Chapter I

The First Thirty Years of "Kelly"

Kelly Turner spent 43 active years on the Navy List. He left his mark on the Navy and on his brother officers, both seniors and juniors, for he flayed about a bit in our Navy. But most of all, he flayed the Japanese, from early August in 1942 until mid-August in 1945.

When Kelly finished with the Japanese, they were licked. When Kelly finished his active service and moved on to the retired list of the Navy, the Navy was not licked, but it was quieter and never quite the same.

His multitudinous friends, and even his foreign enemies were unanimous in their appraisal of one aspect of his character. For the Japanese in a radio broadcast on 21 February 1945 said:

The true nature of an alligator is that once he bites into something, he will not let go. Turner's nature is also like this.1

This is the story of a man who once he bit into something, would not let go.

The Turner Clan2

Let us look into Kelly Turner's family origins to find a clue explaining this characteristic.

His forebears, the Kellys and the Turners were an energetic and a restless lot. They moved out of the British Isles and west across the Atlantic Ocean.


They kept moving west across the New Country until the Pacific Ocean barred further western movement. Then they churned up and down the Pacific Coast.

The particular Turner progenitors with whom we are concerned migrated from Westmoreland in Northwest England prior to the middle of the 1720's and settled on the Chesapeake Bay side of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They received a 12-mile square land grant in Caroline County between the Choptank River and Tuchanoe Creek. This is about 50 miles, as the crow flies, due east of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The Turners had been farmers and millers in England and they were farmers, millers and traders in Colonial Maryland. They also were Protestant and members of the Church of England. John Turner, great grandfather of Richmond Kelly Turner bit into Methodism in 1765. This outraged the elders of the clan, who gave John the hard choice of reconverting or losing his land heritage. He was a good alligator, gave up his land heritage, and stayed a Methodist. This decision entailed a short move westward in Maryland to Talbot County on Chesapeake Bay.

In 1827, a little over a hundred years after the Turners had first settled in the New World, young farmer John Turner,3 grandfather of the Admiral, up anchored from Maryland and moved west. He first settled south of Columbus, Ohio, near Circleville, and then in 1833 in Whitley County in northeast Indiana. Here, on 10 April 1843, Enoch Turner, father of Richmond Kelly Turner, was born.

In 1844, the John Turners moved on westward to Iowa. Five years later the big decision was made to undertake the long overland trek to California after a preparatory winter period at Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Departing on 3 April 1850, in company with a family named Blosser, and proceeding via Salt Lake City, the John Turners with six children arrived in Stockton, California, in late August 1850. They brought supplies for the gold mines in what were the latter days of the "Gold Rush." For some months after arrival, John Turner continued in that freighter trade, although the older sons engaged in gold mining on the north bank of the Calaveras River, near San Andreas, California. The family then reverted to farming, first on a section of land in San Joaquin County (where the town, Turner, named for the family lies on Route 50), and then, 20 years later, near Woodville in Tulare County in South Central California.

Enoch Turner, the sixth son and eleventh of John Turner's twelve children,


moved to Oregon after the Civil War, during which his mother had died.4 His brother Thomas was a printer on the Portland Oregonian. On 2 July 1867, Enoch married Laura Francis Kelly5 in East Portland. He was 24 and a school teacher at the time. The tradition of large families was carried on by Enoch Turner and Laura Kelly. Grandfather Samuel Kelly had had 12 children and the Clinton Kellys 13. Great grandfather John Turner also had had 12, and in turn, his son, John Turner, had had nine children.

Eighteen years after the marriage, on 27 May 1885, Richmond Kelly Turner was born in East Portland, Oregon, the seventh of eight children, three boys and five girls. Grandfather John Turner was 85 when this grandson was born. He was to see the young alligator when, in the next year, he persuaded his son, Enoch, to return to California to help him run his ranch near Woodville, which was becoming a burden because of his years.

Surviving portraits and other data of the Turner clan show their physical characteristics to have been an upright and spare physique, with straight black or brown hair, dark eyes and an occasional hooked nose. In general, they were tough physically and long-lived, the first one transplanted from England reputedly having hung on until reaching the age of 104 (1760). John Turner died in 1891 at age 91;6 his oldest son James at 102;7 but his son Enoch, Admiral Turner's father, died in 1923 at a young 80.8

The 19th century Turners were a severe clan. They raised their children in the tradition of "Spare the rod, and spoil the child." They were always moving westward toward more primitive living conditions. As farmers and ranchers, they battled nature for long, long hours each day, and with very few mechanical assists. These stern conditions left a mark on the Twentieth Century Turners.

Enoch Turner believed in the value of education and stressed it to his children. Five of the seven, who reached adulthood, prepared for and taught school. One taught for 50 years, another for 37. Since every naval officer is constantly schooling young Americans, it can be added that the youngest son, Richmond Kelly, also was in education for 40 years. For the urge to master knowledge was ingrained in this youngest son from as early as he could remember.9


Kelly Clan10

It will be no surprise than an enterprising Protestant Kelly came from Ireland, settled in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, and by the early 1740's started a numerous Kelly clan on the development of the New World. This was a period which the Encyclopaedia Britannica says was marked by immigration from Ireland of "poorer Protestants ruined by heavy rents and the commercial acts."11

In the early 1750's the Colony of Virginia recruited many Scots, Irish and Germans, recently arrived in the New World, to settle on the western border of Virginia to form barrier communities against Indian attacks. One of the Irish so recruited was Thomas Kelly who moved to Botetourt County (north of Roanoke) where he farmed his homestead.

Thomas Kelly fulfilled the purpose of his recruitment when he participated in the French-Indian Wars of 1754-1760, during which France and England fought for the control of the Ohio Valley. Certificate #5808 of the Botetourt County Court, Virginia, now in the possession of the Turner family (and sighted by the author), certifies that he served as a corporal in the militia of Virginia and in Captain Dickenson's Company of Rangers for the protection of the Colony of Virginia during 1757, 1758, and 1759.

The fighting capabilities of the Irish found further employment during the Revolutionary War, when Thomas Kelly served in Moylan's Cavalry, Continental Line, Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment of Light Dragoons. As partial compensation for these services, Thomas Kelly received a grant of land in Greenbrier County in the western part of Virginia (now eastern West Virginia).

However, land did not hold the Thomas Kellys in Virginia, for about 1800 they moved on from Greenbrier County to a place near Somerset in Pulaski County, Kentucky. There it is duly recorded that Samuel Kelly, third son of Thomas who had been born in Botetourt County, Virginia, on 7


February 1776, was married to a Nancy Canada at Clifty Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky, on 3 September 1807. Nancy Canada was ten years younger than her husband, having been born 7 April 1786.

In 1847, Grandfather Clinton Kelly, the eldest son of the Samuel Kellys was 39.12 He lost two wives through early death, and had married a third, Moriah Maldon Crain, on 11 March 1840. She bore the future mother of the Admiral.

Clinton Kelly was a successful farmer, a lay preacher in the Methodist Church, and dead set against the practice of slavery. He made the quite natural alligator decision to hold on to his belief and to leave the slave state of Kentucky and move on westward to territory where slavery did not exist.

Clinton Kelly and two brothers, Albert and Thomas, built wagons, collected horses, oxen and necessary traveling effects, and in the fall of 1847, the three families went to Independence, Missouri, to make final preparations for an overland trip to The Dalles, Oregon, the next spring. On 1 May 1848, accompanied by four other families, they set out in 12 wagons. The first night a bad hailstorm scattered the stock. All the stock were later found except those belonging to Albert Kelly, so Albert turned back. The remaining six families, with Clinton Kelly as the leader of the caravan, made the trip successfully, shipping their freight by raft from The Dalles to Oregon City, Oregon.

In the spring of 1849, Grandfather Kelly bought 640 acres of land in what is now East Portland, Oregon, for 50 dollars, and planted a crop of potatoes.13 Grandfather Clinton Kelly became a leader in his community, and remembering that he had given the land for the first school, a grateful East Portland named a high school after him, "The Clinton Kelly High School of Commerce."14 The 227th ship launched by the Oregon Shipbuilding Company during World War II was named the Clinton Kelly.15 The Clinton Kelly Memorial Church is a lasting monument of his zeal and of his assurance of the vitality of his Christian faith.

Laura Francis Kelly, Mother of the Admiral and the fourth child of Clinton, was born in Pulaski County, Kentucky, prior to the movement of the family to Oregon.



Admiral Turner's first name "Richmond" came from his mother's youngest brother, Richmond Kelly. Why Laura Kelly's brother was named Richmond is not known, but it is family legend that it came from the Duke of Richmond. The Duke was a great sympathizer and worker for the cause of the American Colonies (and for the cause of Ireland), and an early Kelly had received the name Richmond in his honor. This name had been carried along.16

The 14th Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, under the heading "Earls and Dukes of Richmond" states:

Charles, 3rd Duke of Richmond, 1734-1806 . . . In the debates on the policy that led to the War of American Independence Richmond was a firm supporter of the colonists. Richmond also advocated a policy of concession in Ireland, with reference to which he originated the famous phrase a 'union of hearts.'17

Admiral Turner informed the author that his mother was a warm supporter of the Irish and of their efforts for independence during the early 20th century.18

Admiral Turner's brothers and sisters usually referred to him as "Rich" and family letters to him carried this salutation. His boyhood letters are signed "The Kid," up to age 14 and then until about 1925 are either signed "Richmond" or "Rich." After that they are signed "Rich" or "Kelly."19

The John Turner Clan and the Clinton Kelly Clan each were closely knit clans. When Richmond Kelly Turner died, the Kelly Clan, in annual meeting assembled, passed a proper memorial resolution, stating that it was "Fitting and proper that the members of the Kelly Clan take note of his passing and briefly review his life and career."

Richmond Kelly Turner

Young Turner received his grammer grade and high schooling in California, mainly in Stockton, although there was a period when his father was


Richmond Kelly Turner at fifteen, 1900.


Invitation to reception.(NH 69095)

typesetting and later editing a small weekly in Fresno, during which time, he attended school there.

He was 13 when the Spanish-American War commenced. In Fresno, where he was in 1898, he recalled that he went frequently to the Armory to hear the drummers and speakers bidding young men to enlist. However, he formed no predilection for the Navy at that time.20

In 1900, the San Francisco Examiner. as a circulation promotion project, sponsored the holding of a competitive examination amongst boys from the eighth grade through junior in high school, in the Examiner's circulation area. Subjects covered in the examination were United States History, Civics, and English Composition.

