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Adapted from "Captain George E. Fischer, Civil Engineer Corps, United States Navy" [biography, dated 26 October 1966] in Modern Biographical Files collection, Navy Department Library.

  • Ship Construction & Design
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  • Biography
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  • World War II 1939-1945
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George Eckerson Fischer

15 June 1907-[no death date]

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George Eckerson Fischer was born in Beardstown, Illinois, on June 15, 1907, son of Otto Henry and Anne Louise (Eckerson) Fischer. He attended Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, from 1924 to 1928, graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Architecture, and received his Master’s degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1929. While a college student, in summers he was employed as draftsman for a La Beaume and Kline in St. Louis (1926-1929). In 1929-1930 he was associated with Beverly T. Nelson, on St. Louis, as Architechical Designer. In August 1931 he joined the firm of George L. Smith, Appleton, Wisconsin, and, during his year there as an architect, studied Contract Law at Lawrence College for one term.

While at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he won the James Harrison Steedman Traveling Fellowship, and traveled and studied in Europe for a year in 1930-1931. There he examined old and new edifices of architectural merit, all his notes, sketches, photographs and an original study of a Mohammedan mosque becoming the property of Washington University, sponsor of the fellowship. He traveled additionally in France and England in the summer in 1928; and in Mexico in 1937, a selected group of photographs from the latter country being exhibited at the Pan American Union, Washington DC, and later at numerous colleges and universities.

From May 1933 to November 1934 he was an Architect on the staff of the St. Louis Plan Commission under the direction of Harlan Bartholomew, noted city planning engineer, and during that time (in the summer of 1934) studied USA and European Housing under the late Henry Wright, authority on large-scale housing development work and city planning. He later joined the staff of the Housing Division of Public Works Administration, Washington, DC, as Associate Architectural Engineer. In April 1938 he became Project Advisor and State Planer (Pennsylvania) in which capacity he served for three years. As a special assignment during that period, he was responsible for liaison and advisory work with the Pittsburgh Housing Authority (and the City of Pittsburgh) on three major projects, located in Pittsburgh.

Commissioned Lieutenant (CV-VS) in the U.S. Naval Reserve on December 23, 1940, he was called to active duty on March 14, 1941. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander on October 1, 1942, Commander on January 1, 1944, and was transferred from the Naval Reserve to the Civil Engineer Corps on the US Navy in 1946. He was subsequently attained the rank of Captain, his date of rank being January 1, 1952.

Called to active duty in March 1941, he reported in April to Headquarters, Fourteenth Naval District, Pearl Harbor, T.H., where he was on duty when the Japanese attacked the US Fleet there on December 7, 1941. Detached from the Fourteenth Naval District in April 1944, he was next served in the District Public Works Office, San Francisco, California. In January 1945 he was ordered to duty as Public Works Officer, Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, Oceanside, California, and remained there until August 1947.

Reporting to the Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department, Washington, DC, he was sent to Fairbanks, Alaska, for a tour of duty as Civil Engineer in Command of Petroleum Reserve #4, beginning November 1947. In October 1949 he was ordered to duty in the Bureau of Yards and Docks, where he served in various capacities, including Executive Assistant Chief for Operations, until August 1952. During the latter part of this period, he was selected for a year of study at the National War College, Fort McNair, Washington, DC.

After completing the course of instruction at the National War College, in June 1953, he next served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Base Maintenance and Force Civil Engineer on the Staff of Commander Naval Forces, Marianas. In May 1955 he reported as Public Works Officer at the Naval Air Station, North Island, San Diego, California, and Public Works Officer on the Staff of Commander Naval Air Bases, Eleventh Naval District, where he continued to serve until ordered detached in January 1958. He was Deputy Director of the Atlantic Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks and Deputy Area Public Works Officer, New York, and in July 1961 was designated District Public Work Officer, Fourth Naval District, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In April 1964 he became Officer in Charge of Construction, Bureau of Yards and Dicks Contacts, Southwest Asia, with headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand, and in July 1966 was designated Deputy Director, Southwest Division, Bureau of Yards and Docks (later Naval Facilities Engineering Command), headquarters in San Diego, California.

Captain Fischer has the American Defense Service Medal with stars; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal with star; American Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and the National Defense Service Medal.

He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Corporate Member of the American Institute of Architects; Licensed Architect, State of Missouri; Registered Architect, State of New Jersey; and a Member of the American Society of Military Engineers.


Published: Thu May 13 11:12:00 EDT 2021