Vice Admiral Ferdinand Louis Reichmuth, born at Beloit, Kansas , April 11, 1881 with father Ferdinand G. C. Reichmuth and mother Johana Christiane "Clotilde" Graff a German immigrant from Colleda, Thüringen. He attended Ripon College, Ripon, Wisconsin, before his appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy from the state of Wisconsin in 1902. While a Midshipman he was a member of the rowing crew. Graduated in February 1906, he served the two years at sea then required by law before he was commissioned Ensign in February 1908. His subsequent promotions were as follows: Lieutenant (junior grade), February 13, 1911; Lieutenant, October 11, 1911; Lieutenant Commander, July 1, 1911; Commander, December 20, 1921; Captain, October 1, 1930 and Rear Admiral, May 1, 1940. On February 27, 1942, he was promoted to Vice Admiral for service as Commander Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. He reverted to his permanent rank of Rear Admiral on August 22, 1942, and was placed on the Retired List of the Navy in that rank on August 1, 1946. His promotion to Vice Admiral on the Retired List of the Navy was confirmed by the U. S. Senate on May 28, 1948.
Pre World War I
After graduation in February 1906, Reichmuth was ordered to Asiatic Station, and served consecutively in the USS Ohio (BB-12) and the USS Helena until May 1908. Following brief duty on the USS Supply, with additional duty at the Naval Station, Guam, he was assigned permanent duty at that Station in June 1908, and in September of that year became Aide to the Governor of Guam. Detached from that assignment in January 1909, he rejoined the Supply, and in May of the same year was transferred to the USS West Virginia (ACR-5), in which he served until June 1912. The two succeeding years he had duty in the Inspection Department, Navy Yard, Mare Island, California.
World War I
In July 1914 Reichmuth joined the USS Michigan (BB-27) and was serving as gunnery officer of that battleship when the United States entered the World War in April 1917. Transferred to the USS Oklahoma (BB-37) in September 1917, he served as gunnery officer of that battleship which operated with the Atlantic Fleet. Detached from the Oklahoma in March 1918, he had duty in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., throughout the war and until December 1920, when he joined the USS Arkansas (BB-33) for service as navigator until detached in July 1921.
Post WW I
Reichmuth next reported for duty as force gunnery officer and Aide on the Staff of Vice Admiral William R. Shoemaker, USN, Commander, Battleship Force, Pacific Fleet, USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) flagship, and continued in similar duty on the staff of Vice Admiral Shoemaker when he transferred his flag to the USS New Mexico (BB-40) as Commander, Battleship Squadron 4, Pacific Fleet, in October 1921, redesignated Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet in December 1922. Detached from that assignment in June 1923, he served as Inspector of Ordnance in Charge at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Mare Island, California, for the next two years.
In July 1925, Reichmuth reported for instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, and after completing the senior course in June 1926 he returned to sea in command of the USS Cuyama (AO-3). In May 1927 he was transferred to command of Division 30, Destroyer Squadrons, Battle Fleet, with additional duty in command of the USS Moody (DD-277), serving in those commands until June 1928. He then had duty as Aide to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California, in connection with the Naval Reserve Affairs, until May 1931 when he assumed command of the USS Chaumont (AP-5), commanding that transport until April 1933. From May of that year until March 1936 he served as Recruiting Inspector, Western Division, San Francisco, California.
In March 1936, Vice Admiral Reichmuth reported for duty as Chief of Staff and Aide on the staff of Rear Admiral (now retired) Clarence S. Kempff, USN, Commander, Battleships, Battle Force, West Virginia flagship, continuing in that duty when Admiral Edward C. Kalbfus, USN., hoisted his flag in the West Virginia in January 1937, relieving Rear Admiral Kempff as Commander, Battleships, Battle Force, U. S. Fleet. Detached from that assignment in May 1937, he commanded the USS Mississippi (BB-41) from June 1937 until April 1938. In May of that year he reported for duty as Captain of the Yard, Washington, D.C., and in July 1938 was assigned additional duty as Assistant Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory at the Navy Yard, serving in that assignment until June 1940.
On June 20, 1940, Vice Admiral Reichmuth assumed duty as Commander, Destroyers, Atlantic Squadron, USS Russell (DD-414) flagship. In November of that year he was transferred to duty as Commander, Destroyers, Patrol Force, USS Omaha (CL-4) flagship, with additional duty later in command of Destroyer Flotillas Nine and Eight. In February 1941 he continued in command when his group was redesignated, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet and in July of that year was assigned additional duty as Commander, Destroyer Flotillas, 3, 4 and. 8. 0n December 31, 1941 he was detached from those commands and designated Commander, Train, Atlantic Fleet, redesignated in February 1942 Commander, Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, with the rank of Vice Admiral. Upon detachment from that command on August 22, 1942, he reverted to his permanent rank of Rear Admiral.
On September 15, 1942, Vice Admiral Reichmuth assumed duty as Commandant, Navy Yard, Washington, D. C. and Commandant Potomac River Naval Command. In November 1945, in accordance with General Orders#227, abolishing the U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., he was designated Superintendent, U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D. C., with additional duty as Commandant, Potomac River Naval Command.
End of career
On January 28, 1946, Vice Admiral Reichmuth was relieved as Superintendent, U. S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington, D. C., but continued duty as Commandant, Potomac River Naval Command. He was ordered released from active duty on March 25, 1946, and placed on the Retired List of the Navy, as Rear Admiral. ' He was promoted to Vice Admiral on the Retired List, effective May 28, 1948.
Vice Admiral Reichmuth died in August 1978 in San Francisco California.
Legion of Merit Medal
* Legion of Merit
"For exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commandant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., Commandant, Potomac River Naval Command, and Superintendent, United States Naval Gun Factory, September 15, 1942 to April 10, 1946. Displaying foresight and initiative. Rear Admiral Reichmuth organized and administered the large number of Naval Personnel assigned to the Washing-ten Area. As Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory, hewas Instrumental in enlarging the production of his factory, and In training numerous personnel to guide the successful production elsewhere, In addition, he super-vised the design, development and construction of new arid improved guns and mounts, thereby contributing to the creation of a Navy second to none. His sound judgment high professional attainments and unwavering demotion to duty reflect the highest credit upon Rear Admiral Reichmuth and the United States Naval Service."
* Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp
* American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp
* American Campaign Medal
* War II Victory Medal