Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060
Paul Cunningham Crosley, son of Rear Admiral Walter S. Crosley, was born in Washington, DC on 5 April 1902. He attended Woodberry Forest School in Virginia before being appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1920.
Crosley graduated from the Academy and was commissioned an Ensign in 1925. His first assignment was on the battleship Nevada, operating with Division Three of the Battle Fleet. Detached in October of that year, he received instruction in communications in the Office of Naval Communications. After completing this training, Crosley was assigned as Assistant Communications Officer on the staff of Commander in Chief Asiatic Fleet on board the flagship Huron. While in this assignment, from August 1926 to November 1927, he participated in Yangtze River operations.
Beginning in 1928, Crosley served on USS Asheville, flagship of Commander South China Patrol. That December, he transferred to the cruiser Sacramento, operating with the Special Service Squadron, where he spent two months before joining USS Maryland. He left Maryland in March 1931 for instruction in communications at the Postgraduate School in Annapolis, Maryland. His post-graduate training was completed at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a Master of Science degree in June 1933.
With his Master's degree completed, Crosley was assigned to temporary communications duty with Division Three, U.S. Fleet. He spent the following three years, until June 1936, serving as communications officer on the cruisers Memphis and Trenton. Returning to shore duty after being detached from Trenton, Crosley became Radio Material Officer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. From July 1938 until June 1939, he served as executive officer on USS Claxton, and subsequently became aide and flag secretary to Commander Cruisers, Battle Force.
In February 1941, Crosley was transferred to the staff of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, serving as aide and flag secretary until June 1942. After leaving Hawaii, he attended the Naval War College until November 1942 and spent the next two years in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. While in this assignment, Crosley was promoted to the rank of Captain on 20 July 1943.
Detached from CNO's staff in November 1944, Crosley had duty in connection with the conversion of USS Crittenden at the Small Craft Training Center in San Pedro, California. Upon Crittenden's commissioning on 29 January 1945, Crosley assumed command, remaining in that post until the completion of the Bikini Atoll atomic testing in August 1946.
Crosley next was assigned to the staff of the Naval War College. In May 1948, he reported to the Navy Department, and subsequently served in the office of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretariat of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During 1950 and 1951, he had duty in the Korean combat area as Chief of Staff to Commander Cruiser Division Five. Late in 1951 he was ordered to New York where he took on the post of Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications with Commander Eastern Sea Frontier. Crosley held these duties until the summer of 1953, when he became Chief of Staff. He continued to serve in that capacity until he was transferred to the retired list on 30 June 1955.
In 1956, Crosley assumed the position of Director of Naval Science and head of the Department of Naval Instruction at the Honor Naval School of the Admiral Farragut Academy in Pine Beach, New Jersey. He held that post for ten years, retiring in September 1966.
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of a scrapbook kept by Captain Paul C. Crosley. Most of the material in the scrapbook dates from Crosley's years in the Navy. Also included, however, are photographs of Crosley before entering the Naval Academy and several items from after his retirement.
The scrapbook is made up largely of photographs, with a few news clippings present as well. Many of the photographs show Crosley, fellow officers, the ships to which he was assigned, and places that he visited while serving in the Navy. Among the interesting items in the scrapbook are a photograph and Christmas card from Yoneo Watanabe, Crosley's roommate at Woodberry Forest School, who would go on to serve in the Japanese Navy during World War II, taking part in both Pearl Harbor and the Battle of Midway.
The scrapbook is generally arranged in chronological order, though Crosley sometimes mixed items from different years on the same page.
This collection should be cited as the Papers of Captain Paul C. Crosley, Operational
Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.
3 July 2003