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 

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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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  Rear Admiral William A. Brockett
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Last Updated:
Apr 10, 2010

Rear Admiral William A. Brockett, was born 22 February 1914 in Illinois and raised in Litchfield and New London, Connecticut. A naval engineer and author, Brockett served aboard a US gunboat in China at the time of the Battle of Shanghai in August 1937. In 1950, he co-authored with Robert M. Johnston Elements of Applied Thermodynamics, which was required reading by naval engineering students of the United States Naval Academy for over forty years. During the Vietnam War, he was Chief of the United States Navy's Bureau of Ships. He then served as President of the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture from 1966 to 1974. Brockett died in San Diego, California in September 1984.

Brockett attended the US Naval Academy, lettering in rowing in the same 1933 ceremony that his deputy at BuShips, Charles Curtze, received recognition for his superior performance in gymnastics.

Lieutenant (JG) Brockett served in Shanghai, China aboard the River gunboat USS Luzon (PG-47). He was temporarily attached to Headquarters Company, Fourth Marines, the so-called China Marines, at Shanghai, China in May 1940. He left Shanghai on 9 June 1940 bound for the US Naval Academy aboard the SS President Cleveland.

As Chief of BuShips, Brockett played a role in the investigation of the April 1963 sinking of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593). He also participated in discussions with NASA regarding the use of stable ocean platforms in lieu of instrumentation ships for the early United States space program.

Brockett and his vice chief, Charles A. Curtze, resigned their posts at BuShips in October 1965 in protest over Secretary of Defense McNamara's increasing centralization of military power in The Pentagon.

Brockett's telegram to the commissioning of the USS Ulysses S. Grant (SSBN-631) was read aloud at the ceremony on 17 July 1964

Brockett spoke at the commissioning of the USS Gallup (PGM-85) on 22 October 1966.

William A. Brockett
February 22, 1914 - September 1984
Place of birth: Illinois, United States United States
Place of death: San Diego, California, United States United States
Allegiance: United States
Service/branch: United States Navy
Years of service: 1933 - 1965
Rank: Rear Admiral
Other work: President of the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture

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