The top 15 contestants were selected to attend both the Republican and Democratic National political Conventions of 1900. The group, all boys, witnessed the re-nomination of William McKinley in Philadelphia and that of William Jennings Bryan in Kansas City, Missouri. Richmond Kelly Turner


was one of this very fortunate group of 15 representing Fremont School of Stockton, where he was then in the eighth grade.21

In 1901, a cousin suggested that young Turner try for the Naval Academy, as a local appointment existed. Despite the success in the previous competitive examination, the tests for the Naval Academy included geometry, which he had not yet taken in high school, so he decided he was unprepared to tackle the examination without more schooling.22

In 1902, the Turner family moved south briefly to Santa Ana, California. The transfer letter for "Richmond Turner" reads as follows:

May 26, 1902


This will introduce to you Mr. Richmond Turner who is desirous of entering your High School. He is within a month of promotion from our Junior Class. As a student, he is strong, thorough, and painstaking. Had he remained with us until the end of June, he would have been promoted to the middle class with honorary mention. We regret to part with such a student and feel sure that you will find him a young man of marked ability.

Very respt,
Prin. S.H.S.

To the Naval Academy

Early in 1904, Enoch Turner was back north and operating a print shop in Stockton. He called his son's attention to an article in the local newspaper announcing that competitive examinations would be held for appointment by the local (Sixth District) Congressman, James Carion Needham, to both the Naval Academy at Annapolis and the Military Academy at West Point.23

By an Act of Congress approved 3 March 1903, the number of appointments to the Naval Academy by each Senator, Representative, and Delegate in Congress had been increased temporarily from one to two, in order to provide officers for the enlarged United States Fleet, which President Theodore Roosevelt was urging the Congress both to authorize and to provide the tax money for. In passing the Act for the enlargement of the Naval Academy, Congress had prescribed that the appointments were to be made as determined


Richmond Kelly Turner at his high school graduation, 1904.
(NH 69096)


by the Secretary of the Navy; but so that ultimately each Senator, Congressman, and Delegate might recommend one person for appointment as midshipman during each Congress.24 So Congressman Needham's vacancy was similar to one which many Congressmen had in the year 1904.

It might be noted here, however, that the Congress took a dim view of this increase as a long-continued measure, and provided that on 30 June 1913, the appointments would revert to one midshipman in the Naval Academy at any one time for each Congressman. Fortunately for the United States Navy in World War I, this diminution in appointments never took place.25

After a couple of days of wrestling with the problem of his future, and primarily because of the modest state of the family exchequer, which did not match his burning desire for a first-rate college education, young Turner decided to make a try for an appointment. This decision was made despite his mother's general, and strongly stated, objections to all war and its trappings and her youngest son's involvement therein. He started doing extra studying. Without tutorage, but with an assist from the Naval Academy in the form of a pamphlet with copies of previous examinations, he won the appointment from a group of eighteen candidates.26

Looking over the examinations which young Turner took for the Examiner contest and the ones which candidates for admittance to the Naval Academy took during the years 1903-1907, and then giving these examinations a quick comparison with those taken by prospective midshipmen of recent years, the vast changes in the examination processes for the same basic subjects are immediately apparent. The present educational examination system frequently supplies correct answers and requires only their identification amongst error, while the horrendous ones of yester-year required substantive knowledge, such as:


Despite this hazard and that of having to name in proper order all the waters passed through in making a voyage from Yokohama, Japan, to Saint Louis, Missouri, via Hongkong and the Suez Canal, 297 physically qualified young Americans took their places in the rear ranks of the Regiment of Midshipmen during the summer of 1904. Among them was Richmond Kelly Turner, who had done very well in all subjects except geography, in which he had perhaps failed to mention the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb as he entered the steaming waters of the Red Sea, en route to far away Saint Louis.

Midshipman Turner

Richmond Kelly Turner became a midshipman on 13 June 1904. He was erect, long limbed and slender (6 feet, 13/4 inches tall and 150 pounds), black haired, well featured, and sober faced.

When the Class of 1908 entered the Naval Academy in 1904, Captain Willard H. Brownson, U.S. Navy, was Superintendent. Captain Brownson, U.S. Navy, was a well-known naval figure, destined to have the distinction of continuing on as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation for some five months and 16 days after his retirement for age.

Two years previously (by Act of Congress approved 1 July 1902) the title of the young gentlemen under instruction at the Naval Academy had been changed from naval cadets to midshipmen. The latter name had a long seagoing background, while the word "cadet," in use only from 1883 to 1902, was strictly Army in its connotations. The change was both welcome and sensible.

And the previous year, the Congress had further provided that all candidates at time of examination for the Naval Academy, must be between the ages of 16 and 20, instead of between 15 and 20 as had been prescribed since the Act of 4 March 1889. This latter change tended to equalize just a bit the educational level of the entering midshipmen.

As candidate Turner walked through the massive gate of the Naval Academy "in whose shadow an armed sentinel ever paces to and fro" to become Midshipman Turner and to be paid 500 dollars per year, he was to discover that the physical Naval Academy was in the process of being completely rebuilt to its present monumental aspect. The "Old Quarters" dating


from 1845 and the "New Quarters" dating from 1870, were being replaced by Bancroft Hall, a large dormitory named after the 1845 Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft. Large classroom buildings with commodious and modern teaching facilities and named after naval officers who had made their mark in the educational (Mahan), inventive (Dahlgren), engineering (Isherwood), or command aspects (Sampson, Schley) of the Navy, were growing apace.

The work on the new buildings has progressed in as satisfactory a manner as could be expected during the past year, considering the almost unprecedented severity of the winter. . . . [and the living quarters for the midshipmen] should be ready for occupancy on 20 September 1904.27

The Old Academy was a hodgepodge, in arrangement of buildings, in types of architecture, and in the varying inadequacies of the facilities. But the primary reason for the complete rebuilding was to be found in the blossoming of the United States into a world power under the leadership of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. To provide the military power to support its new world position, the Navy was being expanded.

The Secretary of the Navy would soon report to the President that "Never before were so many warships launched by this or any other nation in one year."28 And never before had there been so many midshipmen under instruction at the Naval Academy.

The number of graduates of the Naval Academy had slowly increased from 34 in 1890 to 62 in 1904. The total number of midshipmen at the Naval Academy in 1890 had been 241, but now at the start of the 1904-1905 Academic Year there were 823 midshipmen in the Naval Academy; 114 were in the capable First Class, 133 in the blossoming Second Class, 279 were "Sprightly Youngsters," and 297 neophytes were in the Plebe Class, of which Midshipman Turner was a hard working part.29

From these figures it is apparent that the Class of 1908 was the second of the very large classes needed to man the "Great White Fleet" to enter the Naval Academy.30


Plebe Year (1904-1905)

Pleve Year opened Midshipman Turner's eyes to the world of the Navy, which was agreeably busy with trying to keep the Caribbean peace, and zealously busy with acute professional problems incident to healthy and vigorous growth.31

In 1904, naval interest in the political-military arena centered in the fiscally unsound and politically unstable Dominican Republic. In professional development naval interest centered in the recent decision to shift from coal to oil for generating steam for propulsion purposes, and in installing wireless telegraph stations on shore and on ships.32

The Navy at this time, maintained a cruiser-gunboat squadron in the waters of the Caribbean, available to proceed on short notice to Santo Domingo, as the Dominican Republic was then known, or to Panama, recently involved with gaining its independence from Columbia. As the year 1904 ended, the Commander of the Caribbean Squadron optimistically reported that a conference held on board the USS Detroit in Dominican waters when the revolution was at its height resulted in "the peace since that time." He added that conditions now were "not without promise of stability.33

It was also in 1904 that the Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering recommended that the Navy undertake the expensive, but beneficial, change from coal to oil giving the same reasons as are now given for the shift from oil to nuclear energy, i.e., extension of the steaming radius, attainment of maximum speed at short notice and ability to steam for long periods at high speed. Art the same time both the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of the Bureau of Navigation noted that the average age of captains in command of battleships was 57, and recommended a system of promotion be introduced for lowering this age. They both also recommended that the rank of vice admiral be authorized and given to the Commanders in Chief of the North Atlantic and Asiatic Fleets.34

While the headline events in Santo Domingo were taking place well outside the Academy walls, a lean and erect 19-year old westerner was being


paternally molded into Midshipman Turner, United States Navy, within the Academy walls.

In sports, although he had played guard on grade school football teams, at the Academy he went out for baseball and track. "Previous to 1904, only inter-class track meets had been held at the Naval Academy. . . . In the Spring of 1905 a large number of candidates from all classes appeared." Midshipman Turner was one of that large number, and made the track team that year, running the hurdles.35

The Superintendent's prediction in regard to the living quarters proved reasonably accurate. At the start of the 1904-1905 Academic Year, "the northeast wing of Bancroft Hall went into commission" allowing half the midshipmen to take apartments in Bancroft Hall. Turner's Battalion (six companies) continued to live in "Old Quarters," "an unsightly structure perhaps, but fragrant with the very romance and spirit of the days of yore."36

The Regiment of Midshipmen was organized into two battalions of six companies each, with about 75 midshipmen in a company. Everyone in the company got to know everyone else, and classmates, in four years, formed strong opinions in regard to the others in their class.37

Physical hazing of plebes was a problem at the Naval Academy in 1904-1905 despite the fact that the Congress recently had passed a law forbidding it, and the official naval policy, as well as unofficial officer belief were strongly against it.

Awareness of interest at higher levels in physical hazing is shown by the Superintendent's remarks in his 1904 and 1905 Annual Reports to the Chief of Bureau of Navigation: "I can state to the Department, the practice of hazing is now one of the past;" "No case of hazing has occurred in the past year."38

Admiral Turner's remembrance was that he personally was not physically hazed during plebe academic year until January 1905 when 1906 became the first class. This class started physical hazing on a broad scale again and it continued until November 1905. In that month, a Midshipman Branch of the second class (1907) died following a fist fight with a Midshipman


Meriwether of the third class (1908) arising out of hazing administered to Meriwether by Branch during 1908's plebe year.

From then on throughout Midshipman Turner's second and first class years, there was no general physical hazing of plebes.

Most of the stuff in the papers is a pack of lies. . . .
The fuss is being raised by a lot of newspapers and old women like the Secretary of the Navy and others.39

But mental hazing or "running" of plebes continued throughout his four years as a midshipman.

