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First Name: Henry

Last Name: Wilson

Birthplace: Camden, NJ, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Braid

Date of Birth: 23 February 1861

Date of Death: 30 January 1954

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1881-1925
Henry Braid Wilson, Jr.

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1881

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


Henry Braid Wilson, Jr.

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Henry Braid Wilson, Jr. was born on 23 February 1861 in Camden, NJ. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1881, His assignments included duties as Commanding Officer of the USS North Dakota, Inspector, Senior Inspector and President of the Board of Inspection and Survey from November 1913 until May 1916, and Commanding Officer of the USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) in 1916.

During World War I, he served as Commander, Patrol Forces, Atlantic Fleet and then Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, France.

After World War I, on 30 June 1919 he was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and served as Commander-In-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet from 1919-21; Commander-In-Chief of the U.S. Battle Fleet; and later, Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy from 1921-25. Two notable students of his at the Academy were future Admirals Hyman G. Rickover, Class of 1922, and Arleigh A. Burke, Class of 1923.

False Armistice Incident

The false armistice incident grew out of a dispatch from the U.S. Embassy in Paris, on 7 November 1918, received by Wilson at his headquarters in Brest, France. The dispatch stated that an armistice had been signed at 11 a.m. and that hostilities would cease at 2 p.m.

Regarding the message as official, Wilson released it to his fleet and handed it, with permission to publish, to Roy W. Howard, then President of the United Press and now President and Editor of the New York World-Telegram and Sun.

Howard gave the "news" to the United Press which sent bulletins to its client newspapers in the U.S., with the result that a frenzied celebration got under way throughout the country.

Cited Navy Orders

Wilson attracted attention in October 1919, by refusing the Cross of the Legion of Honor offered him by President Poincare of France. He said his work at Brest, which at that time consisted of directing American efforts to drive German submarines from the French coast, could not be regarded as duty under battle conditions and cited a U.S. Navy regulation forbidding the acceptance of awards except for acts of war. He was finally persuaded by the Navy Secretary to accept the honor.

Admiral Wilson retired from the Navy in 1925, following forty-four years of service.

Medals and Awards

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Army Distinguished Service Medal

Sampson Medal

Spanish Campaign Medal

China Relief Expedition Medal

Philippine Campaign Medal

World Ware I Victory Medal with Overseas Clasp


• USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7), a guided missile destroyer, was named for him.

• A portion of U.S. Route 30 in New Jersey passing through Camden, NJ, was named Admiral Wilson Boulevard.


Admiral Wilson's son-in-law was Hoover Administration U.S. Secretary of War Patrick J. Hurley.

Death and Burial

Admiral Henry Braid Wilson, Jr. died on 30 January 1954 in New York, NY. At the time of his death he was the oldest living admiral of the U.S. Navy. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA.

Honoree ID: 684   Created by: MHOH




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