1 April 1893: Establishment of US Navy Chief Petty Officers

On Apr. 1, 1893, Chief Petty Officers were established by Navy General Order 409, which was authorized by an Executive Order by President Benjamin Harrison on Feb. 25, 1893. Navy Chiefs, come and “spin a yarn” about your proudest moment as a Chief.

List of Chiefs who received the Medal of Honor. Created and provided by ITCM Jim Leuci, USNR, for the MCPON's Block 39 program.

List of Chiefs who received the Medal of Honor. Created and provided by ITCM Jim Leuci, USNR, for the MCPON’s Block 39 program.

Female U.S. Navy chief and master chief petty officers (CPO) pose for a group photograph during the 115th birthday celebration of the CPO rank on board the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Pacific Ocean April 1, 2008. The CPO is one of the oldest ranks in the Navy. Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is conducting a composite training unit exercise in preparing for an upcoming deployment. Photographed by MC2 Joseph M. Buliavac. DOD Still Media Photograph: 080401-N-RC734-115

Female U.S. Navy chief and master chief petty officers (CPO) pose for a group photograph during the 115th birthday celebration of the CPO rank on board the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the Pacific Ocean April 1, 2008. The CPO is one of the oldest ranks in the Navy. Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is conducting a composite training unit exercise in preparing for an upcoming deployment. Photographed by MC2 Joseph M. Buliavac. DOD Still Media Photograph: 080401-N-RC734-115

Chief Pharmacist’s Mate Louis Zeller, USN. He was a member of the crew of USS Christabel and patrolled off Brest, France during WWI. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Admiral Wilson. Zeller dove into water filled with burning exploding powder boxes from the Florence H to rescue badly burned seaman, managing to accomplish this within seconds of a severe explosion. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 63045.

Chief Pharmacist’s Mate Louis Zeller, USN. He was a member of the crew of USS Christabel and patrolled off Brest, France during WWI. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Admiral Wilson. Zeller dove into water filled with burning exploding powder boxes from the Florence H to rescue badly burned seaman, managing to accomplish this within seconds of a severe explosion. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 63045.

U.S. Navy Chief Logistics Specialist De'Andre Allen proctors the Navy-wide petty officer third class advancement exam at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, March 18, 2010. Test takers are given three hours to complete the exam, which consists of 200 multiple-choice question. Photographed by MC3 Charles Oki. Defense Still Media Photograph, 100318-N-2013O-006.

U.S. Navy Chief Logistics Specialist De’Andre Allen proctors the Navy-wide petty officer third class advancement exam at Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, March 18, 2010. Test takers are given three hours to complete the exam, which consists of 200 multiple-choice question. Photographed by MC3 Charles Oki. Defense Still Media Photograph, 100318-N-2013O-006.

Chief Steward Yung Chin Chang, USN. Chief Chang, a Chinese-American, enlisted in the 1930s and served during World War II. His hometown was Hangkow, and he served on board USS Luzon (ARG-2). He also served on Guam and Oahu, Hawaii. During World War II, he was also a Prisoner of War at Cavite, Philippines. Donation of Mr. Jim Huen, 2009. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 106868-KN (Color).

Chief Steward Yung Chin Chang, USN. Chief Chang, a Chinese-American, enlisted in the 1930s and served during World War II. His hometown was Hangkow, and he served on board USS Luzon (ARG-2). He also served on Guam and Oahu, Hawaii. During World War II, he was also a Prisoner of War at Cavite, Philippines. Donation of Mr. Jim Huen, 2009. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 106868-KN (Color).

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John William Finn, USN. Who was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service during the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack on Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, T.H. He is wearing the medal in this photograph. Halftone reproduction, copied from the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1948, The Navy", page 183.

Chief Aviation Ordnanceman John William Finn, USN. Who was awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service during the 7 December 1941 Japanese air attack on Naval Air Station Kanoehe Bay, Oahu, T.H. He is wearing the medal in this photograph.
Halftone reproduction, copied from the official publication “Medal of Honor, 1861-1948, The Navy”, page 183.

