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First Name: Harley

Last Name: Christy

Birthplace: Circleville, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: H.

Date of Birth: 18 September 1870

Date of Death: 04 June 1950

Rank or Rate: Vice Admiral

Years Served:
Harley H. Christy

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1891

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Harley H. Christy
Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy

Harley H. Christy was born on 18 September 1870 in Circleville, OH. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1891.

Early Career

Christy was in command of two small gunboats during 1902, and was the Executive Officer of the armored cruiser USS North Carolina (ACR-12) in 1910. He was promoted to Commander on 3 July 1911 and was Commanding Officer of the USS Chester, USS Brooklyn, USS Salem and USS Kearsarge between the years 1912-15.

Christy commanded the USS Reina Mercedes, the station ship at Annapolis, MD, when he was placed in charge of vessels for the Army Transport at the Naval Academy between 9 September 1915 and 5 July 1917.

World War I Service

Christy was promoted to Captain on 23 May 1917 and Commanded the protected cruiser USS Minneapolis from 7 July to 17 August. Two days later, on 19 August, Christy was placed in Command of the armored cruiser USS San Diego, engaged in transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports.

At 11:05 on the morning of 19 June 1918, San Diego hit a mine laid by the German U-boat U-156 off Fire Island, NY. The crew abandoned ship, and the San Diego rolled over and sank within half an hour. Six men were killed and three injured.

After the loss of the San Diego, Christy commanded the USS Wyoming from 29 September 1918 to 22 September 1919 during North Sea operations with the British Grand Fleet as part of Battleship Division Nine.

Christy was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service while in command of San Diego and Wyoming.

Post-War Service

In 1920, Christy was stationed at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, where he was Station Commander. He was detached from that duty on 23 May 1923 and replaced Captain Lucius A. Bostwick as Commander of the battleship USS California.

On 2 December 1924, Christy was promoted to Rear Admiral. He subsequently held several flag commands ashore and afloat, as well as serving at the Naval War College and with the General Board and other Navy boards in Washington, DC.

Christy retired from active duty in October 1934 and, in January 1950, was advanced to the rank of Vice Admiral on the Retired List in honor of his combat awards.

Death and Burial

Vice Admiral Harley H. Christy died on 4 June 1950 in Bethesda, MD. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2341   Created by: MHOH




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