Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Albert

Last Name: Winterhalter

Birthplace: Detroit, MI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Gustav

Date of Birth: 05 October 1856

Date of Death: 05 June 1920

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served: 1877 - 1920
Albert Gustav Winterhalter

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1877


Albert Gustav Winterhalter

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Albert Gustav Winterhalter was born on 5 October 1856 in Detroit, MI. Winterhalter was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from the First Congressional District of Michigan, graduating in 1877.

In 1898, as Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral J.M. Miller, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Station, Winterhalter personally arranged the hoisting of the American flag at the ceremonies attending the transfer of sovereignty of the Hawaiian Islands to the U.S. He assumed command of the gunboat Elcano in 1902 and of the gunboat Paducah in 1905. As Aid for Material in 1914-15, he was a principal Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy and an ex-officio voting member of the General Board of the Navy. He took Command of the U.S. Asiatic Fleet on 11 July 1915 and ranked as a four-star Admiral for the duration of his tour, reverting to his permanent rank of Rear Admiral upon relinquishing command in 1917.

Winterhalter spent much of his career in scientific posts. He was assigned to the U.S. Naval Observatory from January 1885 to November 1889, during which time he served as the U.S. Delegate to the International Astrophotographic Congress at Paris, France, and visited the principal observatories of Europe. His report on the tour was published in 1889. He was also responsible for the Naval Observatory Exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. He was Hydrographer of the Navy from May 1908 to January 1910.

In 1916, Winterhalter conducted experiments aboard USS Washington (ACR-11) to evaluate acoustic ranging techniques. He sailed Washington on different courses relative to a lightship that was transmitting radio waves and air- and water-mediated sound waves, and found that submarine sound waves were a more reliable guide than air-mediated sound. This was the first attempt to determine distance using acoustics, and a similar technique was later used for hydrographic surveys.

Winterhalter lost an eye to an archery accident in 1877, the same year he graduated from the Academy. He could speak or read eleven languages by the time he was appointed to Command the Asiatic Fleet.

Dates of Rank

Cadet Midshipman - 24 September 1873

Midshipman - 18 June 1877

Ensign - July 10, 1880

Lieutenant (junior grade) - 14 December 1886

Lieutenant - 30 June 1892

Lieutenant-Commander - unknown

Commander - 1 July 1905

Captain - unknown

Rear Admiral - unknown

Admiral - 11 July 1915

Death and Burial

Albert Gustav Winterhalter died of pneumonia on 5 June 1920. His illness was very short and his death came as a shock to family and friends.

While stationed in San Francisco in 1896, he married Broadway actress Helen Dauvray * with whom he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. She died on 3 December 1923.

* Helen Dauvray emerged as a star in 1880s New York. Her abilities on the stage were matched by her instinct for publicity. The newspapers from 1885-1893 were filled with tales of triumph and disaster. Illness, train wreck, fire. bankruptcy, arrests. She married the most dashing and articulate baseball player of the era, New York Giants short-stop, Johnnie Ward. Later she went through one of the most lurid public divorces of the era. Her fortune was made playing Bronson Howard's 1885 hit, 'One of Our Girls,' which she took on the road, played in London, revived periodically, and made a staple of a Broadway theater she secured in 1892. A spirited performer, she was successful in most roles that didn't require singing. Yet her conviction that she was a songster would sometimes get her into trouble.

In 1896 she married Albert Winterhalter, a U.S. Navy officer stationed in San Francisco, and announced her retirement. The itch to appear before the public did not entirely leave. Her final appearance on Broadway took place in 1901; she appeared in a vaudeville skit at Proctor's. Its lukewarm reception drove her back into housewifery. Winterhalter became an Admiral, so she enjoyed a comfortable life in elite society until her death in 1923.

Honoree ID: 687   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image