- William A. Moffett
Infobox Military Person
name=William Adger Moffett
born= birth date|1869|10|31
died= death date and age|1933|4|4|1869|10|31
Charleston, South Carolina
placeofdeath=off the coast of
Arlington National Cemetery
caption=Commander William A. Moffett
allegiance=flag|United States of America
serviceyears=c. 1886 – 1933
rank= Rear Admiral
commands=USS "Chester" (CL-1)
Great Lakes Naval Training CenterUSS "Mississippi" (BB-41) Bureau of Aeronautics
Spanish-American War* Battle of Manila BayU.S. occupation of Veracruz, 1914 World War I
Medal of HonorDistinguished Service Medal
William Adger Moffett (
31 October 1869– 4 April 1933) was an American admiralnotable as the architect of naval aviationin the United States Navy.
Born October 31, 1869 in
Charleston, South Carolina, he graduated from the United States Naval Academyin 1890. He was the son of George Hall Moffett (1829 - 1875), who enlisted in the Confederate States army as a private, and was promoted for bravery on the field of battle, eventually attaining the rank of adjutant-general, Hadgood's Brigade, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers. Moffett was on the USS "Charleston" for the Battle of Manila Bayduring the Spanish-American War.
He received the
Medal of Honorfor his captaincy of the USS "Chester" in a daring and dangerous night landing in 1914 at Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico. (See also United States occupation of Veracruz, 1914).
World War I, he was commander of the Great Lakes Naval Training Centernear Chicago, and there established an aviator training program. While commanding the battleship"Mississippi" (1918–1921) he supported the creation of a scout planeunit on the ship.
Although not himself a flyer, Moffett became known as the "Air Admiral" for his leadership of the Navy's
Bureau of Aeronauticsfrom its creation in 1921. In this role, he oversaw the development of tactics for naval aircraft, the introduction of the aircraft carrier, and relations with the civilian aircraft industry. By adroit use of public relations, he maintained support for naval aviationagainst Billy Mitchell, who favored putting all military aircraft into a separate air force. In that regard, Moffett benefited from his longstanding friendship with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had been appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy by Woodrow Wilson in 1913.Moffett was also an advocate of the development of lighter-than-air airships, or "dirigibles."
He lost his life on the "Akron" when that airship, which was then the largest dirigible in the world, went down in a storm off the coast of New Jersey on April 4, 1933.
He is buried in
Arlington National Cemetery, alongside his wife Jeanette Whitton Moffett. One of their three sons William Adger Moffett, Jr.was also a Navy admiral; he died in 2001, and is also buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Medal of Honor citation
Rank and organization: Commander, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: Charleston, S.C. Born: 31 October 1869, Charleston, S.C. G.O. No.: 177, 4 December 1915. Other Navy award: Distinguished Service Medal.
:For distinguished conduct in battle, engagements of Vera Cruz, 21 and 22 April 1914. Comdr. Moffett brought his ship into the inner harbor during the nights of the 21st and 22d without the assistance of a pilot or navigational lights, and was in a position on the morning of the 22d to use his guns at a critical time with telling effect. His skill in mooring his ship at night was especially noticeable. He placed her nearest to the enemy and did most of the firing and received most of the hits.
List of Medal of Honor recipients
Bureau of Aeronautics
U.S. Occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, 1914
* [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wamoffet.htm Moffett bio at Arlington Cemetery]
*findagrave|7878733 Retrieved on
*Edward Arpee, "From Frigates to Flat-tops: The story of the life and achievements of Rear Admiral William Adger Moffett, U.S.N. "The Father of Naval Aviation" October 31, 1869-April 4, 1933." (Published and distributed by the author, 1953).
William F. Trimble, "Admiral William A. Moffett: Architect of Naval Aviation" (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1994)
NAME= Moffett, William A.
United States Navy Medal of Honorrecipient
DATE OF BIRTH=
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=
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