the highest individual ship gunnery honors for the years 1919 to 1920. In February 1921 he reported for duty in connection with fitting out the battleship USS California as its Prospective Gunnery Officer. However, before she was commissioned, he was assigned duty as Naval Inspector of Ordnance in Charge, Naval Ammunition Depot, Mare Island, California, where he served from April 1921 to July 1923. He then assumed command of the destroyer USS Young, and was serving as her Commanding Officer when it ran aground at Point Honda, California (known as the Honda Point Disaster, the largest peacetime loss on US Navy ships), on September 8, 1923. A Naval Court of Inquiry and General Court Martial for charges of negligence and culpable inefficiency to perform one's duty against him followed, and he was ultimately acquitted of all charges. In December 1923, following temporary duty in the destroyer USS Melville, he reported to the battleship USS Maryland and served as navigator until June 1925, when he was detached at Honolulu, Hawaii, then returned to the US for a second tour of duty as Naval Inspector of Ordnance in Charge, Naval Ammunition Depot, Mare Island. He next served as Commander Division 31, Destroyer Divisions, Battle Fleet, his pennant in the destroyer USS Farragut. That Division won the Battle Efficiency Pennant in 1928, and for continued battle efficiency attained while he was in command, from June 1927 to June 1929, and he received Letters of Commendation from US President Calvin Coolidge and Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur. In May 1930 he completed the senior course at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and served from June of that year until February 1932 as Head of the Department of Navigation at the US Naval Academy. He then returned to sea duty as Commanding Officer of the heavy cruiser USS Rochester, and from July 1933 until July 1934 he served as Chief of Staff to Commander Base Force, US Fleet, reporting to Headquarters, Eleventh Naval District, San Diego, California, for his next tour of duty. In June 1937, he assumed command of the battleship USS California, which he had assisted in fitting out in 1921, and remained in that command until January 1938, when he was designated Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander Battleships, Battle Force. In November 1938 he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and attended the advanced course at the Naval War College at for six months, and in December 1939, became Commander Base Force, US Fleet, re-designated as Base Force, Pacific Fleet, in February 1941. From August of that year until February 1942 he had additional duty as Commander Train Squadron 2, after which he became Commander Service Force, US Pacific Fleet, with the accompanying rank of vice admiral, and served in that capacity until March 1945. From March to October 1945 he served as Commander, South Pacific Force and Area. In October 1945 he returned to the US and served temporary duty in the Office of the Inspector General, US Navy Department in Washington DC and in February 1946 he served as the Inspector General at the Western Sea Frontier Command, and retired later that year after 44 years of continuous active military service. Among his military awards and decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal with 1 gold star, the Legion of Merit with 1 gold star and combat "V" valor device., the Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, the World War I Victory Medal with submarine clasp, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with 2 bronze stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. In January 1954 he was promoted to the rank of admiral on the retired list for having been especially commended in combat in accordance with an Act of Congress passed on March 4, 1925 and February 23, 1942 (colloquially known as a "tombstone promotion"). He died at the US Navy hospital in San Diego, California at the age of 79. He was a great-grandson of US Vice President John C. Calhoun. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Rosalie Oneschuk Calhoun (1918 - 1996)

ADM, US NAVY
 
Burial:
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
San Diego
San Diego County
California, USA
Plot: A-A, 0, 1257
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 453943
Adm William Lowndes Willie Calhoun
Added by: Charles A. Lewis
 
Adm William Lowndes Willie Calhoun
Added by: Linda Claxton
 
Adm William Lowndes Willie Calhoun
Added by: Linda Claxton
 
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