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First Name: Louis

Last Name: de Steiguer

Birthplace: Athens, OH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Rodolph

Date of Birth: 18 March 1867

Date of Death: 20 April 1947

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1889-1932
Louis Rodolph de Steiguer

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1889

•  Spanish-American War (1898)
•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Louis Rodolph de Steiguer

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Louis Rodolph de Steiguer was born on 18 March 1867 in Athens, OH, to Judge Rodolph and Mary Carpenter de Steiguer. He was descended from Judge Silvanus Ames, a prominent citizen of southern Ohio. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from Ohio in 1885. Graduating in 1889, he served his naval cadet cruise aboard the new steel cruiser USS Atlanta, which sailed with the Squadron of Evolution to Europe, the Mediterranean and Brazil, before returning to New York in 1890. He was commissioned Ensign on 1 July 1891, and served in various assignments ashore and afloat, including tours aboard the USS Vulcan and aboard the USS Montgomery during the Spanish-American War.

Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1905, he was Supervisor of New York Harbor from 9 December 1905 to 30 August 1906; was in charge of the Fifth Lighthouse District in 1911; commanded the USS Panther through 1913; was Acting Commandant of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard from 25 September 1914 to 4 January 1915; and commanded the battleship USS Kearsarge in 1916.

During World War I, he served as Chief of Staff of the Third Naval District before reporting as Captain of the battleship USS Arkansas, which was stationed with the American dreadnought squadron operating with the British Grand Fleet. After the war, de Steiguer was Hydrographer of the Navy from July-December 1921. Promoted to Rear Admiral, he was Commander of the First Naval District, including the Portsmouth Navy Yard, from June 1923-25.

Fleet Command

In June 1925, de Steiguer returned to sea as Commander Battleship Division Four (COMBATDIV 4), with flagship USS New Mexico, and the following summer he was promoted to temporary Vice Admiral as Commander Battleship Divisions, Battle Fleet (COMBATDIVS), with flagship USS West Virginia. On 10 September 1927, de Steiguer assumed the temporary rank of four-star Admiral as Commander in Chief Battle Fleet, U.S. Fleet (COMBATFLT), with the flagship USS California.

Following his tour as Battle Fleet Commander, de Steiguer "fleeted down" to his permanent rank of Rear Admiral and served as Commandant, Brooklyn Navy Yard from 2 July 1928 to 18 March 1931. He retired in 1932.

Louis de Steiguer was advanced to four-star Admiral on the retired list with date of rank 16 June 1942, as highest rank held on the active list.

Dates of Rank

Midshipman - 17 March 1885

Passed Midshipman - 1889

Ensign - 1 July 1891

Lieutenant (junior grade) - 22 November 1898

Lieutenant - 3 March 1899

Lieutenant-Commander - 1 July 1905

Commander -

Captain -

Rear Admiral -

Vice Admiral - summer 1926

Admiral - 10 September 1927


• He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his World War I service as Chief of Staff of the Third Naval District and as Captain of the USS Arkansas.

• The oceanographic research ship USNS De Steiguer is named for him.

• He became a member of the Ohio University chapter of Phi Delta Theta in 1887.


De Steiguer was a legendary disciplinarian and martinet. His flag secretary, future four-star Admiral and Chief of Naval Operations, Robert B. Carney, described de Steiguer as a tremendously ambitious man with a "lousy disposition." Captains of other ships in the division would consult Carney to gauge de Steiguer's mood before approaching him. Carney recalled his own association with de Steiguer as fraught with "constant pressure, irascibility, criticism, and unpleasantness." Carney eventually marched into de Steiguer's cabin, snapped, "Admiral, I just want to tell you I think you are a goddamn rotten son of a bitch," and stormed out. After failing to retrieve Carney via Marine orderly, de Steiguer visited Carney's cabin in person, said, "Sonny, you've been working too hard. You and I are going ashore," and took Carney on an epic drinking binge. Carney ultimately concluded that his three years with de Steiguer had been a valuable experience, but not one he would have chosen to repeat.

Death and Burial

Admiral Louis Rodolph de Steiguer died on 20 April 1947 in Washington, DC. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery with his wife, the former Katherine Constable. They had no children. His funeral instructions made two requests of his former flag secretary: that Carney lead the funeral cortege, and that he have de Steiguer buried with his hindquarters facing the Pentagon. Carney honored both requests.

They are buried in Section 2, Lot 4940.

Honoree ID: 657   Created by: MHOH




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