PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, USN, (1869-1933)

William Adger Moffett was born on 31 October 1869 in Charleston, South Carolina. Appointed from that same state to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in June 1890. For his two-year required Midshipman duty, he reported to USS Pensacola and USS Baltimore. Commissioned an Ensign in June 1892, he received orders to USS Portsmouth and later transferred to Chicago. Remaining at sea, he was ordered to USS Amphitrite. In October 1896, after graduating from the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, he was assigned to the training ship Constellation, then transferred to USS Enterprise. During the Spanish-American War, he served on board USS Mohican and participated in the Battle of Manila Bay on board USS Charleston. Following the war, he received orders to USS Baltimore.

In March 1899, Moffett was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, which was followed by a promotion to Lieutenant. He then served in succession on board USS Monogahela, USS Kentucky, USS Marietta and USS St. Mary's. In November 1902, he was ordered to USS Minneapolis, later transferring to USS Maine. In April 1904, he commanded Naval Station, Guantanamo, Cuba, while also serving as the Executive Officer of USS Amphitrite. In July 1905, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. After training at the Bureau of Equipment in Washington, D.C. and at the Naval War College in September 1906, he received orders to the Bureau of Equipment. Returning to sea, he was assigned as the Executive Officer of USS Maryland. In March 1911, he was promoted to Commander and reported to the Eighteenth Lighthouse District in San Francisco, California. In July 1912, he served as the Executive Officer on board USS Arkansas.

In October 1912, Moffett briefly reported to USS Maine, until reporting to command USS Chester, where he later participated in the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico. On 21 April 1914, without navigational assistance during the night, he skillfully moored Chester to a position close to the enemy for successful bombardment the following morning. For his "distinguished conduct in battle," he was awarded the Medal of Honor. In September 1914, he became Commandant of the Naval Training Station at Great Lakes, Illinois, as well as Supervisor of the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Naval Districts. In August 1916, he was promoted to Captain. In December 1918, he commanded the battleship Mississippi. Two years later, he returned to shore duty as the Director of Naval Aviation at the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, D.C. In July 1921, Moffett was promoted to Rear Admiral and became the first Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, qualifying as a Naval Aviation Observer a year later. Rear Admiral Moffett served in this position for the rest of his naval career. On 4 April 1933, while traveling aboard the airship Akron, he was a fatality when it crashed at sea. William A. Moffett is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

USS Moffett (DD-362), 1936-1947, was named in honor of Rear Admiral William A. Moffett.   Moffett Federal Airfield, formerly known as Naval Air Station, Moffett Field, in Sunnyvale, California, is also named after Rear Admiral Moffett.

This page features all the formal views we have concerning William A. Moffett.

For additional images related to William A. Moffett, see:

Photo #: NH 47728

Commander William A. Moffett, USN


A pre-World War I photograph. Commander Moffett was awarded the Medal of Honor for distinguished conduct at Vera Cruz, Mexico, 21 and 22 April 1914.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 40KB; 515 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 2849

Captain William A. Moffett, USN


Photograph was taken while he was the Commandant of Naval Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, 17 September 1914 to 7 December 1918.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 52KB; 575 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 100815

Captain William A. Moffett, USN


Photographed 18 March 1921 by Harris and Ewing, Washington, D.C. He was then stationed at the Navy Department as Director of Aviation.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 37KB; 505 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 100816

Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, USN


Photographed 5 April 1929 by Harris and Ewing, Washington, D.C. He was then Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 45KB; 500 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 47725

Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, USN


A 1920's or early 1930's photograph of the first Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 43KB; 520 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 47729-KN (Color)

Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, USN

A photograph of an oil on canvas by M. O. Stewart, which was presented to the Naval Air Station at Moffett Field, California, by the Santa Clara Council of the Navy League.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 44KB; 520 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 47724

Rear Admiral WIlliam A. Moffett, USN


A photograph of a bust executed by Lieutenant Commander Ralph S. Barnarby just one week before Rear Admiral Moffett's death on 4 April 1933 aboard the airship Akron (ZR-4).

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 60KB; 470 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 47724-A

Rear Admiral WIlliam A. Moffett, USN


A photograph of a bust executed by Lieutenant Commander Ralph S. Barnarby just one week before Rear Admiral Moffett's death on 4 April 1933 aboard the airship USS Akron (ZR-4). Lieutenant Commander Barnarby, as a Naval Officer in January 1930, made the first glider flight descending from USS Los Angeles (ZR-3) to Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, New Jersey.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 47KB; 495 x 765 pixels

 


Medal of Honor citation of Commander William Adger Moffett, USN. (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 101):

"For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 21-22 April 1914. Commander Moffett brought his ship into the inner harbor during the nights of the 21st and 22nd without the assistantce of a pilot or navigational lights, and was in a position on the morning of the 22nd 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."

This page features all the formal views we have concerning William A. Moffett.

For additional images related to William A. Moffett, see:


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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