Harvey Overesch

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Harvey Edward Overesch
Harvey Overesch.jpg
Born(1893-01-20)January 20, 1893
Lafayette, Indiana
DiedJanuary 20, 1973(1973-01-20) (aged 80)
Annapolis, Maryland
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of the Navy.svg United States Navy
Years of service1915–1946
RankUS-O9 insignia.svg Vice admiral
Commands heldCommandant of Midshipmen
USS San Francisco
Battles/warsWorld War I

World War II

AwardsLegion of Merit
Bronze Star (2)

Harvey Edward Overesch (January 20, 1893 – January 20, 1973) was a Vice admiral in the U.S. Navy and American football player.

A native of Lafayette, Indiana,[1] Overesch attended Purdue University for two years before enrolling as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. He played at the end positions for the Navy Midshipmen football team. In December 1913, he was elected as the captain of the 1914 Navy football team.[2] He was also selected as a third-team All-American by Walter Camp in 1914. Overesch also competed for Navy's basketball team and on its eight-oared crew. He won the Navy Athletic Association sword in 1915 for "greatest personal excellence in athletics" in the Academy's Class of 1915.[3][4]

He was given the nickname "Swede" at the Naval Academy.[5]

Overesch became a career officer in the U.S. Navy, attaining the rank of vice admiral.[6] In November 1937, he was serving as a naval attache in Shanghai, China, when Japanese forces attacked the city. Overesch provided the Associated Press with his first-hand account of watching the battle from the upper floors of a Chinese teahouse with the nearest fighting less than 50 yards away.[7]

Overesch served for three years with the Pacific Fleet from 1939 to 1942.[8]

In May 1942, Overesch returned to Annapolis as the athletic director of the U.S. Naval Academy.[8][9] In June 1942, Overesch was appointed as the Commandant of Midshipmen at the Naval Academy.[10][11] He served as Commandant until December 1943, at which time Overesch was assigned to sea duty.[12][13]

He was the commander of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38) from 1944 to March 1945.[14] In June 1944, the San Francisco under Overesch's command participated in the naval battle known as the Marianas Turkey Shoot.[15]

In 1951, Overesch was appointed by Director of Central Intelligence, General Walter Bedell Smith to serve as CIA Commander, Far East Command ("FECOM").[16] By He served at Pershing Heights, Tokyo, Japan as Chief CIA North Asian Command overseeing covert operations in mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, North and South Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. He served in Japan until 1955, when he was transferred the United States Embassy in London.[citation needed]

Overesch was married to Emily Forman of Baltimore.[17] He died on January 20, 1973.


Vice Admiral Harvey Overesch's ribbon bar:[18]

Gold star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
1st Row Legion of Merit Bronze Star Medal w/ one bronze star Navy Commendation Medal
2nd Row World War I Victory Medal w/ Escort Clasp Yangtze Service Medal China Service Medal
3rd Row American Defense Service Medal w/ Atlantic Clasp American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ four bronze service stars
4th Row World War II Victory Medal Philippine Liberation Medal w/ two stars Star of Abdon Calderón First Class and Diploma

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/BBM/1914/bbm142t.pdf
  2. ^ "Overesch Navy Captain". The Atlanta Constitution. 1913-12-12.
  3. ^ "Overesch Navy's Best Athlete" (PDF). The New York Times. 1915-05-25.
  4. ^ "SWORD TO OVERESCH AS NAVY SPORT STAR". The Washington Post. 1915-05-25.
  5. ^ United States Naval Academy, Lucky Bag Yearbook, Class of 1915, page 130.
  6. ^ Indiana magazine of history, Volume 51
  7. ^ "JAPANESE DRIVE TO CLEAN OUT NANTAO SECTOR". Stevens Point Daily Journal. 1937-11-10.
  8. ^ a b "OVERESCH APPOINTED MIDSHIPMAN LEADER: Appointed to Commandant After Less Than Month As Athletic Director". Cumberland Evening Times. 1942-06-24.
  9. ^ "New Athletic Director for Naval Academy". Lowell Sun. 1942-05-29.
  10. ^ "Captain Overesch Now Commandant: Succeeds Rear Admiral Tisdale, Assigned To Other Duties". The Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD. 1942-06-24.
  11. ^ "Overesch To Move To Commandant's Quarters". The Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD. 1942-07-24.
  12. ^ "CAPTAIN MURRAY RELIEVES OVERESCH AS COMMANDANT". The Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD. 1943-12-10.
  13. ^ "Capt. Overesch Will Leave For Duty At Sea: Capt. Stuart S. Murray Will Become Commandant". The Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD. 1943-12-01.
  14. ^ http://www.navsource.org/archives/04/038/04038.htm
  15. ^ Barrett Tillman, Stephen Coont (2005). Clash of the Carriers: The True Story of the Marianas Turkey Shoot. NAL Caliber. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-451-21956-5.
  16. ^ Richard James Aldrich, Michael Francis Hopkins. Intelligence, defence, and diplomacy: British policy in the Post-war world. p. 238.
  17. ^ "Capt. Overesch, Family Expected Here Shortly". The Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD. 1942-04-28.
  18. ^ http://www.usssanfrancisco.org/Overesch,%20Harvey%20Edward,%20Capt.html