PLUNKETT, Charles, RADM

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1922-1928, New York
Service Years
1883 - 1928
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

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Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
1864
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember PLUNKETT, Charles, RADM.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Washington, D.C.
Last Address
BURIED AT:
SECTION E SITE LOT-1152
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY

Date of Passing
Mar 24, 1931
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Last Known Activity
Charles Peshall Plunkett
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medals


Spanish-American War and First World War Battle Streamers



Charles Peshall Plunkett, born in Washington, D.C., 15 February 1864, was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in 1879. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1884.

Admiral Plunkett was a veteran of the Spanish-American War where he served in Admiral Dewey's Squadron at the Battle of Manila Bay. He also commanded both USS North Dakota and USS South Dakota and had served as Director, Target Practice and Engineering Competitions for the Navy Department before the United States entered World War I. 

In July, 1918, he assumed command of the 5 Naval Railway Batteries in France. under his direction those mobile units of 14" battleship guns supported French and American armies from 6 September until the Armistice. Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service during the war, he later commanded Destroyers, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, and served as Chief of Staff, Naval War College; President, Board of Inspection and Survey; and as Commandant, New York Navy Yard and the 3d Naval District. 

Retiring in 1928, Rear Admiral Plunkett died in Washington, D.C., 24 March 1931. 
The Admiral's father and mother, William Henry Plunkett, Major, United States Army, Letitia G. Plunkett, are also buried in Arlington National Cemetery, as are his son, Charles Tuck Plunkett (1899-1970) and his wife, Martha Macleod Plunkett (1890-1961)

ADMIRAL PLUNKETT BURIED
Military Honors Are Paid Him In Arlington Cemetery 

WASHNGTON, March 26, 1931 - The Navy said farewell today to Rear ADmiral charles Perhall Plunkett, retired, who died Tuesday night in the Washington Naval Hospital. 

With full military honors he was borne by his former companions to Arlington Cemetery and buried beside his wife.  He grave is just below the old Robert E. Lee home, overlooking the Potomac River. 

After brief ceremonies at the Fort Myer Chapel, conducted by the Rev. Sidney Key Evans, Chief of Naval Chaplains, the flag-draped coffin, escorted by squads of Marines, was placed on a gun caisson by six bluejackets and taken to Arlington.  There were three volleys of rifle fire by the Marines and Taps by a Naval Bugler at the grave. 
.oOo.

Charles P. Plunkett graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1884. By June 1, 1904 he was a Lieutenant Commander. On April 7, 1919 he was permanently promoted to Rear Admiral.

During World War I he served in various capacities from commanding Naval batteries with the French and American armies to commanding the United States Fleet destroyer force. After the War he commanded the Atlantic Fleet destroyer squadrons. He was appointed Chief of Staff, Naval War College in December 1920. He became President of the Board of Inspection and Survey in August 1921. He commanded the 3rd Naval District and the New York Navy Yard from 1922 to 1928.

He was awarded the United States Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the United States Army Distinguished Service Medal. He was a Commander of the French Legion of Honor and was awarded the Portuguese Decoration, Tower and Sword.

   
Other Comments:
Army Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during World War I

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Charles Peshall Plunkett, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I, as Director of Gunnery Exercises. Rear Admiral Plunkett supervised the production, transportation to Europe, and the placing in action on the Western Front of the United States Naval Gun Battalion of five 14-inch guns on railway mounts, the most powerful artillery weapons brought into action against Germany and her allies during the war. In this stupendous undertaking, the successful accomplishment of which had an important bearing on the outcome of the war, Rear Admiral Plunkett displayed technical knowledge of a high order, combined with practical knowledge of the needs of the service and the difficulties to be encountered. He worked with unceasing zeal and devotion, rendering a service of rare distinction to the American Expeditionary Force during World War I.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 59 (1919)
Action Date: World War I
Service: Navy
Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Director
Division: Gunnery Exercises


Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Awarded for actions during World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Charles Peshall Plunkett, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Director of Gunnery Exercises in connection with the training of Naval Personnel in gunnery in preparation for war, and also in connection with the development, organization and operation of a naval field battery for duty in land operations on the European battle front during World War I.

