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C/O Art Curtis
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STORIES OF THE MEN

Captain Harvey Edward Overesch

 

Captain Harvey Edward Overesch

 

This is copied word for  word from a 1964 chronological biographical history of the  Commandants from the
Naval Academy in Annapolis, done by the then  Commandant. Overesch was the 48th  Commandant(42-43)Captain Harvey Edward Overesch (Vice Admiral) was born in Lafayette, Indiana, January, 20, 1893. He attended Purdue University there before his appointment to the US Naval Academy from Indiana in 1911.  He was an outstanding athlete while at Annapolis in football,  basketball and crew, and was captain of the football team as a First  Classman. Graduated and commissioned Ensign in June 1915, he  subsequently advanced in rank as  follows:

Lieutenant (jg) July 1,  1917;  Lieutenant , October 5,1917;
Lieutenant Commander , June 4,  1926; Commander , June 30, 1936;
Captain, July 1, 1941; Commodore,  April 30, 1945; and Rear Admiral , November 2, 1945, to rank from  September 9, 1943. His retirement became effective on May 1, 1946, in  the rank of Vice admiral.

After graduation and during World War 1, he first had duty in the USS South Carolina, serving until December 1918. He then had  consecutive duty as Aide on the staff of Commandeer, Division 4, USS  Minnesota, and
Commander Division 3, USS Connecticut, of Squadron 2 ,  Battleship Force, US Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Cruiser Squadron  2, USS Seattle, flagship, US Pacific Fleet.

On December 31, 1920, he reported to the US Naval Academy for postgraduate instruction in ordnance. He continued under instruction at Columbia University , New York, New York, at the plants of various private industries, at the Navy Yard, in Washington, D.C., Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, and at the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland. After completing the course in June 1923, he was  ordered
to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company plant,  Newport News, Virginia, where the USS West Virginia was building. He  served in her from her commissioning on December 1, 1923 until March,  1925, and was Executive Officer of the USS Osborne from April, 1925  until July,1926. His Next assignment was shore duty at the Naval  Torpedo Station,Newport, Rhode Island, and later at the Naval  Proving Ground, Dhalgren,Virginia,  from August 1926 until December  1928.

Returning to sea, he was given command of the USS Monocacy from February to June 1929, when he reported for duty as Aide on the staff  of Commander in Chief, Asiatic fleet , USS Pittsburgh, Flagship, and  with additional duty as Fleet Gunnery Officer, continuing in that  duty after the Admiral  hoisted his flag in the USS Houston, and to  June 1931. Rear Admiral Overesch was then named an instructor in the  Department of Physical Training , Naval Academy, where he served for  three years  from August 1931 to May 1934. Following that duty he  served consecutively in command  of the USS Philip, as Navigator of  the USS Oklahoma, and in Command of the USS Cuyama.

When relieved of command of the Cuyama in January 1937, he had brief duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department,before reporting in April as Naval Attache and Naval Attache for Air  at the
 American Legion, Peiping, China, where he served until 1940.  The following July, he assumed command of Destroyer Division 10, Destroyers, Battle Force, US Fleet, USS Cushing, flagship, serving in  that command
until September 1941, when he took command of Destroyer  Squadron 5 , Pacific Fleet.

 In May 1942, he returned to the Naval Academy and served as Commandant of  Midshipmen there from June 1942 until December 11,  1943. For outstanding services to the Navy and to the Government of  the United States during this period he was awarded the Legion of  Merit. Returning to sea, he assumed command of the USS San Francisco   on December 26, 1943.
 Under his command, that cruiser participated in  the successful bombardment of Taroa in the Marshall Islands and the  islands of the Kwajalein Atoll. For his services in this command, he  received a Letter of Commendation with ribbon and combat  distinguishing device from the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet,  for the period January 10 to July 30, 1944. He was also awarded the  Bronze Star Medal while serving as Commanding Officer ofthe  USS San  Francisco.

 When relieved of command of the USS San Francisco in March 1945, he served briefly in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, before reporting on May 2, 1945 for duty as chief of Staff and Aide on the
staff of the Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier, and of the 14th Naval District. He was awarded the Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze  Star medal with a Citation for his outstanding service as Chief of  Staff of the 14th
 Naval District and Chief of Staff of the Hawaiian  Sea Frontier. He was detached from staff duty on January 1, 1946 and relieved of all active duty , and placed on the retired list of the Navy in the  rank of Vice Admiral  to date from May 1, 1946.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Commendation ribbon, Vice Admiral Overesch has the Victory Medal,  Atlantic Fleet Clasp(USS South Carolina), the Yangtze  Service Medal (USS Houston), the
China Service Medal, American Defense Medal, Fleet  Clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and  World War 2 Victory Medal. He was also decorated by the Government of  Ecuador with theStar of Abdon Calderon First Class and Diploma,and  the PhilippineLiberation Medal.


 

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