WITHERS, Thomas, Jr., RADM Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary Designator/NEC
112X-Unrestricted Line Officer - qualified in Submarine Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Officer
Last Duty Station
1942-1946, NAVYARD/NAVAL SHIPYARD (NSY)/NSY Portsmouth
Service Years
1906 - 1946
Rear Admiral Upper Half Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Colorado
Colorado
Year of Birth
1886
 
Contact Info
Home Town
South Platte, Colorado
Last Address
Born in Colorado, USA on 1886 to Thomas Withers and Jennie Barnes. Thomas married Helen Lorena LaBar and had a child. He passed away on 1953 in Coranado, CA. Buried: Arlington Plot: Sec: 10, Site: 10700-A-B

Date of Passing
Jun 25, 1953
 
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Sec: 10, Site: 10700-A-B

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 30


 Unofficial Badges 

US Navy Honorable Discharge Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion



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Submarine Officer Badge
Command at Sea

 
 Duty Stations
Shore Units/US Naval Academy Annapolis (USNA)US NavyNaval War CollegeNAVSUBASE/NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
USS Colorado (BB-45)COMNAVSUBFOR/COMSUBPACCOMNAVSUBFOR/Commander Submarine Force (COMSUBFOR)NAVYARD/NAVAL SHIPYARD  (NSY)/NSY Portsmouth
  1902-1906, Shore Units/US Naval Academy Annapolis (USNA)
  1908-1911, USS CALIFORNIA (ACR-6)
  1913-1916, USS E-1 (SS-24)
  1916-1917, USS Memphis (CL-13)
  1920-1921, USS Belknap (DD-251)
  1922-1927, Numbered Submarine Divisions
  1928-1930, Numbered Submarine Divisions
  1930-1930, Naval War College/Naval War College (Staff)
  1936-1938, NAVSUBASE/NAVSUBASE New London/Groton
  1938-1939, USS Colorado (BB-45)
  1939-1939, Naval District/3rd Naval District
  1939-1940, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport RI
  1941-1942, USS Richmond (CL-9)
  1941-1942, Commander, Scouting Force, Pacific Fleet
  1941-1942, COMNAVSUBFOR/COMSUBPAC
  1942-1943, COMNAVSUBFOR/Commander Submarine Force (COMSUBFOR)
  1942-1946, NAVYARD/NAVAL SHIPYARD (NSY)/NSY Portsmouth
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1902-1906, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
 
  Report of the Naval Inspector General (see pdf)
  Nov 03, 2013, General Photos7
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Submarine Pioneers
REAR ADMIRAL THOMAS W. WITHERS, Jr.


Rear Admiral Thomas Withers helped change the direction of U.S. Navy submarine policy during the 1920s. In February 1928, Withers, commanding Submarine Division 4, argued that rather than using submarines as scouting units for the fleet or coastal defense craft, the Navy should design and use its submarines as independent commerce raiders. He called for submarines with improved habitability, sea keeping, and longer range. Withers, a native of South Platte, Colorado, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906. He commanded the submarine USS E-1 (SS-24) from April 1914 to July 1916. During this time, E-1 made a 10-day voyage, the longest by a U.S. submarine to that time. The voyage tested crew and submarine endurance and proved that the smaller submarines then being proposed would not meet U.S. Navy requirements for trans-oceanic operations. Withers commanded Submarine Division 95 from July 1922 to March 1923. He was also Commander Submarines, Scouting Force from January 1941 to May 1942. This command became Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet, at the outbreak of World War II.
   
Other Comments:
Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, USN, Commandant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth

UNITED STATES FLEET
HEADQUARTERS OF THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF
NAVY DEPARTMENT
WASHINGTON 25, D. C.

FF1/A17-25
19 June 1945 Serial : 01783
Subject:    
Irregularities Connected with the Handling of Surrendered German Submarines and Prisoners of War at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Investigation:
That the Commandant of the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Rear Admiral Withers, U. S. Navy, was derelict in his performance of duty in that he failed to recognize and accept his command responsibility and to issue clear, concise instructions to his subordinates with regard to receiving, securing, safeguarding, and stripping U-boats surrendered at the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and to safeguard the persons and property, both private and public, of German prisoners of war who were in his custody. He further failed to take effective action when violations of the Chief of Naval Operations' order and the Geneva Convention were brought to his attention.

RECOMMENDATION:
The Naval Inspector General recommends
That appropriate administrative or disciplinary action be taken in accordance with the Conclusions in the cases of Rear Admiral Thomas Withers, U.S. Navy, Commandant, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

DEFENSE:
"All existing security measures with regard to ex-German Submarines U-234, U-805, U-873, and U-1228 remain effective, with the modification that beginning at 0800, Wednesday, 23 May 1945, Yard workmen under direct supervision of Captain H. Ambrose or Lt. Comdr. H. S. Knerr will be permitted to board the U-234 for work on the topside only. These Yard workmen are not to be permitted to enter the hull of the U-234.  
T. WITHERS,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy Commandant."

   
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