John Henry ("Dick") Turpin, Chief Gunner's Mate, USN (retired) (1876-1962). One of the first African-American Chief Petty Officers in the U.S. Navy. This photograph appears to have been taken during or after World War II. Turpin enlisted in the Navy in 1896. A survivor of the explosions on USS Maine (1898) and USS Bennington (1905), he became a Chief Gunner's Mate in 1917. Transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1919, CGM Turpin retired in 1925. Qualified as a Master Diver, he was also employed as a Master Rigger at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, and, during the World War II era, made inspirational visits to Navy Training Centers and defense plants. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 89471.

John Henry (“Dick”) Turpin, Chief Gunner’s Mate, USN (retired) (1876-1962). One of the first African-American Chief Petty Officers in the U.S. Navy. This photograph appears to have been taken during or after World War II. Turpin enlisted in the Navy in 1896. A survivor of the explosions on USS Maine (1898) and USS Bennington (1905), he became a Chief Gunner’s Mate in 1917. Transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1919, CGM Turpin retired in 1925. Qualified as a Master Diver, he was also employed as a Master Rigger at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, and, during the World War II era, made inspirational visits to Navy Training Centers and defense plants. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 89471.

Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie, USNRF. Wearing the Medal of Honor he received in recognition of his heroism in securing a depth charge that had come adrift on board USS Remlik (SP-157) during a heavy gale on 17 December 1917. Collection of Chief Boatswain's Mate John MacKenzie, USNRF. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 98032.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate John MacKenzie, USNRF. Wearing the Medal of Honor he received in recognition of his heroism in securing a depth charge that had come adrift on board USS Remlik (SP-157) during a heavy gale on 17 December 1917. Collection of Chief Boatswain’s Mate John MacKenzie, USNRF. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 98032.

Chiefs! USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). View of seven veteran chief petty officers, circa 1941. (left to right): Chief Gunner's Mate Louie Warner; Chief Boatswain's Mate Frederick Heintz; Chief Quartermaster Joseph Wagster; Chief John Wilson; Chief Boatswain's Mate Robert Hernlen; Chief Steward Alexander Siewart; and Chief Fire Controlman Samuel Kronberger. Note 14"/45 Cal. Guns and Vought OS2U "Kingfisher" on catapault in background. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 51890.

Chiefs! USS Pennsylvania (BB-38). View of seven veteran chief petty officers, circa 1941. (left to right): Chief Gunner’s Mate Louie Warner; Chief Boatswain’s Mate Frederick Heintz; Chief Quartermaster Joseph Wagster; Chief John Wilson; Chief Boatswain’s Mate Robert Hernlen; Chief Steward Alexander Siewart; and Chief Fire Controlman Samuel Kronberger. Note 14″/45 Cal. Guns and Vought OS2U “Kingfisher” on catapault in background. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 51890.

USS Squalus (SS-192) Rescue and Salvage Operations, 1939. Secretary of the Navy Charles Edison presents Medals of Honor to four men for heroism during rescue and salvage operations following the accidental sinking of Squalus on 23 May 1939. The ceremonies took place at the Navy Department on 19 January 1940. The men are (from left to right): Chief Machinist's Mate William Badders; Chief Torpedoman John Mihalowski; Chief Boatswain's Mate Orson L. Crandall; and Chief Metalsmith James Harper McDonald. All were qualified as Divers. The Diver's distinguishing mark is visible on the Mihalowski's and Crandall's jacket sleeves. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 57887.

USS Squalus (SS-192) Rescue and Salvage Operations, 1939. Secretary of the Navy Charles Edison presents Medals of Honor to four men for heroism during rescue and salvage operations following the accidental sinking of Squalus on 23 May 1939. The ceremonies took place at the Navy Department on 19 January 1940.
The men are (from left to right):
Chief Machinist’s Mate William Badders;
Chief Torpedoman John Mihalowski;
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Orson L. Crandall; and
Chief Metalsmith James Harper McDonald.
All were qualified as Divers. The Diver’s distinguishing mark is visible on the Mihalowski’s and Crandall’s jacket sleeves. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 57887.

PHC William J. Murtha, USN. Portrait inscribed to the donor, “To a real pal and shipmate. One that I’ll never forget. From Bill Murtha, circa 1944. Courtesy of PHC John Highfill, USN, (Retired). NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 94867.

PHC William J. Murtha, USN. Portrait inscribed to the donor, “To a real pal and shipmate. One that I’ll never forget. From Bill Murtha, circa 1944. Courtesy of PHC John Highfill, USN, (Retired). NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 94867.

Crash

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