Theodore Robert Vogeley was born on 18 June 1909, in Butler, Pennsylvania, the son of John M. Vogeley and Mrs. (Julia Senn) Vogeley. He attended Butler High School and Cochrane-Bryan Preparatory School, Annapolis, Maryland, before his appointment to the US Naval Academy, at Annapolis in 1929. As a Midshipman he was Manager of the track and cross-country track teams; and a member of the “Log” and “Lucky Bag” staffs. Graduated and commissioned Ensign on 1 June 1933, he subsequently attained the rank of Captain, to date from 1 October 1951.
After graduation from the Academy in 1933, he joined USS Pennsylvania, flagship of the Commander US Fleet, and continued sea service in her until May 1938. He then had consecutive duty in USS Cassin, and USS Cincinnati (July 1940 to July 1941), before reporting as an Instructor in the Department of Marine Engineering at the Naval Academy. He was serving there when war was declared on the Axis Powers on 8 December 1941, and continued to serve in that capacity until October 1943, when assumed command of USS Flusser. Under his command, that destroyer participated in the New Guinea and Philippine Islands campaigns.
“For meritorious achievement as Commanding Officer of the USS FLUSSER in action against Japanese forces in the Southwest Pacific Area on December 7, 1944…..” he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat Distinguishing Device “V”. The citation continues in part as follows: “….With his ship subjected to persistent and repeated hostile air attacks (he) directed his gun batteries in turning back five determined air attacks, thereby averting damage to his own ship and escorts and permitting his vessel to carry out its assigned rescue mission….”
He was also awarded a Silver Star Medal for action at Ormoc Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands on 7 December 1941, and cited as follows: “….Operating in support of our landing troops (he) fought his ship with a high degree of skill and courage and delivering accurate fire on enemy shore defenses and attacking aircraft, contributed materially to the success of our operations in the area. Later while screening the retiring convoy, he directed his ship in repelling enemy planes attempting to bomb and crash our ships and, when the USS LAMSON was struck, assisted with salvage measures and succeeded in saving all survivors in the waters…..”
Relieved of command of Flusser in January 1945, he transferred, in the same capacity, to USS Longshaw. “For exceptionally meritorious conduct….as Commanding Officer of the USS LONGSHAW in action against enemy Japanese forces at Honshu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa from January 28, to May 12, 1945…” he was awarded a Legion of Merit with Combat “V”.
In September 1945 he assumed command of USS William R. Rush, and was in command when that destroyer visited the port of Fall River, Massachusetts, on Navy Day, 27 October 1945. From November 1946 to June 1947 he served as Aide and Flag Secretary on the staff of Commander Task Force SIXTY EIGHT, the Navy Antarctic Expedition (1946-47) which was known as “Operation Highjump.”
The purpose of “Operation Highjump”, the largest expedition ever to go into the Antarctic, was to test standard Navy ships and equipment under very cold weather conditions, to train Navy personnel in this type of operation, and to collect scientific information which might be useful in the Navy’s development program and to the whole scientific world. Explorations of the Antarctic area, which is approximately the size of the United States plus all of Europe, were carried out as extensively as time permitted. The force consisting of thirteen ships left Norfolk, Virginia, in December 1946, and returned in April 1947.
In July 1947 he was assigned to the Naval Station, Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, as Executive Officer, remaining there until March 1950 when he returned to sea as Executive Officer of USS Rochester. In August 1951 he reported to the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, for instruction in the Senior Course. Upon detachment in May 1952, he was ordered to the Navy Department, where he was assigned duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations.
In addition to the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V, and the Bronze Star Medal with Combat “V”, Captain Vogeley had the American Defense Service Medal; the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one silver star (five engagements); and the World War II Victory Medal.
Captain Vogeley was a member of the American Philatelic Society.