Edel, William Wilcox, CAPT

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Chaplain Christian
Last Primary NEC
410X-Chaplain Corps Officer
Last Rating/NEC Group
Staff Corps Officer
Primary Unit
1946-1946, 410X, 1st Naval District
Service Years
1917 - 1946
Chaplain Christian

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sheila Rae Myers, HM3 to remember Edel, William Wilcox, CAPT.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Baltimore, MD
Last Address
El Cajon, CA

Date of Passing
Sep 16, 1996
Location of Interment
Westminister Cemetery - Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
F 365 2

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Navy Officer Honorable Discharge

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Patriot-News, The (Harrisburg, PA) - Saturday, September 28, 1996

William Wilcox Edel, 102, a former president of Dickinson College, died Sept. 16 at his home in El Cajon, Calif.

The Methodist minister and Dickinson College graduate was a Navy chaplain during both World Wars. He served as the college's president from 1946 to 1959.

He designed a three-way altar used as a liturgical backdrop for religious services and the Mariner's Cross, from which the present-day Navy Chaplain Corps emblem was adapted. He wrote an autobiography, "My Hundred Years," which earned a San Diego Book Award.
Other Comments:

Navy Commendation Ribbon
The Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, takes pleasure in commending Captian William W Edel, Chaplains Corp, United States Navy for service as set forth in the following citation:

For meritorious and effiecient performance of duty as Force Chaplain on the Staff of the Commander South Pacific Area and Force from 19 January to 27 September 1945. During this period Captain Edel displayed outstanding ability and worked tirelessly in ministering to the spiritual needs of the personnel throughout the area, and in the redeployment of chaplains to forward combat areas. Through his initiative and constant attention to the welfare of the officers and men, he aided materially in maintaining the excellent morale of the forces in the South Pacific. His exemplary leadership was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Uniited States Naval Service.

Commendation Ribbon authorized.

C W Nimitz
Fleet Admiral, U S Navy

Letter of Commendation
The Secretary of the Navy takes pleasure in commending Captain William w Edel, Chaplains Corps, United States Navy for service as set forth in the following citation:

For meritorious service as a chaplain in a career spanning most of the time of our nation's participation in two world wars from June 1917 to October 1946. Captain Edel made distinctive contributions that enhanced the work of the Chaplains Corps. He designed the Mariner's Cross which consists of a mariner's compass surcharged with a golden cross, an emblem which was used since 1940 in many chaples and became incorporated into the Chaplain Corps emblem. Captain Edel devised the first three-way altar, a unique arrangement whereby three separate altars mounted a revolving vertical axis permitted more efficient multiple use chapels and was largely responsible for the construction of the chapels at Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia, and the Cathedral of the Air at Lakehurst, New Jersey. He displayed exceptional artistic ability in the designing of promotional and worship materials. Dedicated to an ecumenical ministry, Captain Edel, on World Communion Day in 1944, officiated at a service with over 7,500 persons in attendance and which involved thrity-eight clergy of many denominations, both military and civilian. From 1924 to 1944, he served voluntarily as the Chaplain Corps Historian, during which time his articles appeared in several religious and secular publications, including the Naval Institute Proceedings, and his texts were used at the Naval Chaplains School. Captain Edel's distinctive accomplishments, compassionate demeanor, and unfaltering devotion to duty reflected credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

John L Sullivan
Secretary of the Navy

The information contained in this profile was compiled from various internet sources.
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 Duty Stations
NAVSTA Norfolk, VAUS NavyNaval Ship Yard Philidelphia, PANAS Pensacola
NAVSEASYSCOM6th Marine RegimentNAS LakehurstUSS Maryland (BB-46)
USS Texas (BB-35)Naval Hospital Great Lakes, IL
  1917-1917, 410X, NAVSTA Norfolk, VA
  1917-1920, 410X, USS SAINT LOUIS (C-20)
  1920-1920, 410X, USS Columbia (CA-16)
  1920-1921, 410X, Naval Ship Yard Philidelphia, PA
  1921-1923, 410X, NAS Pensacola
  1923-1924, 410X, Bureau of Navigation
  1924-1926, 410X, Naval Station Tutuila, American Somoa
  1926-1927, 410X, NAVSEASYSCOM/Naval Ordnance Station Indian Head MD
  1927-1928, 410X, 6th Marine Regiment
  1928-1931, 410X, NAS Lakehurst
  1933-1936, 410X, 12th Naval District
  1936-1938, 410X, USS Maryland (BB-46)
  1938-1941, 410X, NAVSTA Norfolk, VA
  1941-1942, 410X, USS Texas (BB-35)
  1942-1944, 410X, Sampson
  1945-1945, 410X, Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force (COMSOPAC)
  1945-1946, 410X, Naval Hospital Great Lakes, IL
  1946-1946, 410X, 1st Naval District
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
Boston University
  1912-1916, Dickinson College
  1916-1918, Boston University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Sep 22, 1912, Enters Dickenson College1
  Jun 11, 1917, Commissioned into the Navy as a LT(jg)
  Sep 01, 1917, Ordained as a Methodist minister
  Oct 11, 1920, Promoted to Lieutenant
  Oct 11, 1924, Promoted to Lieutenant Commander
  Oct 12, 1928, Promoted to Commander
  Jun 20, 1942, Promoted to Captain
  Jun 13, 1946, Named Head of College1
  Sep 14, 2017, Marriages
  Sep 14, 2017, Civilian ministries
  Sep 14, 2017, Post-service employment
  Sep 14, 2017, General Photos3
 Military Association Memberships
United States Navy Memorial
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
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