Claude C. Bloch

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Claude C. Bloch
Born (1878-07-12)July 12, 1878
Woodbury, Kentucky
Died October 4, 1967(1967-10-04) (aged 89)
Washington, D.C.
Place of burial 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 1899–1945
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Commands held United States Fleet
USS Plattsburg (SP-1645)
USS California (BB-44)
Fourteenth Naval District
General Board
Battles/wars Spanish American War
Boxer Rebellion
Philippine-American War
World War I
World War II
Awards Navy Cross
Legion of Merit

Claude Charles Bloch (July 12, 1878 – October 4, 1967[1]) was a United States Navy admiral who served as Commander, Battle Force, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFOR) from 1937 to 1938; and Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS) from 1938 to 1940.

Early years[edit]

Claude C. Bloch was born on July 12, 1878 in Woodbury, Kentucky to a Jewish family. He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1895 from the Third Congressional District in Kentucky. While he was still a Cadet, Bloch served aboard battleship USS Iowa during the Battle of Santiago de Cuba. Bloch assisted in rescue of Spanish sailors from the burning enemy ships a was subsequently awarded with Specially Meritorious Service Medal. He graduated from the Naval Academy on January 28, 1899 with the rank of passed midshipman.

He commanded USS Plattsburg (ID-1645) during World War I, and the USS California (BB-44) from 1927 to 1929.

Navy Cross citation[edit]

The official U.S. Navy citation for Bloch's Navy Cross reads:

Name: Claude Charles Bloch
Service: Navy
Rank: Captain
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Plattsburg
Citation: The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Captain Claude Charles Bloch, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PLATTSBURG, engaged in the important, exacting and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines during World War I.[2]

World War II[edit]

He served as the Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet from 1938 to 6 January 1940, as was customary holding the temporary grade of Admiral. Following this assignment, he reverted to his permanent grade, Rear Admiral, and commanded the Fourteenth Naval District at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. He later served on the General Board of the Navy from 1942 to 1945.

He retired as a full admiral in 1945 and died in Washington, D.C. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.[1]

Bloch was the highest ranking Jewish officer in the armed forces until well after the Second World War.


Admiral Claude C. Bloch´s ribbon bar:

Bronze star
1st Row Navy Cross Legion of Merit
2nd Row Specially Meritorious Service Medal Spanish Campaign Medal Philippine Campaign Medal
3rd Row China Relief Expedition Medal Cuban Pacification Medal World War I Victory Medal with Transport Clasp
4th Row American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal World War II Victory Medal

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Claude Charles Bloch". Arlington National Cemetery. 18 June 2007. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Valor Awards for Claude C. Bloch". 2010-07-04. Retrieved 2015-03-29. 

External links[edit]