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Richmond Kelly Turner
May 27, 1885(1885-05-27) – February 12, 1961 (aged 75)
Richmond K. Turner.jpg
Nickname "Terrible" Turner
Place of birth Portland, Oregon
Place of death Monterey, California
Resting place Golden Gate National Cemetery
San Bruno, California
Allegiance United States of America of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1904 - 1947
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held USS Mervine (DD-322)
USS Jason (AC-12)
Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet
USS Saratoga (CV-3)
USS Astoria (CA-34)
Director of the War Plans Division
Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief
Commander, Fifth Amphibious Force
Commander Amphibious Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Battles/wars World War II
*Guadalcanal Campaign
*Battle of Savo Island
*Solomon Islands campaign
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner (May 27, 1885 – February 12, 1961) served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Contents

Early life and career

Richmond Turner was born in Portland, Oregon on May 27, 1885. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from California in 1904. He graduated in June 1908 and served in several ships over the next four years.

In 1913, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Turner briefly held command of the destroyer USS Stewart. After receiving instruction in ordnance engineering and service on board the gunboat Marietta, he was assigned to the battleships Pennsylvania, Michigan and Mississippi during 1916-19. From 1919 to 1922, Lieutenant Commander Turner was an Ordnance Officer at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. He then was Gunnery Officer of the battleship California, Fleet Gunnery Officer on the Staff of Commander Scouting Fleet and Commanding Officer of the destroyer Mervine.

Following promotion to the rank of Commander in 1925, Turner served with the Bureau of Ordnance at the Navy Department. In 1927, he received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and a year later became Commanding Officer of the seaplane tender Jason and Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet. He had further aviation-related assignments into the 1930s and was Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier Saratoga in 1933-34. Captain Turner attended the Naval War College and served on that institution's staff in 1935-38 as head of the Strategy faculty.

Turner's final field command was the heavy cruiser Astoria, a diplomatic mission to Japan in 1939.

Turner was Director of War Plans in Washington, D.C., in 1940-41 and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral late in 1941.

World War II

Turner was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (a new position created after Pearl Harbor for Admiral King) from December 1941 until June 1942 and was then sent to the Pacific war zone to take command of the Amphibious Force, South Pacific Force.

Over the next three years, while holding a variety of senior Pacific Fleet amphibious force commands as both a Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral, he helped plan and execute the conquest of enemy positions in the south, central and western Pacific.

In the rank of Admiral, he would have commanded the amphibious component of the invasion of Japan. However, in August 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States and the USSR declared war on Japan and invaded Manchuria. Japan surrendered in the wake of these events and Turner's invasion plans were never realized.

Postwar

Following the end of World War II, Admiral Turner served on the Navy Department's General Board and was U.S. Naval Representative on the United Nations Military Staff Committee. He retired from active duty in July 1947. Admiral Richmond K. Turner died in Monterey, California. He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California alongside his wife and Admirals Chester Nimitz, Raymond A. Spruance, and Charles A. Lockwood, an arrangement made by all of them while living.

Namesake

The guided missile frigate (later cruiser) Richmond K. Turner was named in honor of Admiral Turner

See also

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command.
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