Rear Admiral Don P. Moon, USN, (1894-1944)

Don Pardee Moon was born in Kokomo, Indiana, on 18 April 1894. While attending the U.S. Naval Academy he demonstrated special proficiency in ordnance and gunnery, fields that would occupy much of his subsequent Navy career. Following graduation in June 1916, Ensign Moon was assigned to the battleship Arizona and remained with her for more than four years. During this time he devised a number of instruments to facilitate ships' gunnery. In 1921 and 1922 Lieutenant Moon attended the Postgraduate School at Annapolis, Maryland, and the University of Chicago, then had ordnance assignments ashore. He served in the battleships Colorado and Nevada from mid-1923 until mid-1926 and spent most of the rest of the decade at the Bureau of Ordnance and the Naval Gun Factory, both located in Washington, D.C.

Lieutenant Commander Moon was a destroyer squadron Gunnery Officer with the U.S. Fleet in 1929-1932, followed by instruction and staff duty at the Naval War College. In 1934 he became Commanding Officer of the Asiatic Fleet destroyer John D. Ford. Promoted to the rank of Commander in 1936, for some months in 1937 he commanded a destroyer division, then returned to the Naval War College to attend the senior course and serve on that institution's staff. In 1940 he was again placed in command of a destroyer division and, after attaining the rank of Captain in September 1941, moved up to command an Atlantic Fleet destroyer squadron. During the wartime year of 1942, Captain Moon's squadron participated in efforts to move convoys through the dangerous waters north of Norway and took part in the invasion of North Africa.

From November 1942 to January 1944 Moon served on the staff of Admiral Ernest J. King, the Chief of Naval Operations. At the end of this tour he was promoted to Rear Admiral and placed in command of an amphibious task group. During the June 1944 invasion of Normandy he directed the landings on "Utah" Beach. At the conclusion of that operation, Rear Admiral Moon was sent to the Mediterranean to perform the same function during the forthcoming invasion of Southern France. Suffering from mental exhaustion brought on by his intense efforts to ensure the success of two very demanding amphibious undertakings, Rear Admiral Don P. Moon died by his own hand on 5 August 1944.

This page features all the views we have concerning Rear Admiral Don P. Moon, USN.

Photo #: 80-G-302423

Rear Admiral Don P. Moon, USN

Portrait photograph, taken circa 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 64KB; 595 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may be available at National Archives.

Photo #: 80-G-250062

Rear Admiral Don P. Moon, USN
Commander, Eleventh Amphibious Force, Group II

At the Amphibious Training Base, Algiers, Algeria.
Photo is dated 24 March 1944, but may have been taken earlier.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives collection

Online Image: 50KB; 740 x 610 pixels

Reproductions may be available at National Archives.


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

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