Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

NH 89471 John Henry ("Dick") Turpin, Chief Gunner's Mate, USN (retired)

Photo #: NH 89471  John Henry ("Dick") Turpin, Chief Gunner's Mate, USN (retired)
Description: Photo #: NH 89471 John Henry (Dick) Turpin, Chief Gunner's Mate, USN (retired) (1876-1962) One of the first African-American Chief Petty Officers in the U.S. Navy. This photograph appears to have been taken during or after World War II. Turpin enlisted in the Navy in 1896. A survivor of the explosions on USS Maine (1898) and USS Bennington (1905), he became a Chief Gunner's Mate in 1917. Transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1919, CGM Turpin retired in 1925. Qualified as a Master Diver, he was also employed as a Master Rigger at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, and, during the World War II era, made inspirational visits to Navy Training Centers and defense plants. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
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