Curtze, Charles, RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
510X-Civil Engineer Corps
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1961-1965, Pearl Harbor Naval Ship Yard
Service Years
1933 - 1965
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

102 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember Curtze, Charles, RADM.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Millcreek Township,

Date of Passing
Dec 26, 2007
Location of Interment
Erie Cemetery - Erie, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 3, Lot 14, Grave 6

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 30

 Unofficial Badges 

Pearl Harbor Memorial Medallion US Navy Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Pearl Harbor Survivor's AssociationNavy League of the United States
  1941, Pearl Harbor Survivor's Association [Verified]
  1955, Navy League of the United States [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Rear Admiral Charles August Curtze
Pearl Harbor Survivor


Curtze graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933 and later earned a master's degree in naval construction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An accomplished gymnast, he qualified for the 1936 Olympics in Munich, Germany, but security concerns over Adolf Hitler caused the State Department to prevent his participation.

He eventually was commander of the San Francisco Naval Yard, becoming rear admiral.

His naval career ended in 1965 when he retired from his position of Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C., in a disagreement over the handling of the Vietnam War.



Rear Admiral Charles August Curtze, who died at 96, had a hand in some major events in American history. He played a key role in salvaging a major ship during the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. That achievement is highlighted in a tribute to Curtze at the Admiral Charles A. Curtze Maritime Hall at Erie History Museum. Curtze was working as a fleet safety officer on the light cruiser USS St. Louis when the attack began. He helped guide the cruiser out of the harbor. It was the only major ship to escape that day, and it became the stalwart as the Pacific Fleet was reconstructed after the bombing.

At the pinnacle of his naval career, serving as Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C., growing frustration over the political abuses during the Vietnam years, led to his retirement in protest with the Chief of the Bureau. He served as commander of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard Curtze when he and  his commanding officer, Rear Admiral William A. Brockett, Chief of the Bureau of Ships, resigned their posts in 1965 to protest Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara's centralization of the Pentagon.


Other Comments:
Museum of Erie County - Charles A. Curtze Maritime Hall

Housed in the Erie County History Center at 419 State Street, is the Museum of Erie County which offers a look into the development of the City of Erie and the surrounding area.

The Museum offers a variety of exhibits. The Voices from Erie County History, an exhibit focusing on Erie County rich heritage from pre-settlement to present day, is located in the primary exhibit gallery. Voices is designed to reflect an Erie County history timeline, and includes Erie’s settlement history, industrial history, ethnic history and contemporary history.

Also exhibited in the Museum of Erie County History is the interactive Admiral Charles A. Curtze Maritime Hall. Named in honor of distinguished naval officer Admiral Curtze, the Maritime Hall enables visitors to trace Erie’s roots as a naval town, shipbuilding leader and freshwater fishing capital of the world.


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  1940-1941, Commander Cruisers Scouting Fleet


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December / 1941

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Last Updated: Apr 9, 2010
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USS Saint Louis was at the Navy' Yard but lost no time in going to General Quarters and opening fire with the 50 caliber and 1.1-inch batteries. The 5-inch guns and the two boilers which were out of commission because of Navy Yard work were soon put into operating condition. Saint Louis got underway at 0931 with boiler power for twenty-nine knots. She cleared the entrance at twenty-five knots and zigzagged after torpedoes were fired at her. She joined other cruisers and destroyers in pursuit of the Japanese forces.

The Commanding Officer, Captain G. S. Rood, gave high praise for the performance of duty of all officers and men attached to the vessel. All hands responded promptly without confusion or delay. He especially commended Lieutenant Charles A. Curtze, on the Staff of Commander Cruisers, who was a visitor on board at the time General Quarters was sounded. He proceeded at once to Central Station and performed the duties of First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer.

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1 Member Also There at Same Time
Commander Cruisers Scouting Fleet

Wilkinson, Theodore Stark, VADM, (1905-1946) OFF 111X Captain

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