Edwards, Walter Atlee, LCDR

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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary Designator/NEC
110X-Unrestricted Line Officer - No Specialty Engagement
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1927-1927, USS Billingsley (DD-293)
Service Years
1910 - 1928
Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Gregg Baitinger, BM1 to remember Edwards, Walter Atlee, LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Philadelphia, PA
Last Address
Philadelphia, PA

Date of Passing
Jan 15, 1928
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Congressional Medal Of Honor SocietyUnited States Navy Memorial
  2017, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society4
  2017, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page

 Tributes from Members  
Name Sake~USS Edwards (DD-619) posted by Burgdorf, Tommy (Birddog), FC2 430
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Duty Stations
US NavyNaval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLNaval War College (Faculty Staff)
  1910-1910, USS Michigan (BB-27)
  1910-1911, USS Chester (CL-1)
  1911-1912, USS Des Moines (CL-17)
  1912-1913, USS Monaghan (DD-32)
  1913-1914, USS Walke (DD-34)
  1914-1916, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1916-1916, USS Jarvis (DD-38)
  1916-1917, USS Cushing (DD-55)
  1918-1919, 110X, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters
  1919-1920, Bureau of Navigation
  1920-1921, Naval War College (Faculty Staff)
  1921-1922, USS Dahlgren (DD-187)
  1922-1922, USS Paul Jones (DD-230)
  1922-1923, USS Bainbridge (DD-246)
  1923-1924, Bureau of Navigation
  1925-1927, USS Pittsburgh (CA-4)
  1927-1927, USS Billingsley (DD-293)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1899-1902 Philippine-American War
  1917-1918 World War I
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1906-1910, United States Naval Academy1
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jan 24, 2017, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Walter Atlee Edwards was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 8 November 1886. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906, graduated in June 1910 and was commissioned with the rank of Ensign in 1912. During the four years following graduation, Edwards served in the battleship Michigan, cruisers Chester and Des Moines, and destroyers Monaghan and Walke. For most of 1914-1916 he was stationed at Pensacola, Florida, receiving instruction in aviation, but also helped with the outfitting of the new destroyer Ericsson during this time.

Edwards was an officer of the destroyers Jarvis and Cushing from October 1916 until October 1917. He then became Aid for Aviation on the staff of Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters, holding that position for the rest of World War I and into the first months of peace. In April 1919, Lieutenant Commander Edwards began brief duty with the Bureau of Navigation, in Washington, D.C., before taking up his new position as Aide to the Commandant of the Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island. For a year, beginning in May 1921, he was Commanding Officer of the destroyers Dahlgren and Paul Jones. Between June 1922 and September 1923, Edwards commanded the destroyer Bainbridge, a tour marked by the 16 December 1922 rescue of nearly five hundred survivors from the burning French transport Vinh-Long. For his heroism on that occasion he was awarded the Medal of Honor, as well as receiving the Legion of Honor from the French Government and the Distinguished Service Order from the King of England.

In 1923-1924, Lieutenant Commander Edwards was stationed at the Bureau of Navigation. He was then Gunnery Officer on the armored cruiser Pittsburgh and, in August 1927, took command of the destroyer Billingsley. Hospitalized in Washington, D.C., in December 1927, Lieutenant Commander Walter A. Edwards died there on 15 January 1928.

The destroyer USS Edwards (DD-619), 1942-1973, was named in honor of Lieutenant Commander Edwards.
Other Comments:

Name of Award
Navy Medal of Honor
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Commander Walter Atlee Edwards, United States Navy, for heroism in rescuing 482 men, women and children from the French military transport Vinh-Long, destroyed by fire in the Sea of Marmora, Turkey, on 16 December 1922. Lieutenant Commander Edwards, commanding the U.S.S. BAINBRIDGE, placed his vessel alongside the bow of the transport and, in spite of several violent explosions which occurred on the burning vessel, maintained his ship in that position until all who were alive were taken on board. Of a total of 495 on board, 482 were rescued by his coolness, judgment and professional skill, which were combined with a degree of heroism that must reflect new glory on the U.S. Navy.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 123, February 4, 1924
Action Date: 16-Dec-22
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Title: Commanding Officer
Ship: U.S.S. Bainbridge

Name of Award
Navy Cross
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Walter Atlee Edwards, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving on the staff of the Commander of the United States Naval forces operating in European waters.
Action Date: World War I
Service: Navy
Title: Staff Officer
Division: Naval Forces (Europe)
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