Ernest Frederick Eggert was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on June 16, 1876, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. G. C. Eggert. He was appointed Naval Cadet from his native state, and entered the U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, on September 6, 1893. Graduated with distinction, second in the Class of 1897, on June 2, 1987, he was commissioned Assistant Naval Constructor, with relative rank of Ensign, on July 1, 1899. He subsequently advanced in rank, attaining that of Commander, to date from August 29, 1916, and Captain from November 16, 1921. He was transferred to the Retired List of the US Navy on July 1, 1938, and died on July 22, 19.
After graduation from the Naval Academy in June 1897, he served briefly in USS Montgomery, and from July 21 of that year until March 18, 1898, was a student in Naval Construction on board USS Santee. From April to August of that year he was assigned to USS New York, after which he returned to the Santee to pursue special studies in connection with Naval Architecture. After detachment on May 15, 1899, he had brief consecutive duty at the League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the New York Navy Yard.
Ordered aboard, he reached Glasgow, Scotland, and on October 13, 1899, and completed a course in Sailing. He returned to the United States early in 1900, and on April 9, 1900, reported to the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department, Washington, D. C. Later that month he was sent to the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, for duty. While so assigned until June 1903, he had temporary additional duty in connection with inspections at various places, including Richmond, (Trigg Company) and Newport News, Virginia; and was a member of the Board to recommend changes in the cruiser Galveston. He next served as Assistant to the Superintending Constructor at the works of the New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey, and while there also served as a member of the Board concerned with changes in the battleships Washington and Kansas.
On March 8, 1904 he became Assistant to the Superintending Constructor at the League Island Navy Yard, and on July 17, 1905 was additionally assigned as a Board Member to make changes in the battleship New Hampshire, building at the William Cramp and Sons Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He returned to Camden on October 18, 1905, and while serving as Assistant to the Superintending Constructor, made the trial run of the Washington in March 1906, and served on boards to recommend changes in the battleship South Carolina.
Transferred on October 20, 1906 to the Boston Navy Yard, he was assigned to the Department of Construction and Repair, and authorized to travel various places including Quincy, Massachusetts, concerned with changes in vessels being built at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company (destroyers Perkins and Sterret, and certain Submarines). When detached from Boston on September 20, 1910, hehad orders to Cavite, Philippine Islands, where he served from November 1, 1910 to March 27, 1911, as Construction Officer. He remained on Asiatic Station, serving in a similar capacity at the Naval Station, Olongapo, Philippine Islands, until February 14, 1912.
After his return to the United States and a period of leave, he reported on June 12, 1912 to the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, and before completion of his tour of duty there in January 1914, he had witnessed Target Practice at Hampton Roads, Virginia; served as a member of a Board of Inspection of the Kansas and Idaho; at Recorder of a Board to Inspect the Matsonia; and member of a Board to Survey USS Panther at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia. Detached on January 10, 1914 he reported a week later to the works of the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company as Superintending Constructor.
In that capacity throughout the entire World War I period, he had additional duty as a Member and Recorder of the Trial Board of the PENNSYLVANIA building at Fore River Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts, in January and February 1916; made trips, concerning new construction, to the Navy Department, Washington, DC, in May and August 1916; and was Destroyer Member of the Permanent Section of the Fifth Naval District Board of Inspection to be located at Newport News in 1916. He also had additional duty in Washington, DC, in April 1918 concerning installation of Sea Chests and stability of destroyers; in Norfolk, Virginia, on board the USS Mississippi, and as Senior Member of the Board in connection with preliminary trials of the submarine torpedo boat H-5. In 1919 he served as member of the Board of Inventory and Appraisal convening at Newport News, and in March 1920 made a trip to the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department, Washington, DC.
Detached from the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company on September 20, 1920, he next served as Construction Officer at the Navy Yard, Washington, DC. In that assignment he had additional duty as a member of the Examining Board, convened at the Navy Department, Washington, DC. Upon his detachment December 15, 1924, he was sent to San Francisco, California, for duty as a Member of the Board of Inspection and Survey, Pacific Coast Section. In January 1925 he reported to the Navy Yard, Mare Island, California, for duty. There he served as a member of the Board for Material Inspection of the Submarines of Submarine Division 12; a Board to Inspect four decommissioned destroyers; and conducted inspections of the Neches and Rainbow and six destroyers of Destroyer Division 35 at Mare Island and four decommissioned destroyers at San Diego, in April and June 1925.
On October 3, 1927 he returned to the Navy Yard, Washington, DC, and while on duty as Construction Officer, served as Assistant to the Officer in Charge, and later became the Officer in Charge of the Model Tank. He also had additional duty as a member ofvarious Selection Boards. He received a copy of a Letter to the Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department, from the Acting Chief of Engineers, US Army, dated March 9, 1936 expressing “sincere appreciation for helpful assistance rendered by Captain E. F. Eggert, in Charge of the US Experimental Model Basin, in conduction the tests of the hull and propelling machinery of the 5000 yard dredge just completed. . .”
At the time of his request for retirement in January 1938, he received a Commendatory Letter from the Secretary of the Navy as follows: “The Department regrets your retirement from active service and takes this occasion to extend to you its heartiest congratulations and appreciation for your long and distinguished service to our Nation. During the time which you have so faithfully and efficiently served, you have witnessed many advancements in the morale, strength and efficiency of the Navy; and you have the satisfaction of knowing that by your service and accomplishments in the design of our Naval vessels, first as an Assistant and later in Charge of the Model Tank at the Navy Yard, Washington, you have contributed to the above results. May I wish you continued success and many years of health and happiness. . .”