Curtze, Charles, RADM

Deceased
 
 Service Photo   Service Details
18 kb
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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
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Year of Birth
1911
 
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
Erie
Last Address
Millcreek Township,
Pennsylvania

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.

 

.oOo.


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.

 

   
 Photo Album   (More...



World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
Start Year
1941
End Year
1941

Description
The attack on Pearl Harbor, also known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor, the Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters,  and Operation Z during planning, was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory, on the morning of December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' entry into World War II.

Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan planned in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Over the next seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U.S.-held Philippines, Guam and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time. The base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but Arizona were later raised, and six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. Important base installations such as the power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured.

The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day, December 8, the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for non-interventionism, which had been fading since the Fall of France in 1940,[19] disappeared. Clandestine support of the United Kingdom (e.g., the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.

From the 1950s, several writers alleged that parties high in the U.S. and British governments knew of the attack in advance and may have let it happen (or even encouraged it) with the aim of bringing the U.S. into war. However, this advance-knowledge conspiracy theory is rejected by mainstream historians.

There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy". Because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged by the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1941
To Year
1941
 
Last Updated:
Apr 9, 2010
   
Personal Memories

Memories
Curtze was working as a fleet safety officer on the light cruiser USS St. Louis when the bombing attack Pearl Harbor began.

Curtze helped guide the cruiser safely out of the harbor. It was the only major ship to escape that day, and it became the stalwart as the Pacific Fleet was rebuilt after the bombing.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
No Available Photos

  2013 Also There at This Battle:
  • Atkins, Edward F., S2c, (1936-1946)
  • Atkins, Maurice Lee, S2c, (1936-1946)
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