The urgency of the need for additional junior officers to man the ballooning number of ships in the Fleet was brought home to the Naval Academy when the first class (1905) was suddenly graduated on 30 January 1905, four months ahead of time. While the second class (1906) took over the duties and privileges of the first class, this only resulted in a change to stronger and more high-handed masters for Midshipman Turner and his fellow plebes, despite the Superintendent's belief that "No case of hazing has occurred during the past year." The Class of 1908 remained in its lowly state both in name and in privileges until June 1905.40 Of the 297 plebes in 1908, 256 finished Plebe Year successfully and became "youngsters." Eleven obtained 85 percent of the maximum mark of 4.0 and "starred." Midshipman R.K. Turner stood 14th. He stood number 1 in English and Law, 17 in Military Efficiency, 23 in Modern Languages, but only number 111 in Conduct.

At the end of the Plebe Year, one of Turner's classmates who played a major role in World War II was "found deficient, allowed an examination, passed and continued with the class."42 This was Mark A. Mitscher who encountered later academic difficulties and, after "taking the six year course," graduated with the Class of 1910.

As the Academic Year ended, and the midshipmen prepared for the Summer Practice Cruise, the 1905 Lucky Bag noted:

Though the new Academy is by no means near completion, some of the buildings not having yet been started, even in its present condition the magnificence of the finished project can be clearly discerned.


The yearbook added, possibly with the Congressional abolition of hazing in mind:

With the passing of the Old Academy, not only the old buildings have disappeared, but also the old customs and the old life.

More specifically the 1905 Lucky Bag noted of the Class of 1908:

Bedad, yer a bad un'
Now turn out yer toes'
Yer belt is unhookit,
Yer cap is on crookit,
Ye may not be drunk,
But bejabers, ye look it.43

Youngster Cruise

The 1905 Summer Practice Cruise for the midshipmen of the Naval Academy was made by the 6,000-ton second class battleship USS Texas (Flagship), four monitors, the USS Terror, USS Arkansas, USS Florida, and USS Nevada, two small cruisers, the USS Newark and USS Atlanta, the old but famous USS Hartford, and the Naval Academy Station Ship, the USS Severn. The last two had sails only.44 Even without the Severn and Hartford, this was a patch-work of ships of rather varied formation keeping qualities.

These ships, except the Naval Academy Station Ship, normally comprised the Coast Squadron of the North Atlantic Fleet. Rear Admiral Francis W. Dickens, U.S. Navy, was the Coast Squadron Commander. Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans (Fighting Bob) was Commander in Chief of the North Atlantic Fleet.

The schedule of the cruise was about as uninteresting from the viewpoint of midshipmen anxious to see the world, as it was practical for naval authorities to make. Ports visited were: Solomon's Island, Maryland; Gardiner's Bay, Long Island; Rockland, Eastport, and Bangor, Maine; and New London, Connecticut. According to the Lucky Bag "We saw the same old New England towns." The summer was marked by "the seasick cruise up to Gardiner's Bay, a little work, more play, good times ashore," and "at the end of the cruise, the Severn caught in a Nor'easter and driven out to sea, where untold mental and physical agonies were experienced."45


However, the cruise was notable for one reason. From 7 June 1905, to 17 June 1905, the Practice Squadron held Joint Exercises, or "war maneuvers," with the United States Army in the Chesapeake Bay area.

Leaving Solomon's we started in to show up the Army. We captured Baltimore, Washington and Fortress Monroe, the Army getting the decision, most of the sleep and about all the grub.46

This exercise fitted into Naval Academy drills which "Sometimes included practice amphibious landings across the Severn River."47 Before they finished their careers, these fledgling officers were to hold many more Joint Exercises with the Army--a few in World War I and many in World War II.

The USS Atlanta, in which Midshipman Turner cruised until 15 July 1905, was commanded by Commander William F. Halsey, U.S. Navy (Class of 1873), father of Fleet Admiral W. F. Halsey, U.S. Navy (Class of 1904) of World War II fame. Commander Halsey was the original "Bull" Halsey--so named because of his bull throated voice and the frequent use of that voice in directing his requirements to anyone topside on the 175 to 308 feet between the stem and stern of the USS Chesapeake, USS Atlanta, or USS Des Moines, all of which ships he commanded on Midshipmen Practice Cruises.48

The Atlanta was a 20-year-old protected cruiser of about 3,200 tons displacement and 13 knots top speed which, although part of the Coastal Squadron, had been laid up in reserve status at Annapolis during the six months prior to the 1905 cruise. Notwithstanding the fact that she had been the first of the Boston-class cruisers of the "New Navy" to be commissioned (19 July 1886) and a ship of which the Navy was always very proud, she did not compare in modernity with the cruisers built since the Spanish American War, then actively operating in other subdivisions of the Atlantic Fleet.49

However, Admiral Turner remembered Youngster Cruise as "what first convinced him that he was for a life in the Navy, and that the Navy had a place in it for him"; even though his reaction to sleeping in a hammock was


"Darn a hammock, they are about the awkwardest things to sleep in that I ever struck."50

The 1908 Lucky Bag recorded a different event for making one decide for the Navy:

The event of plebe year, however, that remains most vivid in our minds today was the Army game; it was then we first felt the call of the Navy and realized that we were in it and for it. How we cheered and yelled and, yes, cried as the Army defeated us 11-0 in a hard fought game.

Youngster Year (1905-1906)

According to the 1908 Midshipman's yearbook, "Our Youngster Year saw the death of the old Naval Academy life and the birth of the new." Richmond Turner in a letter to his mother reported: "The Sup is trying to bilge all that he can, as he can't handle so many [midshipmen] easily."51

In 1905, the Navy continued active in Santo Domingo, and the Navy received a new Secretary of the Navy, Charles J. Bonaparte.

The increase in the naval power of the United States was not without its critics, who believed that an increased Navy would merely drag us into wars. The previous Secretary of the Navy thought it desirable to meet this criticism in his Annual Report to the President by remarking:

. . . .while doubtless, we shall always be in the lead in every international movement to promote peace, it is much better for us to be at all times so well prepared for war that war will never come."52

The new Secretary, since his last name had strong military connotations, thought to quiet the critics by taking yet another tack, foreseeing quite erroneously:

It is reasonable to anticipate that their numbers [of ships in our Navy] will be reduced, and even reduced materially, within the next five years.

Perhaps to temper this unhappy thought as far as his subordinates in the Navy were concerned, he added:

Without giving our Navy undue praise, it may be fairly described as of great promise.53


Commenting on the unsolved and vexing problem of desertion, the new Secretary offered the sage suggestion that:

Desertion is, in my opinion, due substantially to two causes--either bad men or bad officers.54

Sidestepped in this analysis were the miserable pay scale for the enlisted personnel, harsh living and working conditions, and skeletonized manning of ships.55

Forty more of Turner's classmates were dropped out during the academically tough Youngster Year and only 216 were passed through to the Second Class. Turner finished number 7, and only three men in his class starred--which is an indication of the difficulty of the Youngster Year. Turner stood number 1 in Mechanical Processes and number 5 in Military Efficiency. His low mark again was in Conduct, where he stood number 149.56

Second Class Year (1906-1907)

The summer of 1906 saw the midshipmen gaily off to Funchal, in the Madeira Islands, and to Horta on Fayal Island in the Azores. They were embarked in the cruisers of the 5th Division of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. This division consisted of the third class protected cruisers USS Minneapolis (C-13), USS Denver (C-14), USS Des Moines (C-15), and the USS Cleveland (C-19). Turner, a second classman, was lucky enough to be in the Denver, a brand new cruiser (commissioned May 1904) of about the same tonnage as the Atlanta but faster (16.5 knots), and with a modern armament of ten 5-inch, 50-caliber guns. The Des Moines and the Cleveland were sister ships of the Denver, while the Minneapolis was a larger and faster (21 knots) cruiser of 7,400 tons that had earned her spurs in the Spanish-American War.57

The USS Denver was commanded by Commander J.C. Colwell, U.S. Navy (Class of 1874). Colwell was one of the unfortunate ones retired by the Plucking Board the following year, on June 1907, in the interests of increasing the flow of promotion to commander. Colwell and his contemporaries


had spent 27 years of commissioned service before reaching, in 1903, the comfortable grade of commander where he was to enjoy only four brief years in this grade.

Six commissioned line officers and two past midshipmen formed the 3,200-ton Denver's complement of line officers. Today's destroyers of only slightly greater tonnage have a complement of not less than 17 commissioned line officers.

Besides the two foreign ports ("Madeira, the place seemed like God's own garden," and "of all the ends of the world, Horta is the worst") the midshipmen visited Frenchman's Bay and Bar Harbor, Maine; Newport, Rhode Island; and New London, Connecticut.

Not all midshipmen enjoyed the privilege of visiting foreign ports for:

Just at the end of the year, when we learned we were going abroad, the hazing restrictions were handed out in large and small packages--many of us were confined for months to the academic limits and to the practice ships because we upheld a system we honestly believed was for the best interests of the Academy and the Service.58

Midshipman Turner was not one of those restricted. He enjoyed his first "trip abroad" and stayed out of trouble, although he remembered well the heady Madeira wine. "Yes, Madeira Isle is very fine; nothing so good as Madeira wine."'59

The Second Class Cruise was marked also by "unpleasant memories of rolling ships, wave-swept decks, and of future admirals manning the rails wishing only to die, with the winds howling through the rigging in derision." The Midshipmen Squadron Practice Cruise on the way to the Madeira Islands had to heave to while the storm abated.

On the return voyage from the Azores, there was heavy weather again, and "only salt horse and hard tack to eat," according to one version and "dog biscuit, salt horse of the vintage of '69 and syrup," according to another.60

Along with most of his classmates, Midshipman Turner suffered the experience of being seasick the first time he was in a real North Atlantic storm. His recollection of it was vivid.

You know there are twelve grades of wind, from No. 1 a light breeze to No. 12 a hurricane. The storm we had was a No. 10 and lasted six days.


Oh it is great to be out on the bounding, pounding, howling, raging deep at such a time--just fine! I know of no pleasure greater than to be gazing down into the green, foamy, crawling shining water and wonder if the fish that got your last meal enjoyed it any more than you did, and you know there's no help for it either; you know that the blooming old ship won't go down and so give you a little relief. Those old freaks who decided that hell is of fire, had it all wrong. I'm sure it's much more like a storm at sea on a warship. When you realize that on one day we constantly rolled over to an angle of 37 degrees on each side of the perpendicular, perhaps you can imagine that a sailor's life is not what it's cracked up to be.

After we got into smooth water the most popular song on board went like this:

'A farmer's life, a farmer's life,
A farmer's life for me, for me,
If I could lead a farmer's life
How happy I would be.61

Early in Second Class Year, Midshipman Turner wrote to his mother:

Well you never saw half as busy a man as I am now, and as l expect to be all the rest of the year. I have written over fifty letters in the last week and a half to other colleges and universities concerning games for our baseball team next spring . . . and on top of this, I have been trying to get the work on the "Lucky Bag" well underway. This is rather hard to do. It is a thing that must be created rather than just put together. . . .

