Charles Putnam

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Charles Flint Putnam (December 1, 1854 – 1882) was an officer in the United States Navy.


Born in Freeport, Illinois, Putnam entered the Naval Academy at the age of 14. Upon his request at graduation in 1873, he was ordered to the Far East in USS Kearsarge, serving in that vessel with the Asiatic Squadron until 1875. Master Putnam was stationed at San Francisco, California in 1876 and was attached to schoolship USS Jamestown in 1877–78.

In 1879 he joined the Coast Survey steamer Hassler in the North Pacific. Putnam volunteered in 1881 for service in USS Rodgers, fitted out to search for the USS Jeannette, which had been lost in the Arctic on an expedition to reach the North Pole. When Rodgers burned at St. Lawrence Bay, Siberia, 30 November 1881, Putnam took supplies to the survivors on dog sledges. On his return to his depot at Cape Serdze, he missed his way in a blinding snow storm 10 January 1882, drifted out to sea on an ice-floe and was never heard from again.


Two ships have been named USS Putnam for him.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.