Thomas Washington

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Thomas Washington
Washington, Admiral Thomas LOC hec.14640-cropped.jpg
Thomas Washington as Rear Admiral
Born(1865-06-06)June 6, 1865
Goldsboro, North Carolina
DiedDecember 15, 1954(1954-12-15) (aged 89)
Bethesda Naval Hospital
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1889–1929
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held Dolphin
Division 3, Battleship Force 1, Atlantic Fleet
Division 2, Atlantic Fleet
Division 4, Atlantic Fleet
Asiatic Fleet
Battles/wars Spanish–American War
World War I
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Thomas Washington (6 June 1865 – 15 December 1954) was an admiral in the United States Navy during World War I.

Admiral is one of the highest ranks in some navies, and in many navies is the highest rank. It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM". The rank is generally thought to have originated in Sicily from a conflation of Arabic: أمير البحر‎, amīr al-baḥr, "commander of the sea", with Latin admirabilis ("admirable") or admiratus ("admired"), although alternative etymologies derive the word directly from Latin, or from the Turkish military and naval rank miralay. The French version – amiral without the additional d – tends to add evidence for the Arab origin.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second largest and second most powerful air force in the world.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.


Early life and career

Born at Goldsboro, North Carolina, Washington was appointed to the United States Naval Academy on 17 May 1883. He graduated on 10 June 1887 and, after the required two years of sea duty during which he served on the European Station in the sloops Enterprise and Lancaster, was commissioned ensign in 1889. Over the ensuing three years, he briefly served in U.S. Coast Survey Ship Endeavor, followed by a tour in the gunboat Alliance to the far east. He was assigned to the office of the Navy's Judge Advocate General in 1892.

Goldsboro, North Carolina Place in North Carolina, United States

Goldsboro is a city in Wayne County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 36,437 at the 2010 Census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Goldsboro, North Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area. The nearby town of Waynesboro was founded in 1787 and Goldsboro was incorporated in 1847. It is the county seat of Wayne County. The city is situated in North Carolina's Coastal Plain and is bordered on the south by the Neuse River and the west by the Little River, about 43 miles southwest of Greenville, 55 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state capital, and 87 miles northwest of Wilmington in Southeastern North Carolina. Goldsboro is best known as home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

United States Naval Academy The U.S. Navys federal service academy

The United States Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy adjacent to Annapolis, Maryland. Established on 10 October 1845, under Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft, it is the second oldest of the United States' five service academies, and educates officers for commissioning primarily into the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The 338-acre (137 ha) campus is located on the former grounds of Fort Severn at the confluence of the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County, 33 miles (53 km) east of Washington, D.C. and 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Baltimore. The entire campus is a National Historic Landmark and home to many historic sites, buildings, and monuments. It replaced Philadelphia Naval Asylum, in Philadelphia, that served as the first United States Naval Academy from 1838 to 1845 when the Naval Academy formed in Annapolis.

USS <i>Enterprise</i> (1874) 1874 screw sloop

The fifth USS Enterprise, a barque-rigged screw sloop, was launched 13 June 1874 at Portsmouth Navy Yard, Kittery, Maine, US, by John W. Griffiths, a private contractor; and commissioned 16 March 1877, Commander George C. Remey in command. She was later commanded by Bowman H. McCalla around 1890, followed by Commander Albert S. Barker from 1892-1896.

Subsequently, after duty on several trial boards for general courts martial at the Norfolk and Washington Navy Yards, he was assigned to a succession of ships—Montgomery (C-9), Terror (BM-4) and Patterson (DD-36)—before joining the battleship Indiana (BB-1) in early 1898. He was on this ship when she helped to defeat the Spanish Fleet under Admiral Cervera on 3 July 1898 in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. His younger brother and naval cadet, Pope Washington, was one of the survivors of the explosion of the Maine.

Washington Navy Yard former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy

The Washington Navy Yard (WNY) is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy.

USS <i>Montgomery</i> (C-9)

The fourth USS Montgomery (C-9), the lead ship of her class, was an unprotected cruiser in the United States Navy authorized in the Naval Appropriations Act of September 7, 1888. Montgomery served during the Spanish–American War and in World War I and was named for Montgomery, Alabama.

USS <i>Terror</i> (BM-4)

USS Terror —the totally rebuilt version of the earlier monitor Agamenticus, which had shared the Terror's name—was an iron-hulled, twin-screw, double-turreted monitor of the Amphitrite class; on June 23, 1874 by order of President Ulysses S. Grant's Secretary of Navy George M. Robeson in response to the Virginius Incident laid down at Philadelphia contracted by William Cramp & Sons. Her construction progressed over the next three years until suspended in 1877. Work was resumed six years later, and the monitor was launched on 24 March 1883.

After a second tour of duty ashore in the office of the Judge Advocate General, Washington served on the General Board. Ordered thence to the Asiatic Station, he joined the staff of Rear Admiral Robley D. "Fighting Bob" Evans, the Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet, on 29 October 1902. Quartered on the battleship Illinois (BB-7), the Asiatic Fleet's flagship, he remained on Evans' staff until detached on 1 June 1904.