Second class year is, deservedly I have discovered, given the name of being the very hardest year in the Academy. I have been boning very steadily since coming back and find that it takes all my concentrating to get anything out of the stuff--Watson's Physics--Theoretical Mechanics (with problems by J Gow) . . . Biegs Naval Boilers, Naval Engines and Machines . . . Exterior Ballistics and the Elastic Strength of Guns, both intensely theoretical and both with formulas anywhere from one foot to ten in length.62

Richmond was a good correspondent with his mother with seven letters during the two and a half months of the summer cruise. He confided in one letter:

We of the Navy are worse gossips than a bunch of women. That and hard work is about all we do.63

Only 14 midshipmen were dropped out of the 1908 class during Second Class Year. Midshipman Turner still stood number 7, and was the last man to achieve the enviable stars on his collar that denoted academic excellence.


Other than in conduct, in which he stood number 65, he was not lower than 27th in any subject.

To Midshipman Turner, Second Class Year was "one of turmoil," with 1907 graduating in three sections, the largest number 86, in September 1906, a moderate size group of 50 in January 1907, and the last 72 from the academic bottom of the class, in June 1907.64

First Class Cruise

Of that cruise, it need only be said that it was the most pleasant experience of our Naval Academy career. Jamestown, Norfolk, New York, Poughkeepsie, New London, Baltimore and Washington were all on the itinerary and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the yachting trip.65

The visit to Jamestown was occasioned by the 1907 Jamestown Exhibition and participation by the Midshipmen Practice Cruise in "the most noble pageant of recent years," a Fleet Review by President Theodore Roosevelt.

The Class of 1908 made its pleasant but unglamorous First Class Midshipmen's Practice Cruise during the summer of 1907 in three monitors, the Arkansas, Florida, and Nevada, all less than five years in commission, and in Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay, the fine armored cruiser Olympia of 8,500 tons. The famous Olympia, initially commissioned on 5 February 1895, mounted what, in 1907, was still considered a modern battery, consisting of four 8-inch 35-caliber guns and ten 5-inch 40-caliber guns.

On the other hand, the low powered and awkward appearing monitors were never popular with the seagoing Navy for they dived under more waves than they rode over and according to the 1908 Lucky Bag "rolled through 365° -- at every swell." They mounted six guns on their 3,200 tons displacement. These monitors were built during the 30-year era when Congress legislated the detailed characteristics of our naval ships, and during the early years of that era when Congress was unwilling to authorize seagoing ships capable of offensive action in the sea lanes of the world and authorized only "sea going coastal line ships" or "harbor defense ships."66


The harbor defense monitors assigned to his cruise were later to have their names changed to Ozark, Tallahassee, and Tonapah, respectively. Midshipman First Class R. K. Turner, luckily, was assigned to the Olympia, for not only was she a respectable appearing man-of-war that gave a sense of pride to her ship's company, but attached thereto was one Lieutenant Ernest J. King, U.S. Navy, the future Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations during World War II. Lieutenant King was an instructor in ordnance and gunnery at the Naval Academy, temporarily on duty in the Olympia for the Summer Practice Cruise. Turner admired the brainy, professionally alert and strict disciplinarian Lieutenant King. Presumably, King personally thought enough of Turner to join with others to recommend him for battalion command during the coming year.67

A member of the Class of 1910 did not look upon Midshipman Turner with the same kind eyes as Lieutenant King. He writes:

We were shipmates in the Olympia on my youngster cruise in 1907. He was overbearing and split. Unpleasant to be on watch with. Inspired, I am sure by a sense of duty -- which he understood required him to be 'Commanding.'68

First Class Year (1907-1908)

Much to Midshipman Turner's surprise, in view of his conduct standing during the previous three years (number 111, 149, and 65), but to his considerable delight, he was given four stripes and named to command the 2nd Battalion at the commencement of First Class Academic Year. This was high honor indeed.69

Harry Booth Hird who stood number 14 in efficiency and graduated number 30 in the class was the "Five Striper" and Midshipman Commander of the Regiment of Midshipmen, and Edmund Randall Norton who stood number 39 in efficiency and graduated number 2 in the class was the other "Four Striper" and in command of the 1st Battalion.

Both Hird and Norton turned their attention to specialties of the naval profession; the first became an engineer, the latter a naval constructor. Both retired as captains; the first voluntarily in 1939, after 31 years of post-Academy service, and the latter in 1943, with physical disability after 35 years' Service.70


And for the future midshipman contemplating the relationship between his efficiency and conduct while at the Naval Academy, with his future success in the Navy, it should be noted that the midshipman in the Class of 1908 who stood number one in efficiency for his four years at the Academy, Edward James Foy, was one of the 22 officers in the Class of 1908, who became a rear admiral on the active list of the Navy. As for the midshipman who ended up his four years in 1908, standing number one in conduct, William Hurton Piersel, it was his misfortune to be found physically disqualified upon graduation and to be required to submit his resignation.71

Midshipman Turner was a very busy young gentleman his First Class Year. Besides the detailed tasks which any battalion commander has in controlling and leading four hundred young Americans, he was editor of the Lucky Bag, the annual of each Naval Academy graduating class. Because of this assignment, he enjoyed "late lights," and the privilege of working after the 10 p.m. taps for "All Hands."

To these duties were added the fun of managing the baseball team which won nine straight games, but lost the important one to Army, 5 to 6. He soon learned that there was always more to be done than the day permitted, and the necessity of tying together the loose ends of every task before checking it off in his mind, as a satisfactory completion. He also had a strong urge to improve his academic standing, and this meant further intensive mental work.72

The effort was rewarded by a class standing of number 4 for First Class Year, and number 5 for the four-year course.

The Academic Year was also one of constant physical change in the Naval Academy as old classroom buildings on the prospective sites of new ones had to be torn down, so that classes were shifted from here to there to meet the day-to-day situation.

The Class of 1908 was the only class during the period from 1901 to 1908 to graduate as a unit in the month and year anticipated at the time of entrance of the class into the Naval Academy. During most of these years, the muster role of the Regiment of Midshipmen and the midshipmen officers therefore were as flexible and fast moving as an accordion.

Mid-term graduations took place in 1905 and there were two graduations in 1906 and 1907, with the size of the Brigade and its midshipmen leaders changing accordingly.


The 1908 Lucky Bag indicated that Midshipman Turner had organizational and editorial skill, as well as a way with words. It made its bow to culture by having 21 cartoons each amusingly based on an extract from Shakespeare, and by including in the write-up on each graduate a bit of poetry or a descriptive phrase from a standard classical author. The one on the page devoted to "Spuds" Turner reads:

Something there is more needful than expense.
And something previous even to taste -- tis sense,
Good sense which only is the gift of heaven,
And though no science, fairly worth the seven.

As editor of the Lucky Bag, it would seem a safe surmise that there would be nothing in the individual write-up on Midshipman Turner which Editor Turner did not sanction. It was, in fact, almost a publisher's blurb:

from California, with the Westerner's frankness and good nature love of adventure and fondness for the good old American game of 'draw' [poker] . . . Has served the class well in different capacities and is deservedly popular . . . A busy man, with hardly time to catch a smoke . . . A good athlete, but doesn't like to train . . . An all-around man and a good fellow.

The "good nature" and "good fellow" were probably the furthest deviation from the truth as some of his classmates saw "Spuds" Turner. Their present remembrance of an association of nearly 60 years ago may be summed up in the words:

I respected his strong character and his brain power, and his very marked abilities, but never liked him.73

A classmate, and the first officer in 1908 to attain the rank of Four Stars and as such to command a fleet in World War II, remarked regarding their Academy days.

Kelly Turner always wanted to be a leader, and probably aspired to be President of the Class of 1908. So whenever 1908 had a business meeting, he was always on his feet with suggestions to be made. Jack Shafroth was much the same.74

That Midshipman Turner could relax and be good natured and a good fellow when the occasion suggested it--is indicated by his service on the


Class Supper Committee and his giving the toast to "Athletics" on that wildly festive occasion.75

The good sense of the editor was shown when the Class of 1908 dedicated its Lucky Bag to Commander William Shepherd Benson, Head of the Department of Discipline, who was destined to be the first of an impressive line of Chiefs of Naval Operations. Commander Benson contributed these mellow words to the 1908 Lucky Bag:

We shall feel that our work has not been vain, if perchance it helps you of 1908 to realize the true worth of Friendship and the part it plays in the life of the Class, the Academy, and the Service.

First Class Year was a year which gave Midshipman Turner the feeling that even the minor cogs in the Navy have "to work their hearts out" to satisfy their superiors, and "to be happy with themselves."76

Midshipman Turner left Bancroft Hall and his four years as a midshipman with a good taste in his mouth.

And when our course is over
And we leave old Bancroft Hall
We'll go on leave a singing
It's a good world after all.77

A treasured keepsake of these four years included the following letter in long-hand:

My dear Mr. Turner

I acknowledge with hearty thanks your handsome gift of:

The Lucky Bag of 1908

It is most interesting and entertaining too.

If the handsome young faces carry out their indications, there are fine men in the Class, and our country will be the safer for them.

With heartfelt good wishes for you and for the "Class of 1908,"

I am faithfully yours,
George Dewey
May 27, 1908.

Instructors at the Naval Academy

From 1904 to 1908, instruction at the Naval Academy was primarily in the hands of naval officers, except in Mathematics and English which were


usually by civilian instructors. The over-all Academy ratio was roughly two officers to one civilian instructor.78 According to the Naval Academy Superintendent, due to the continual shortage of officers in the Navy, and the continual shortage of money to hire civilian instructors, "it has been necessary to avail ourselves of the services of the senior class as instructors in Mathematics, in Applied Mathematics, and in English."79

During the period when Midshipman Turner was at the Naval Academy, duty at that institution was considered highly desirable by the top flight officers of the "Line of the Navy." Such duty offered an excellent opportunity for the daily exercise of leadership qualities as well as providing an opportunity for professional study and personal broadening of technical competence. For example, during his three year duty at the Naval Academy, Ernie King read military history and naval history voraciously.80

More than a fair share of the heavy cream of the Line officers of the Navy of the ranks from lieutenant to commander were to be found at the Naval Academy. This is evidenced by the fact that during the period 1904-1908 a total of six future Chiefs of Naval Operations and/or future Commanders in Chief of the United States Fleet were on duty at the Naval Academy among the 58 to 65 Line officers instructing midshipmen in professional and cultural subjects and in the Command and Discipline Department.

