Captain Baggaley was born in Washington, DC, on November 23,
1881, and was appointed to the US Naval Academy from the Fifteenth District of
Pennsylvania on September 7, 1901. His
title of ‘Naval Cadet” was changed in 1902 to that of ‘Midshipman”, and he
became a “Passed Midshipman” upon graduation in 1905, to serve the two years at
sea then required by law before being commissioned. Executing the Oath of Office as Ensign in
1907, he subsequently advanced to the rank of Captain, to date from January 21,
1929. He was transferred to the Retired
List of the Navy on June 6, 1940.
During his first two years at sea Captain Baggaley had
engineering duty aboard USS Pennsylvania, operating with Armored Cruiser
Squadron, and duties as Watch and Division Officer of the USS R S Lancaster and
of USS St. Louis. After being
commissioned Ensign in 1907, he continued duty afloat, serving consecutively in
the USS St. Louis, the USS Kearsarge, USS Vermont, and USS Washington,
the latter vessel a unit of Armored Cruiser Squadron, in the Washington, he
made a cruise to South American Ports, to the Orient, and from manila to the
east coast of the United States via the Straits of Magellan.
Successive duty in 1911 as Executive Officer and as
Navigator of USS Petrel, preceded a year’s service at the Naval Academy,
Annapolis, Maryland, after which he again went to sea as Senior Watch Officer
aboard USS Delaware in 1913. From
May 1914 to April 1916, he was Officer-in-Charge of the Rifle Range at the
Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He
returned to the United States in May 1916, and reported to the Receiving Ship
at Norfolk, Virginia, where he served until May 1, 1918, first as Executive
Officer, in command of the Receiving Ship, with additional duty as Commandant
of the Naval Training Station, St. Helen, Virginia.
Captain Baggaley had duty afloat during the latter months of
World War I and until March 19, 1919, as Executive Officer of the transport,
USS De Kalb (formerly the PRINZ EITHEL FREDERICK, ex-German vessel). Reporting to the William Cramp and Sons
Company, Philadelphia, for duty in connection with fitting out USS Dupont,
he assumed command when that destroyer was commissioned on April 30, 1919. He served as her Commanding Officer until
August 5, 1920, during which period he participated in the flight of the N
1-3-4 across the Atlantic.
Transferred to USS Humphreys in August 1920, and
following her commissioning, August 30, he commanded the Humphreys in the Near
East for a year, participating in the evacuation of the Crimea of General
Instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island,
preceded duty from June until December 1922 as Naval Member of the Commission
to Brazil at Rio de Janeiro, and from December 22, 1922 to January 21, 1924, as
a member of the first large US Naval Mission to Brazil. During the latter period, Captain Baggaley
was an instructor at the Brazillian War College. He returned to the United States and served
for one year in the Receiving Ship, New York, New York, before reporting to
USS Nevada for duty from March 1925 until May 1927 as Executive Officer.
Captain Baggaley was Secretary to the General Board, Navy
Department, Washington, DC, from May to September 1927, after which he
proceeded to Asiatic Station for a two year tour of duty as Assistant Chief of
Staff to the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet.
He returned to the United States in October 1929, and served until
November 1932 as Assistant Director of Naval Intelligence, Office of Naval
Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
Captain Baggaley assumed command of USS Houston on
January 3, 1933 and remained in command, while that heavy cruiser operated as
Flagship of the Asiatic Fleet, until relieved, on June 6, 1934. He then returned to the Naval War College,
where he completed the advanced course.
He had duty from July 1935 until November 1936 as Chief of Staff and
Aide to the Commandant, Fifteenth Naval District, Balboa, Canal Zone.
Assigned duty in January 1937 in the Bureau of Navigation
and shortly thereafter in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Captain
Baggaley was detached on June 14 of that year and ordered to duty as Commander,
Destroyer Squadron One, Scouting Force (redesignated Destroyer Squadron One,
Battle Force), operating in the Pacific, where he served until December 27,
Duty from January 30 until July 31, 1939, at the Third Naval
District, New York, New York, was followed by nine months’ duty as Officer in
Charge, Branch Hydrographic Office, New York, New York, after which he was
relieved of all active duty. He was
transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on June 30, 1940.
Recalled to active duty, Captain Baggaley served from
September 21 to October 28, 1940, in connection with the establishment of the
Naval Reserve Radio School at Noroton, Connecticut. He commanded that school from March 26, 1941,
until August 7, 1941, when he became Commanding Officer of the US Naval
Training Station at Noroton. He remained
in the latter command until relieved of all active duty on August 31, 1945, after
the Japanese capitulation.
For outstanding service as Commanding Officer of the Naval
Training School at Noroton, Connecticut, during World War II, Captain Baggaley
received a Letter of Commendation, with authorization to wear the Commendation
Ribbon, from the Secretary of the Navy.
LETTER OF COMMENDATION
“For outstanding performance of duty as Commanding Officer
of the United States Naval Training School, Noroton Heights, Connecticut, from
September 26, 1940, to April 30, 1945.
Exercising keen foresight and outstanding professional ability, Captain
Baggaley rendered valiant service in the establishment and operation if this
vital training base for indoctrinating both officers and men in the radio
communications field, introducing a curriculum, which served as a model for
similar schools throughout the continental United States. Anticipating the needs of the Navy, he later
reorganized the actively into an Advanced Base Communication School and
constantly maintained a high standard of instruction which became known
throughout the Naval Service. Captain
Baggaley’s sound judgment, inspiring leadership and constant devotion to the
fulfillment of an extremely important assignment were in keeping with the
highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
In addition to the Commendation Ribbon, Captain Baggaley has
the Victory Medal, Transport Clasp (USS De Kalb), the Chinese Service Medal,
and the Yangtze Service Medal (USS Pittsburgh), and is entitled to the American
Defense Service Medal; the American Area Campaign Medal; and the World War II
Victory Medal. He was also awarded the
Order of St. Stanislaus, Third Class, with swords and bow, by the Government of