General Board of the United States Navy

The General Board of the United States Navy was an advisory body of the United States Navy, somewhat akin to a naval general staff and somewhat not. The General Board was established by general order 544, issued on March 13, 1900 by John Davis Long. The order was officially recognized by Congress in 1916. The General Board was disbanded in 1951.

USS <i>Illinois</i> (BB-7) Illinois-class pre-dreadnought battleship of the United States Navy

USS Illinois (BB-7) was a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the United States Navy. She was the lead ship of the Illinois class, and was the second ship of the U.S. Navy to be named for the 21st state. Her keel was laid in February 1897 at the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company, and she was launched in October 1898. She was commissioned in September 1901. The ship was armed with a main battery of four 13-inch (330 mm) guns and she had a top speed of 16 knots.

Flagship vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships

A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, characteristically a flag officer entitled by custom to fly a distinguishing flag. Used more loosely, it is the lead ship in a fleet of vessels, typically the first, largest, fastest, most heavily armed, or best known.

Special duty at the Bureau of Navigation followed his return from the Orient and preceded his assuming command of dispatch boat Dolphin (PG-24), the vessel which was then serving as the Secretary of the Navy's yacht. Washington next put in another tour with the Bureau of Navigation for duty before returning to sea in 1912 to command, in turn, the gunboat Yorktown and cruisers Charleston (C-22) and Denver (C-14) over the next two years.

Bureau of Navigation

The Bureau of Navigation, later the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection and finally the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation — not to be confused with the United States Navy's Bureau of Navigation — was an agency of the United States Government established in 1884 to enforce laws relating to the construction, equipment, operation, inspection, safety, and documentation of merchant vessels. The bureau also investigated marine accidents and casualties; collected tonnage taxes and other navigation fees; and examined, certified, and licensed merchant mariners.

USS <i>Dolphin</i> (PG-24)

USS Dolphin (PG-24) was a gunboat/dispatch vessel; the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for the dolphin. Dolphin's keel was laid down by John Roach & Sons of Chester, Pennsylvania. She was launched on 12 April 1884, with Captain George Dewey in command, and commissioned on 8 December 1885 with Captain R. W. Meade in command. Dolphin was the first Navy ship to fly the Flag of the President of the United States during President Chester A. Arthur's administration, and the second Navy ship to serve as a presidential yacht.

United States Secretary of the Navy statutory office and the head of the U.S. Department of the Navy

The Secretary of the Navy is a statutory officer and the head of the Department of the Navy, a military department within the Department of Defense of the United States of America.

World War I

On 20 April 1914, Washington—by then a captain—assumed the duties of Hydrographer of the Navy. World War I broke out in Europe less than four months after Washington assumed the Hydrographer's duties, depriving the United States of its external sources of oceanographic and hydrographic information. Washington and his small staff responded by independently gathering the necessary data for use by the United States Navy and Merchant Marine.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

United States Merchant Marine

The United States Merchant Marine refers to either United States civilian mariners, or to U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners and the merchant vessels are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, and engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine primarily transports cargo and passengers during peacetime; in times of war, the Merchant Marine can be an auxiliary to the United States Navy, and can be called upon to deliver military personnel and materiel for the military. Merchant Marine officers may also be commissioned as military officers by the Department of Defense. This is commonly achieved by commissioning unlimited tonnage Merchant Marine officers as Strategic Sealift Officers in the Naval Reserves.

Relieved as hydrographer on 23 June 1916, Washington was given command of the battleship Florida (BB-30). A few months after the United States entered the war in the spring of 1917, Florida crossed the Atlantic with Battleship Division Nine to operate with the British Grand Fleet. The manner in which he carried out this assignment won Washington the Distinguished Service Medal for "exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility."

Post-war service

On 22 November 1918, eleven days after the Armistice, he assumed command of Flagship Division 3, Battleship Force 1, Atlantic Fleet, flying his "flag" alternately in yachts Aramis (SP-418) and Nokomis (SP-609). He subsequently commanded Divisions 2 and 4, successively, of the Atlantic Fleet. Detached from this duty on 9 August, he assumed the post of Chief of the Bureau of Navigation on 11 August, with the accompanying rank of rear admiral.

Less than a year later, Washington received orders to duty as Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet (CINCAF). He broke his flag in armored cruiser Huron (CA-9) on 11 October 1923 and commanded the Fleet until 14 October 1925. During his tour, the Asiatic Fleet provided support for the United States Army's round-the-world flight in the spring of 1924. Operating from the Kurils to Calcutta, the destroyer squadrons of the Fleet sailed on plane-guard stations, transported supplies and spare parts, and provided radio bearings and communications services for the planes, and thus contributed greatly to the success of the flight.

Relieved as CINCAF on 14 October 1925, Washington became Commandant of the Naval Operating Base, San Francisco, California, on 19 November 1925, and filled the billet until his retirement on 6 June 1929.

Last years and legacy

In the 1930s Washington was the Governor of the Philadelphia Naval Home. Advanced on the retired list to the full rank of admiral on 16 July 1942, Washington died at the Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland on December 15, 1954.

He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery Arlington, Virginia and his grave can be found in section 3, site 1738.


See also

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Military offices
Preceded by
Edwin Anderson, Jr.
Commander-in-Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet
11 October 192314 October 1925
Succeeded by
Clarence S. Williams