Future Chiefs of Naval Operations were:

Future Commanders in Chief, United States Fleet were:

It also might be remarked that during this period there were from 58 to


65 Line officers instructing midshipmen in professional and cultural subjects and in the Command and Discipline Departments. The number of future Flag officers among the 58 to 65 Line officer instructors varied from 18 to 23, depending upon which of the years from 1904 to 1908 is chosen.83 Any naval command with a nucleus of from 30 percent to 40 percent potential Flag officers is fortunate indeed. This fact indicates the great importance attached 50 to 60 years ago to the training of midshipmen.

Victory at sea in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War can be attributed, in a considerable measure, in this writer's opinion, to the excellence of this fundamental schooling and training, and the high caliber of those managing and conducting these tasks.


On 30 March 1908, Midshipman Turner wrote his mother--then visiting his oldest brother, Izer Turner, teaching school at Lingayen, in the Philippines:

I have requested to be assigned to duty on the Colorado, an armored cruiser, now on the Pacific Coast. She is one of a squadron of eight ships and this squadron is expected to be sent to China in the Fall, so I'll probably be able to see you then, as they will visit Manila, of course.

*  *  *  *

I expect to have a final mark for the year of about 3.60, which will give me a mark for the course of about 3.47 with a standing either sixth or seventh. With that standing, I could probably get into the Construction Corps, but I prefer the Line.84

On 5 June 1908, Midshipman Turner was graduated, his diploma stating "with distinction," and was ordered, not to the Colorado and the Armored Cruiser Squadron of the Pacific Fleet, but to a smaller cruiser, the USS Milwaukee. The Milwaukee in the 3rd Division and the 2nd Squadron was a new 9,700-ton, 22-knot, protected cruiser officially designated as a "Cruiser, First Class" and one of the 25 cruisers and gunboats which together with 23 torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers, made up the United States Pacific Fleet, then under the command of Rear Admiral John H. Dayton, U.S. Navy. While the Milwaukee's protection of 5-inch armor was light, she fairly bristled with guns. Her main battery consisted of fourteen 6-inch


50-caliber guns; her secondary battery of eighteen 3-inch 50-caliber guns and twelve 3-pounders. This vast array of 44 topside guns caught the eye immediately. There was a promise of plenty for a young man with a first-rate mind and a strong body to learn and do. And it can be assumed that Captains Charles A. Gove and Charles C. ("Squinchy") Rogers, both of the Class of 1876, and both later Flag officers, were quite determined that the four or five past midshipmen in the Milwaukee's officer allowance would carry their share of the load.

Looking back on his four years at Annapolis, Admiral Turner said: "I liked the Naval Academy. Most of those in my class who didn't were young."85

Past Midshipman

In 1908, midshipmen successfully completing the course at the Naval Academy were ordered to sea duty in a semi-probationary status for two years before being eligible for a Presidential commission as ensigns in the United States Navy. They were officers in a qualified sense, were titled "Past Midshipman" and were subject to much rotation in their divisional assignments on board ship. They received continued close supervision in endless hard work, minor personal consideration, and tantalizingly small pay ($1,400.00 per year). Their rewards included a possible rearrangement of relative standing on the naval list with their classmates, based on performance of duty when promoted to ensign, denial of the normal ten percent increase of pay for officers serving at sea, and denial of permission to marry.

This last feature of a past midshipman's life was the most distasteful to Past Midshipman Turner. In his senior year at high school, he had fallen in love with a schoolmate, Harriet (Hattie) Sterling.86 "I love Hattie and I can't get used to the idea of staying away from her."87 This one real love of Richmond Kelly Turner's life was nurtured by separation for the first six years of his naval career, before marriage on 3 August 1910, in Stockton,


Midshipman Turner's first ship, USS Milwaukee. (Turner Collection)


California. He had hoped--very strongly--that marriage would come sooner. As early as the fall of 1906, Midshipman Turner had written:

"When I graduate, that is still nineteen months off, I think we will be commissioned ensigns instead of waiting a couple of years longer, and that means five or six hundred dollars a year difference."88

But Congress was slow to move on the recommendation of the Navy Department and the Class of 1908 served their two years as past midshipmen -- officers, but not commissioned officers.

Harriet Sterling, as her husband, was of pioneer California stock, her paternal grandmother having come to California in 1864 by way of the Isthmus of Panama, after her grandfather, John Calhoun Sterling, was killed in the Civil War. Harriet Sterling's maternal grandparents reached California in 1849 and 1852, William Henry Lyons via Cape Horn, Georgia Allen by wagon train.89

Harriet Turner brought one immediate change to her husband's life. She called him "Kelly" and the Navy soon followed suit. Her womanly reason--she didn't like the name "Richmond" or its shortened form Rich and detested his Lucky Bag nickname "Spuds."90 The latter nickname had been given Midshipman Turner reportedly because he had several mole growths on his face which looked like incipient potatoes.91

The First Years

Past Midshipman Turner served in four ships during his first year out of the Naval Academy, and it was not until he arrived in the roomy 13,680-ton armored cruiser West Virginia in July 1909, that the Bureau of Navigation let him stay long enough to really make his mark.

In 1908, the old Bureau of Navigation was in desperate straits for officers. The Great White Fleet of 16 battleships, the backbone of the Navy, and six torpedo boat destroyers had sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, in December 1907 for its record-breaking, flag-showing and muscle-flexing "Voyage Around the World." The ships of the Great While Fleet were manned by a full allowance of officers and men. Since the whole Navy was


under strength in officers, this left those ships not lucky enough to make the voyage less than just scrimpily officered. The Bureau kept robbing Peter to pay Paul. The Milwaukee with an approved complement of 36 officers on commissioning 11 May 1906, and officered by nine commissioned line officers, seven past midshipmen, and nine staff and warrant officers when the Great White Fleet shoved off, was brought down to six commissioned line officers, four past midshipmen, and nine staff and warrant officers during 1908.92

During this first year, and after spending four months in the Milwaukee, Past Midshipman Turner happily served for seven weeks in the 270-ton harbor tug Active (YT-14) at the Mare Island Navy Yard. Here, he was reasonably close to Stockton and the love of his life. Then he was bounced back to the Milwaukee for a short month and in January 1909 was assigned for six months to the Preble (DD-12), one of the 16 original torpedo boat destroyers of about 480 tons authorized by the Congress during the Spanish American War, and whose keel had been laid down way back in April 1899.

Duty in the Milwaukee was mainly as a Junior Division Officer and as Junior Watch Officer, within an ever decreasing number of Line officers and past midshipmen. Under the principle of rotation of duties, Past Midshipman Turner served in the Gunnery Department under Gunnery Officer, Lieutenant Edward B. (Dad) Fenner, later a Flag officer, and then for three months as First Assistant Engineer in the Engineering Department under Lieutenant Earl P. Jessop. With the exception of his three "additional duty" engineering assignments in the Navy's early torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers, and one month in the West Virginia as Second Assistant, this was his only real engineering detail in almost 40 years of active duty. He enjoyed engineering duty but even more, he enjoyed working with Navy guns, whether they were small, medium or large, but he particularly enjoyed his life in the Navy with the big guns.93

Duty in the harbor tug Active was in the combined billets of Executive Officer, Senior Engineer, and Navigator; and in the Preble and Davis in the combined billets of Executive Officer and Engineer Officer.

In July 1909, Past Midshipman Turner commenced a three-year cruise in the Armored Cruiser Squadron, about which the old song went:

Here's to the cruisers of the Fleet
So goldurn fast, they're hard to beat,


The battleships, they may be fine,
But me for a cruiser every time.

The officers are a bunch of drunks.
They keep their white clothes in their trunks.
They stand their watches in their bunks.
In the Armored Cruiser Squadron.

Ensign Turner and his niece aboard USS West Virginia
(NH 69098)

In the period of our Navy when there was a touch of truth as well as a touch of poetry in this doggerel, Past Midshipman Turner and then Ensign Turner stood out as one of the low powered beacon lights, in the Armored Cruiser Squadron and in the good ship West Virginia.


In a Navy that was officially wet, and unofficially dripping in spots, he drank hard liquor very sparingly, he worked unceasingly, he had brains and applied them, and he kept his eye on the true gunnery target -- progress of the Navy.

In a period of our Navy's long history, when there was no selection for promotion to any rank, when seniors were apt to spread the cold truth and nothing but the truth on officers' semi-annual fitness reports, when ship's companies were small, and every officer was well known to his captain, the fitness reports of this young officer; while lacking the whipped cream topping of the fitness reports of the ensigns of the 1960's, were indicative of the Navy's best young officers of any year or age.

[1] A thoroughly good man and excellent officer, steady and reliable. [2] Even tempered, energetic, active and painstaking. [3] Exceptionally able and efficient.94

As a makee learn officer, he was a captain's dream of what a young officer should have -- interest, brains, and a willingness to work.

I haven't told you about my new guns. . . . There was a new deal . . . my six 3-inch [guns] were taken away and I got four 6-inch in their place. . . . I consider myself extremely lucky, as there isn't another midshipman in the Fleet, if indeed there is in the entire Navy, with so important a battery.95 I'll have to get a little sleep as I have averaged not more than five or six hours a day for a couple of weeks.96

Everyday since we left the Golden Gate has been one brim full of interest and hard work.97

The Armored Cruiser Squadron, like the "Cruising, boozing boys of SUBDIVNINE" (Submarine Division Nine) was always on the move. In September 1909, they headed for New Guinea, but more particularly for the Admiralty Islands, part of the Bismarck Archipelago about 400 miles northwest of the Solomons. According to Kelly:

The trip down to Admiralty Islands was more in the nature of a reconnaissance than anything else. Strictly on the q.t., the United States Government is on the lookout for more coaling stations in this part of the world, and those islands seem to promise well, if we can only buy them from Germany, which I doubt very much.