General Orders: Authority: Navy Book of Distinguished Service (Stringer)
Action Date: World War I
Service: Navy 
Rank: Rear Admiral
Company: Director
Division: Gunnery Exercises

Note: During WWI, the Distinguished Service Medal was the highest Navy Award, out ranking the Navy Cross.


   
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World War I
Start Year
1917
End Year
1918

Description
The United States of America declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with them militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. military. After a slow start in mobilising the economy and labour force, by spring 1918 the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world, although there was substantial public opposition to United States entry into the war.

Although the United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, it did not initially declare war on the other Central Powers, a state of affairs that Woodrow Wilson described as an "embarrassing obstacle" in his State of the Union speech. Congress declared war on the Austro-Hungarian Empire on December 17, 1917, but never made declarations of war against the other Central Powers, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire or the various Co-belligerents allied with the central powers, thus the United States remained uninvolved in the military campaigns in central, eastern and southern Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

The United States as late as 1917 maintained only a small army, smaller than thirteen of the nations and empires already active in the war. After the passage of the Selective Service Act in 1917, it drafted 2.8 million men into military service. By the summer of 1918 about a million U.S. soldiers had arrived in France, about half of whom eventually saw front-line service; by the Armistice of November 11 approximately 10,000 fresh soldiers were arriving in France daily. In 1917 Congress gave U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans when they were drafted to participate in World War I, as part of the Jones Act. In the end Germany miscalculated the United States' influence on the outcome of the conflict, believing it would be many more months before U.S. troops would arrive and overestimating the effectiveness of U-boats in slowing the American buildup.

The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of Marines were also dispatched to France. The British and French wanted U.S. units used to reinforce their troops already on the battle lines and not to waste scarce shipping on bringing over supplies. The U.S. rejected the first proposition and accepted the second. General John J. Pershing, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up U.S. units to serve as mere reinforcements for British Empire and French units. As an exception, he did allow African-American combat regiments to fight in French divisions. The Harlem Hellfighters fought as part of the French 16th Division, earning a unit Croix de Guerre for their actions at Château-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Séchault.

Impact of US forces on the war
On the battlefields of France in spring 1918, the war-weary Allied armies enthusiastically welcomed the fresh American troops. They arrived at the rate of 10,000 a day, at a time when the Germans were unable to replace their losses. After British Empire, French and Portuguese forces had defeated and turned back the powerful final German offensive (Spring Offensive of March to July, 1918), the Americans played a role in the Allied final offensive (Hundred Days Offensive of August to November). However, many American commanders used the same flawed tactics which the British, French, Germans and others had abandoned early in the war, and so many American offensives were not particularly effective. Pershing continued to commit troops to these full- frontal attacks, resulting in high casualties against experienced veteran German and Austrian-Hungarian units. Nevertheless, the infusion of new and fresh U.S. troops greatly strengthened the Allies' strategic position and boosted morale. The Allies achieved victory over Germany on November 11, 1918 after German morale had collapsed both at home and on the battlefield.
   
My Participation in This Battle or Operation
From Year
1917
To Year
1918
 
Last Updated:
Mar 27, 2011
   
Personal Memories

Memories
In July 1918, he assumed command of the five Naval Railway Batteries in France. Under his direction the mobile units of 14-inch battleship guns supported the French and American armies from 6 September until the Armistice, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service during the war.

   
My Photos From This Battle or Operation
First World War Battle Streamer

  557 Also There at This Battle:
  • Alvarez, Percy Joseph, ENS, (1918-1918)
  • Bagby, Oliver Walton, LCDR, (1908-1925)
  • Barkalow, Laird Holmes, S1c, (1917-1921)
  • Bennett, Floyd, Mach., (1917-1928)
  • Brady, John Joseph (ChC), RDML, (1914-1934)
  • Brown, Kendal Harold, CPO, (1915-1944)
  • Burke, Edward, CPO, (1898-1920)
  • Carroll, William, F1c, (1917-1919)
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