Charles P. Cecil

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Charles Purcell Cecil
Born 4 September 1893
Louisville, Kentucky
Died 31 July 1944
Vicinity of Funafuti, Pacific Ocean[1]
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1916 – 1944
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Rear Admiral
Commands held Destroyer Division Eleven, Destroyer Squadron Five, USS Cummings (DD-365), USS Helena (CL-50)
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Navy Cross
Bronze Star Medal

Charles Purcell Cecil (4 September 1893 – 31 July 1944) was a US Navy Admiral during World War II and two time recipient of the Navy Cross.


Charles Purcell Cecil was born in Louisville, Kentucky, 4 September 1893. He graduated from the Naval Academy and was commissioned ensign in 1916.[2] He served aboard USS Yankton (1893) during World War I. He was Commanding officer of USS Greer (DD-145) and USS Cummings (DD-365) in the 1930s prior to World War II.[3]

World War II[edit]

Cecil was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions at the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October 1942. In November 1942, Rear Admiral Cecil assumed command of the USS Helena (CL-50). On 6 July 1943 he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal and a Gold Star in lieu of a second Navy Cross for extraordinary heroism in action against Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands.[4]

Cecil was killed in a plane crash near Funafuti on 31 July 1944 while traveling between assignments in the Pacific. 18 others were lost in the accident including Walter S. Gifford Jr., son of the president of AT&T.[5]

Admiral Cecil is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[6]

Awards and honors[edit]

A graphical representation of a selection of Admiral Cecil's personal decorations:

Gold star

The USS Charles P. Cecil (DD-835) was named in his honor and commissioned on 29 June 1945.


  1. ^ As engraved on tombstone
  2. ^ "USS Charles P. Cecil". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. 
  3. ^ "Charles Purcell Cecil". Unofficial Arlington National Cemetery website. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  4. ^ "Charles Purcell Cecil". Military Times Hall of Valor. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  5. ^ "18 Others Killed in crash in which Cecil was killed". The Evening Independent. 3 August 1944. 
  6. ^ "Explore the cemetery website=". 

External links[edit]