The Intelligence Board of the Fleet, of which I am, or was, one of the assistants, gathered a lot of information without letting the trader there know


anything about it, and some of us made a very complete chart of the harbor [Nares in Western Manus Island], a thing that had never been done before. We were four days making it, all of which were spent out in a small steam launch, unprotected from the heat. And let me tell you it gets hot down there, right underneath the sun. [Latitude 2 ° South]98

Later he wrote:

Since leaving Honolulu, except for one day in Manila, I have spent every bit of time on board ship, doing nothing but stand my watches and work on my guns. It has been mighty interesting, too, I can tell you, though, hard and tedious work as the guns on this ship are old and have to have a lot of doctoring to get results from them. But as it was my first target practice [as a Gun Division Officer] and as I have a lot to learn about guns, I haven't minded a bit . . . even over losing about fifteen pounds in weight since leaving the States. . . . Tomorrow we put to sea and fire at a moving target exactly the same conditions that we would have in battle. . . . We stood first in night practice out of all the ships in the Navy, and we are hoping to do as well tomorrow.99

Visiting Japan

The visit of the Great White Fleet to Japan in October 1908 had been a great personal triumph for President Theodore Roosevelt's "Walk softly and carry a big stick" diplomacy, since as one historian points out:

The visit was undoubtedly successful in creating great good will and in quieting talk of war between the two countries.100

In January 1910, Rear Admiral Uriel Sebree, U.S. Navy (Class of 1867), brought the Armored Cruiser Squadron of the Pacific Fleet to Japan for a further good will visit. From the depths of the West Virginia steerage, Past Midshipman Turner observed:

I didn't go ashore very much as I am studying for my exams. . . . Nagasaki was very pleasant, climate good, and the people very pleasant to us. . . . The Japanese are a really civilized people.101

There were times in the years ahead, when he might have wished to question this last judgment.


Promotion to Ensign

When promoted to ensign in June 1910, Past Midshipman Turner retained his relative standing of number 5 in the Class of 1908. The Naval Examining Board, wrestling with the records of 178 past midshipmen, shuffled the precedence of the bottom half of the Class of 1908 considerably. In the top half, fewer and less drastic changes were made, the earliest rearrangement shifting graduate number 12 ahead of graduate number 11.102

However, in another four years Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner would become the number one Line officer in the Class of 1908 in the Naval Register -- when one officer senior to him resigned his commission and the other three Line officers his senior transferred to the Naval Construction Corps.

Two hundred of the Class of 1908 received diplomas of graduation. Six resigned at graduation time and 13 had resigned as past midshipmen. Three had been dismissed from the Naval Service and 178 were promoted to ensign,

Kelly Turner and his bride-to-be, 1910. (NH 69097)


although three, due to general courts martial, were in markedly inferior positions on the Lineal List of the Line of the Navy.103

His marriage in early August 1910 increased Ensign Turner's financial problems with only a small measure of surcease from the larger pay check his commissioned rank carried. His pay now totaled $170 per month as an ensign on sea duty with over five years' total naval service.

Navy Pay

Just before Midshipman Turner graduated, the Congress on 13 May 1908, had been pleased to grant a very small increase of pay to a limited portion of the Naval Service, the first pay increase since 1 July 1899. The new pay law increased the pay of Midshipman Turner from $500 to $600 per year, of Past Midshipman Turner from $950 to $1,400 per year, and of Ensign Turner from $1,400 to $1,700 per year. The past midshipmen were judged to have been extremely fortunate, since commanders and captains at sea continued to draw for another 12 years the same meager base pay as they had under the old 1899 pay bill.

Richmond Kelly Turner was raised in frugal circumstances. He had a sound appreciation of the value of money, including the dollars of the United States government. For example, in December 1898, he wrote to his Father:

I have a position carrying papers at $3 a month. Saturday, I bought a hat $1.85, two shirts @$.50, and [spent] $.45 on the trip to and around San Francisco.

I send a little Christmas present which I hope you will enjoy.104

He early learned the availability and uses of credit by the officers and gentlemen of the Naval Service.

I had to put off paying for Hattie's present, but that's all right, as I got her a better one than if I'd paid cash.105

But, on his first visit to Japan after buying a bolt of white silk for his prospective bride's dress, he wrote:

It makes me mad clear through to see so many nice things to buy, without the wherewithal to purchase.106


On his second visit to the island of Hawaii and a year after marriage, the pangs of the pocketbook were still with him, as he remarked:

I shan't go up to Kilauea, the volcano which is rather more active now than usually, as the trip costs about six dollars and I can't spare the money.107

Each of his 1909 to 1911 letters available have some mention of financial problems. Nevertheless, his concern in regard to these never matched his pleasure over career successes in the Navy, and did not approach his concern over the care and happiness of his wife, who closely balanced the Navy as his main source for continued happy living.

Hawaii--Pearl Harbor, 1911

The Navy continued to satisfy the Turner clan's basic need to be on the move.

The West Virginia continued to cruise about the Pacific Ocean; the Navy continued to use the Naval Academy marking system where 4.0 was the mark for perfection; and Ensign Turner continued to receive 3.8's, 3.9's, and 4.0's and complimentary remarks from his Commanding Officers in his fitness reports.

In late 1911, the West Virginia, as part of the Armored Cruiser Squadron, took part in the ceremonies in connection with the first opening of what was to become Ten-Ten Drydock, the 1,010-foot drydock at Pearl Harbor.

The California officially opened Pearl Harbor the other day, and Prince Kalianaole [sic] gave a brief luau, or barbecue in honor of the guests. There were all kinds of native chow and stuff to eat, and the old Queen Lilianokealaui [sic] was there. She still maintains her old court and sat on a sort of throne in a pergola, with an attendant waving one of those big tassel fans, that you see in Egyptian pictures, over her, and surrounded by her court, a Chamberlain and Ladies and Gentlemen in Waiting, armed with guitars and ukuleles. She is over seventy and a toothless, fat old thing.108

Torpedo Boat Destroyers

On 12 June 1912, Ensign Turner having arrived in the West Virginia from a torpedo boat destroyer was detached to duty in a torpedo boat


destroyer. Ensign Turner had requested duty in "one of the ships of the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla" on 19 September 1911.109

During this period, 1908-1913, in the life of a developing and growing Navy, torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers had considerable allure for young officers. These small, cramped, and speedy crafts (22-29 knots) offered the opportunity to officers in their first five years of seagoing duty to be heads of departments and commanding officers -- instead of far down on the totem pole of major shipboard responsibility. Past Midshipman Turner served six months in the Preble (TBD-12) in 1909. Ensign Turner in March and April 1912 served in the diminutive 155-ton Davis (TB-12) in a temporary duty status. Commencing in June 1912 he served a year as Executive Officer and, at the end of his sea cruise, and, for a brief nine weeks, in command of the much larger Stewart (TBD-13).110

The Davis was only 50 paces (148 feet) long and had but 1,750 horsepower in her Lilliputian engines to provide her with 23 knots. The Preble and Stewart were a hundred feet longer, displaced 420 tons and needed all their 7,000 horsepower to make 28-29 knots. The torpedo boats normally had an ensign and a past midshipman aboard while the larger torpedo boat destroyers required two commissioned officers and one past midshipman to keep them operating now and then.

It was during this 1912-1913 period the Ensign Turner's fitness reports showed that his eyes and interests had begun to turn to the broader aspects of a naval officer's self-training. He wrote: "I have read books by Mahan, Darriens, Knapp, and Logan."111

Gradually over the next few years Ensign Turner read all of Mahan's main works and listed this fact in the appropriate place in his fitness report. His commanding officers in the torpedo boat destroyers, only a class or two senior to him, were duly impressed and continued to sprinkle a generous quota of 4.0's on his fitness reports and always reported him "forceful, active, and painstaking." three useful characteristics for the naval officer.

Making s Service Reputation 1913-1925

The 12 years from 1913 to 1925 saw lieutenant (junior grade) Turner


acquire an excellent "Service reputation" and the three stripes of a commander. There was some very thin ice which he barely and luckily got over, while serving on a staff and while in command of a destroyer. Breaking through thin ice in the Navy during this period was not only dangerous, it was darn likely to be fatal. For during this period, the Navy, many years in advance of the Army, fostered and adapted the selective system of promotion for all grades above the rank of lieutenant commander.

As Fleet Admiral King wrote, the 1916 Selection Law had

an immediate effect on the Service, for until that time longevity had been the yardstick by which naval officers reached high command. The matter of selecting only the best, and eliminating the others, had been discussed throughout the Navy for some years.112

Since all seagoing Line officers had the same basic education, and the same fundamentals of military character acquired at the Naval Academy, it was obvious that to "be amongst the best" for future selection, it was necessary, at the minimum, to acquire further education and to use it to the maximum. This Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner set about doing.113

The Navy had for many years required its officers to take broad gauge professional examinations upon each promotion to a higher grade. These tough examinations were highly effective in self education and in keeping all seagoing Line officers up to date in all professional aspects of their complex careers. The professional examinations covered such fringe matters as international law and military law, as well as the basic professional requirements of theoretical navigation. practical navigation, electrical engineering, steam engineering, seamanship, ordnance, and gunnery.

But in addition to this self education, postgraduate instruction was open to an outstanding few in the Bureaus and at Navy Yards. The establishment of the Naval Postgraduate School in 1912 at the Naval Academy greatly expanded the opportunity for further formal education of young officers. After one year of intensive study at Annapolis, the students were sent on to Harvard, Columbia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, or the University of Michigan for their master's degree in mechanical, electrical, diesel, radio, chemical, or various aspects of ordnance engineering.


Promotion to Junior Lieutenant

In June 1913, Ensign Turner passed his examinations and became one of the 150 junior lieutenants from the Class of 1908 commissioned in the Navy. Fourteen of his classmates had resigned their naval commissions while ensigns; three had been retired because of physical disability; one had been dismissed; and one had unhappily run away from the Navy and been declared a deserter. However, the Line of the Class of 1908 in the Navy had suffered further losses. Two classmates transferred to the Marine Corps, two to the Civil Engineer Corps, one to the Mathematics Corps, one to the Supply Corps and the three who stood number 1, 2, and 3 upon graduation transferred to the Construction Corps. Out of two hundred graduates, in five short years, only 75 percent remained in the Line.

On 1 January 1908, there were but 1,270 Line officers in the Navy including 307 past midshipmen. Only 84 of these were captains, and besides Admiral George Dewey there were no more than twenty other Flag officers. By 1 January 1913 the total number of Line officers had increased to 1,708.114 During the interim, Past Midshipman Turner had been examined and promoted to ensign on 6 June 1910. He was promoted to junior lieutenant on 6 June 1913.

Acquiring a first flight service reputation with these 105 important people in the Navy, the captains and Flag officers, depended upon doing something worthwhile where they could see or hear about it. This could be accomplished in the Navy-wide Gunnery Competition or in the Engineering Competition which had been started in the Navy in 1902 and in 1907, respectively. It could be accomplished in command of a ship. It could be accomplished on the staff of a Flag officer. It had to be accomplished where the greatest number of officers were stationed -- that is, in the Fleet. Shore duty was a place where you prepared yourself for more effective duty afloat and got away from as soon as possible. You could lose your reputation ashore, but you could not make it there. Unless under instruction, shore duty was something you enjoyed and swept under the rug and forgot about.

To illustrate how small the number of officers was on shore duty, in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations on 1 January 1916, there were only 39 Line officers; in the Bureau of Navigation, 11 Line officers; and in the Bureau of Ordnance, 14 officers. yet the Navy had 1,984 Line officers.115


Shore Duty and Love

Ensign Turner twice was applicant for postgraduate work at the School of Marine Engineering while in the West Virginia. As hoped for by him:

I have a bare chance to get something pretty good this Fall and we want to be ready. I have a chance to get detailed to the School of marine Engineering, a graduate school held at Annapolis. And is it is for two years, and all of it ashore, naturally we are anxious to go if possible. Then after that, if I do well enough, after one more cruise at sea, I may be able to get the detail permanently and never go to sea again. It is something that I am very much interested in, and I am getting to the point where I am tired of being a sort of parasite, but want to do something real; I want to have a part in the real progress of the world, to have my work more constructive than destructive, as it is now.116

Ensign Turner buttered his second request for postgraduate engineering instruction with a statement that he had had 13 months and 15 days of engineering duty in his four years since graduation, and with commmendatory letters from his Commanding Officer and other officers served with in the West Virginia, Preble, Milwaukee, and Active.

This yen for perpetual shore duty under the guise of being an engineer, unfortunately for the Japanese , did not live much beyond the honeymoon period.

The first of his 1908 classmates, Harry B. Hird, the "five striper" at the Naval Academy, to be ordered to the Postgraduate School was ordered in 1912 for instruction in marine engineering, and became an "engineering duty only" officer. Ensign Turner was not so ordered. Perhaps the Bureau was influenced by what one of the officers, Lieutenant Commander E.P. Jessop, U.S. Navy, wrote in regard to Ensign Turner:

From watching the Engineering Class at the Academy for two years, I find that about twenty percent of them applied for it because they desired to make themselves better officers for the Service, the remainder because they could put themselves in a position to escape watchstanding, get shore duty out of turn, or expecting to get additional education at the expense of the Government and then resign.

He had read Ensign Turner's mind -- but in balance he added:

You could not make a better choice than Turner. He is bright, and has good executive ability naturally and is industrious, all of which qualities, I consider essential.117


Ensign Turner in landing force uniform. (NH 69099)

Postgraduate Instruction

Past Midshipman Turner had dreamed about having his first shore duty in Hawaii:

When the time comes for my first shore duty I am surely going to ask to be sent to the place [Honolulu] because then, when Hattie and I are married, I can conceive of no more beautiful place to spend two honeymoon years.118


Ensign Turner had dreamed again about having shore duty before his initial five years' sea service was completed, and particularly he had dreamed about it in January 1911, and in May 1912, when he officially requested shore duty via the postgraduate route. However, it was not until 30 September 1913, that Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner with five years of sea service and watchstanding under his belt, reported into the Naval Academy for postgraduate instruction in Ordnance. Three years later, and after several disturbing sea duty interruptions, he had his postgraduate degree, and was headed for a job in the Gunnery Department of the Flagship of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, the good ship Pennsylvania. However, the interruptions at sea gave him his first amphibious training, since he had been a midshipman.

In the fall of 1913, there were 13 of the Class of 1908 and one officer who had come up from the ranks in the "Under Instruction, Naval Academy" category. Ten of Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner's classmates came from the first 15 percent of the 1908 graduating class. Four were taking the postgraduate courses in Ordnance, the rest in Engineering or Electrical Engineering. The competition was bound to be intelligent, determined, and tough.119

Lieutenant (jg) Turner almost didn't stay at postgraduate instruction. The Bureau of Navigation, having in August 1913 ordered him to postgraduate duty, five months later, discovered that he had not signed an "Agreement of Post Graduate students to serve eight years in the Navy." So the Bureau sent him the form to sign.

Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner bounced it back with the following letter:

1. Returned herewith unsigned is Enclosure (A) transmitted to me with Bureau's letter above referred to.

2. This agreement is unsigned for the following reasons: that I was ordered to the Post Graduate Course without having requested the assignment, and did not at the time know of the existence of the agreement nor that its projection was contemplated; that I believe the agreement should be presented at the time of issuing orders to this duty and an opportunity be given for a free decision at that time without detriment to the officer concerned, instead of at this time when several months have been spent in the course with no knowledge of the existence of the agreement; that while I have every intention never to leave the Navy, I desire not to engage unqualifiedly to remain in the Navy. . . .120

The Bureau could easily have judged this letter harshly and bounced its author to the Asiatic Station, since the other three Ordnance students signed


it. But instead, the Bureau of Navigation showed compassion and with a soft answer signed by "Victor Blue, from South Carolina too," the 48-year-old Chief of Bureau, accepted Turner's substitute statement that he had "every desire to remain in the Navy my whole life" and intended "to continue my service in the Navy of the United States for a period of at least eight (8) years."

To the Caribbean

The first six months of postgraduate education flowed smoothly otherwise, until all of a sudden on 24 April 1914, Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner was detached by commercial telegram to sea duty in the 1,000-ton, 1,100-horsepower Marietta.

The years 1913 to 1916 were years of revolution and counter revolution in the Dominican Republic, and of United States involvement in the safety of United States lives and property investment resulting therefrom. Provisional President Jose Bordas of the Dominican Republic, in office since 13 April for a term "no longer than one year," refused to step down at the end of his provisional term, and a new and strongly supported revolution against him broke out, augmenting the small revolution proclaimed on 1 September 1913, over his sale of control of the National Railways.121

The good gunboat Marietta was part of the Cruiser Squadron, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, under Rear Admiral William B. Caperton, U.S. Navy, which the Navy Department made available to support the State Department's "Gunboat Diplomacy" in Santo Domingo in April 1914.

The only major trouble with the Marietta was that she was in that nebulous condition labeled "in reserve" and assigned to training the New Jersey Naval Militia with only one officer, a chief boatswain, on board. Her state of war readiness, in mid-April 1914 thus was questionable. The Bureau of Navigation, in 1914, as in other years of sudden demands for officers, stripped the Postgraduate School to officer the Marietta and additional ships needed for Santo Domingo, noting that "there are only 329 officers on shore duty other than Postgraduate School and War College."122

Lieutenants (junior grade) Turner and H. Thomas Markland, the latter also an ordnance student, were sent to the Marietta post haste. They brought


the total of commissioned officers to six, and Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner was the Gunnery Officer of the six 4-inch guns with which the ship was armed. Besides being given additional duty as Paymaster for the ship, when the Paymaster had to be hospitalized ashore, Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner was the Landing Force Officer.

The Marietta in August 1914, was at San Pedro de Macoris -- a seaport on the southeast coast of the island and about 40 miles east of the capital city, called Santo Domingo in 1914. On the beach the government forces and the rebels were maneuvering for advantage. Lieutenant Turner took quick action. He reported that:

On [2 August 2, 1914] at about 3:20 p.m., an engagement having commenced between the government forces and the revolutionists, I left this ship . . . in charge of a Landing Force [totaling 50] consisting of one infantry section of twenty six men, and one officer, Ensign H.V. McCabe, seventeen men with two Colt's Automatic Machine Rifles, three signalmen, three pioneers, two men forming an ammunition party and a medical party of one hospital steward and two stretchermen in the charge of Assistant

Lieutenant (jg) Turner at San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, August 1914
(NH 69102)


Surgeon T.A. Fortescue. This force at once occupied the northwest corner of the cement walled enclosure belonging to the Santa Fe Sugar Company in which were gathered about one thousand refugees. . . . I established outposts . . . no armed forces were within the neutral zone when the landing occurred, and none attempted to enter until about 3:30 the next morning. . . .

The firing between the two forces continued briskly for about an hour and a half, many rifle bullets passing over or falling within the neutral zone. . . . There was one casualty. . . . Firing continued intermittently until moonset, at 3:00 a.m., when it increased for about an hour, and then gradually died away. . . .

*  *  *  *  *

Occasional shots only were fired in town during the day. . . . The refugees were very much pleased that we were there; government troops with whom we came in contact were uniformly courteous.

The Landing Force returned to the ship at 7:10 p.m. August 3rd.123

The rest of the story is told in the fitness report entry of Commander W. Pitt Scott, U.S. Navy:

Marietta Landing Force under command of Lieutenant Turner was landed to enforce respect for a neutral zone by the Government Forces and the rebels during an attack by the rebels on San Pedro de Macoris, the rebels having previously refused to agree to respect such a zone. This duty continuing on the 2nd and 3rd of August was performed by Lieutenant Turner in a highly credible manner and was entirely successful in its purpose.124

At least as much to the point were the eleven 4.0's in the Fitness Report.

During this period, his mother wrote a letter to President Woodrow Wilson, on 23 July 1914, protesting her son's detachment from postgraduate instruction and sending him to the miniature war. Mrs. Turner addressed the letter to he President because she believed the President was one

who considers no matter too small for his careful attention.125

The Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, signed the pleasant refusal of the request:

I regret it would not be practicable to relieve him now.126

But, at the end of 1914, with the trouble in the Dominican Republic settled, temporarily at least, the Marietta came back to the United States and


soon thereafter, Lieutenant (junior grade) Turner and Markland returned to the calm of their text books and instruction courses.127

During this postgraduate period, Turner wrote an article published in the 20 May 1916 Scientific American titled, "The Size of Naval Guns: Are Twelve 14-inch or Eight 17-inch Guns to be Preferred?" Turner set forth the problem, explored it, and analyzed it, and without definitely saying so, seemed to favor the larger guns. Another article titled "Classes of Naval Guns" is marked "submitted to several magazines but refused."

Within this same period of study and learning, Turner read papers or gave lectures before the student officers on Terrestrial Magnetism, Principles of Gun Construction, The Chemistry of Smoky Powders, and Optical Instruments and Appliances.

He was busy as a bee and liking it.128


Table of Contents  *  Next Chapter (2)


1. Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service Bulletin; 28 February 1945.

2. Information on the Turner Clan from:
(a) James Turner's Bible (oldest son of John Turner); (b) John Turner's Bible from his children. Presented on his 73rd birthday 27 October 1873 (second son of John Turner); (c) B.I. Griswold, History of Fort Wayne, Indiana (1917); (d) Turner Family Magazine, January 1916; (3) Records of Caroline County, Maryland; (f) Newspaper clippings, 24 November 1879 to 19 October 1932, from various California and Ohio newspapers; (g) History of the Turner Clan as compiled by Richmond Kelly Turner; (h) Interviews with and letters of Miss L. Lucile Turner, Carmel, California, 1961-1963. Hereafter Miss L. Turner.

3. Born Talbot County, Maryland, 27 October 1800; married Mary Bodfield, 27 August 1821.

4. 3 March 1863, French Camp, California, 3 miles west of Turner, California.

5. Born 15 March 1847. Died Anaheim, California, 13 October 1918.

6. 22 December 1891, Woodville, Tulare County, California.

7. 18 October 1932, Turner's Station, California.

8. 16 November 1923, San Diego, California. Buried Parkview Cemetery, Stockton, California.

9. Interviews with Admiral Richard K. Turner, USN (Ret.), Monterey, California, Mar. 1960. Hereafter Turner.

10. Information on the Kelly clan is from:
(a)Pennsylvania Archives, 5th series. Vols II and IV; (b) Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of South-West Virginia, 1790-1800 (Abingdon, Virginia: By the author, 1929), pp. 91, 373, 379, 384; (c) James P. Haltigan, The Irish in the American Revolution and Their Early Influence in the Colonies (Washington, D.C.: By the author, 1908); (d) Laura Francis Kelly Turner, Pamphlet (Portland, Oregon: By the author, 1901). Mrs. Turner, the Admiral's mother, was interested in genealogy. Early dates in her pamphlet were based on inquiries made and data collected during a visit east in 1882.

11. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. XII, p. 610.

12. Born Clifty Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky, 15 June 1808.

13. Now bounded by East 25th, East 42nd, Hogate and Division, East Portland.

14. Powell Blvd. and 40th Avenue, East Portland.

15. Launched 31 July 1943.

16. Turner; Miss L. Turner.

17. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. XIX, p. 293.

18. Turner.

19. Family letters 1898-1940 (Miss L. Turner). Earliest letter dated 20 Nov. 1898 to "Dear Old Mama" (RKT then aged 13).

20. Turner.

21. San Francisco Examiner, 1943; Miss L. Turner.

22. Turner.

23. Ibid.

24. U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1901-1902, 1903-1904, 1905-1906, 1906-1907.

25. Ibid.

26. Turner.

27. (a) U.S. Navy Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy for the Year 1904 (hereafter SECNAV, Annual Report) (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1904), p. 43, Captain Willard H. Brownson, USN, June 6, 1904 to Chief of the Bureau of Navigation in Report of Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, 1904 (hereafter CHBUNAV, Annual Report). (b) Lucky Bag (Naval Academy Graduating Class Book), 1908, p. 171.

28. SECNAV, Annual Report, 1904, p. 3.

29. U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1890-1891, 1904-1905.

30. Ships of the United States Navy were painted white.

31. Turner.

32. SECNAV, Annual Report, 1904, p. 18.

33. CHBUNAV, Annual Report, Encl. H-2, p. 72 in SECNAV Annual Report, 1904. Commander Caribbean Squadron, Rear Admiral C.D. Sigsbee, USN.

34. (a)Ibid., pp. 5-7; (b) SECNAV, Annual Report, pp. 8, 9, 15, 18.

35. Lucky Bag, 1906, pp. 224, 225.

36. Ibid., 1905, pp. 102, 125; Ibid., 1907, p. 107.

37. (a) Naval Academy Registers; (b) Turner.

38. (a) Superintendent of the Naval Academy, Annual Report, p. 43 in CHBUNAV, Annual Report, 1904; (b) Ibid., p. 445 in SECNAV, Annual Report, 1905; (c) RKT to Mother, letter, 7 Jan 1906. "One time last year I did the sixteenth 342 times."

39. Ibid.

40. (a) CHBUNAV, Annual Report, p. 445 in SECNAV, Annual Report, 1905; (b) Lucky Bag, 1905.

41. U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1905-1906.

42. Ibid.

43. Lucky Bag, 1905, pp. 127, 146.

44. (a) U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1905-1906; (b) RKT to Mother, letter, 4 Jun 1905.

45. Lucky Bag, 1907, p. 164; Ibid., 1908, p. 276.

46. Ibid., 1906, p. 78.

47. Ernest J. King and Walter M. Walker, Fleet Admiral King, A Naval Record (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1952), p. 73. Hereafter King's Record. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

48. Interview with Admiral J.O. Richardson, USN, Class of 1902, U.S. Naval Academy, December 1961. Hereafter Richardson. The USS Chesapeake, a steel hulled square rigger, was a training ship for midshipmen. Renamed USS Severn.

49. U.S. Naval History Division, Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. I (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1959), p. 203.

50. (a) Turner; (b) RKT to Mother, letter, 4 Jun 1905.

51. (a) Lucky Bag, 1908, p. 274; (b) RKT to Mother, letter, 7 Jan 1906.

52. SECNAV, Annual Report, 1904, p. 4.

53. Ibid., 1905, pp. 23, 25.

54. Ibid., 1905, p. 10.

55. Basic pay with allowances for a first class seaman with four years total service was $21 per month versus $246 per month today; watch and watch was normal seven days a week routine; Captain's weekly personnel inspection was held Sunday morning.

56. U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1907-1907. Those attaining an average of 85 percent wore stars on the collar of their uniform.

57. Dictionary of American Fighting Ships, Vol. I, pp. 203-222.

58. Lucky Bag, 1907.

59. (a) Lucky Bag, 1907; and 1908, pp. 277-78; (b) RKT to Mother, letter, 18 Oct 1806; (c) Turner.

60. Lucky Bag, 1907, p. 197; Ibid., 1908, pp. 275, 277.

61. RKT to Mother, letter, 8 Nov 1906.

62. RKT to Mother, letter, 14 Oct 1906.

63. RKT to Mother, letter, 18 Oct 1906.

64. (a) Turner; (b) Naval Register, 1908.

65. Lucky Bag, 1908, p. 279.

66. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol. I, pp. 189-91, 203, 207. Naval Act of 5 Aug 1882, Naval Act of 3 Mar 1885, Naval Act of 3 Aug 1886, Naval Act of 19 Jul 1892, Naval Act of 2 Mar 1895, and Naval Act of 4 May 1898.

67. Turner.

68. Member Class of 1910 to GCD (the author), letter, 24 Feb 1962.

69. Turner.

70. U.S. Naval Register, 1939, 1943; U.S. Naval Academy Register, 1908.

71. Piersel, now Commander, USNR (Ret.).

72. Turner.

73. Interviews with three of eight members of Class of 1908, 1961, 1962, 1963.

74. (a) Interview with Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, USN (Ret.) 20 May 1963. Hereafter Kinkaid; (b) Vice Admiral J.F. Shafroth, graduated number 80 in the Class of 1908.

75. Lucky Bag, 1908.

76. Turner.

77. Lucky Bag, 1908, p. 279.

78. Naval Academy Register, 1904-1908.

79. CHBUNAV, Annual Report, p. 45 in SECNAV, Annual Report, 1904.

80. King's Record, p. 74.

81. Held CNO Office subsequently to that of CINCUS.

82. Held combined office and title, Commander in Chief United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.

83. U.S. Naval Academy Registers, 1904-1908; U.S. Naval Registers, 1908-1936.

84. RKT to Mother, letter, 30 Mar 1908.

85. Turner.

86. Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Calhoun Sterling, born Carmanche, Calaveras County, California, 9 May 1888; RKT to GCD, letter, 4 Nov 1960.

87. RKT to Mother, letter, 16 Nov 1908. On 4 June 1905 he had reported to his mother having taken to the June Ball a "Miss Ethel Naylor of Baltimore, a perfect beauty with the most wonderful eyes."

88. RKT to Mother, letter, 18 Oct 1906.

89. (a) Interview with Mrs. Harriet S. Turner, March 1960. Hereafter Mrs. Turner; (b) Miss L. Turner.

90. Mrs. Turner.

91. Interview with James M. Doyle (Class of 1909), classmate for two years, Jan 1964.

92. Naval Registers, 1907, 1908, 1909.

93. (a) Turner; (b) RKT to Mother, letter, 8 Nov 1909.

94. Extracts from fitness reports, USS West Virginia.

95. RKT to Mother, letter, 3 Oct 1909.

96. RKT to Mother, letter 28 Nov 1909.

97. RKT to Mother, letter, 3 Oct 1909.

98. RKT to Mother, letter, 28 Nov 1909.

99. RKT to Mother, letter from Olongapo, P.I., undated.

100. Dudley W. Knox, A History of the United States Navy (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1947), p. 378.

101. RKT to Mother, letter from Yokohama, Japan, 17 Jan 1910.

102. Naval Register, 1911.

103. Ibid., 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911.

104. RKT to Papa, letter, 26 Dec 1898.

105. RKT to Mother, letter, 7 Jan 1906.

106. RKT to Mother, letter, 17 Jan 1910.

107. RKT to Mother, letter, 15 Dec 1911.

108. RKT to Mother, letter, 15 Dec 1911.

109. CHBUNAV, letter 6312-15, 3 Oct 1911.

110. (a)BUNAV Orders, 6312-19, 21 Mar 1912 and 6322-19, 11 Jun 1912; (b) SECNAV, N-31-H, 29 Jul 1913.

111. Fitness Reports, 1912, 1913.

112. King's Record, p. 103. Reprinted by permission of W.W. Norton & Co., Inc.

113. The Naval Register, 1914, lists 34 officers who had completed postgraduate courses in ordnance and 23 who had completed postgraduate courses in engineering, beginning with graduates of the Class of 1898.

114. Naval Registers, 1908, 1913.

115. Naval Register, 1 Jan 1916.

116.\ (a) RKT to Mother, letter, 3 Jun 1911; (b) RKT to SECNAV, official letters requesting assignment to School of Marine Engineering, 27 Jan 1911 and 28 May 1912.

117. RKT, Official Record.

118. RKT to Mother, letter from Honolulu, T.H., 3 Oct 1909.

119. Naval Register, 1 Jan 1914.

120. BUNAV letter 25545/145D of 6 Mar 1914 and RKT reply.

121. Sumner Welles, Naboth's Vineyard, Vol. II (New York: Payson and Clark, LTD, 1928), chs. XI-XIII.

122. CHBUNAV, Annual Report, 1914, p. 146.

123. Report of Lieutenant (junior grade) R.K. Turner to Commanding Officer, USS Marietta, Aug 4 1914.

124. (a) RKT Fitness Report, 9/30/14; (b) San Pedro de Macoris is on the south coast of Dominican Republic, 50 miles east of Santo Dominico.

125. Letter in RKT official personnel file.

126. Copy of SECNAV letter in RKT official personnel file.

127. 26 January 1915.

128. Turner.