Richmond K. Turner

Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner (27 May 188512 February 1961) served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Early life and career

Turner was born in Portland, Oregon on May 27, 1885. Appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from California in 1904, he graduated in June 1908 and served in several ships over the next four years. In 1913, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Turner briefly held command of the destroyer Stewart. After receiving instruction in ordnance engineering and service on board the gunboat Marietta, he was assigned to the battleships Pennsylvania, Michigan and Mississippi during 1916-19.

From 1919 to 1922, Lieutenant Commander Turner was an Ordnance Officer at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. He then was Gunnery Officer of the battleship California, Fleet Gunnery Officer on the Staff of Commander Scouting Fleet and Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Mervine (DD-322). Following promotion to the rank of Commander in 1925, Turner served with the Bureau of Ordnance at the Navy Department. In 1927, he received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and a year later became Commanding Officer of the seaplane tender USS Jason (AC-12) and Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet. He had further aviation-related assignments into the 1930s and was Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) in 1933-34. Captain Turner attended the Naval War College and served on that institution's staff in 1935-38 as head of the Strategy faculty. He next commanded the heavy cruiser USS Astoria (CA-34) and took her on a diplomatic mission to Japan in 1939.

Pearl Harbor

Captain Turner was Director of War Plans in Washington, D.C., in 1940-41 and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral late in the latter year. In documents released in the 1980's in addition to a book by Rear Admiral Layton it was shown that in 1941 Admiral Turner was instrumental in withholding information from Pearl Harbor commanders Kimmel and Short. This information almost certaintly would have allowed allowed the commanders to recognize the imminent threat from Japan. Turner however was convinced Japan would attack Russia.

Deleted one-side contentious comments about Turner's possible role in Pearl Harbor suprise. Debateable Passages like this belong in article dealing with issues of responsibility and nowhere else.NCDane (NCDane) 16:36, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Post Pearl

Turner was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (a new position created after Pearl Harbor for Admiral King) from December 1941 until June 1942 and was then sent to the Pacific war zone to take command of the Amphibious Force, South Pacific Force.

Guadalcanal, First Major Amphibious Operation

After Guadalcanal

Over the next three years, while holding a variety of senior Pacific Fleet amphibious force commands as both a Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral, he helped plan and execute the conquest of enemy positions in the south, central and western Pacific.

In the rank of Admiral, he would have commanded the amphibious component of the invasion of Japan, had that nation not capitulated after atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.


Following the end of World War II, Admiral Turner served on the Navy Department's General Board and was U.S. Naval Representative on the United Nations Military Staff Committee. He retired from active duty in July 1947. Admiral Richmond K. Turner died in Monterey, California. He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California alongside his wife and Admirals Chester Nimitz, Raymond A. Spruance, and Charles A. Lockwood, an arrangement made by all of them while living.


The guided missile frigate (later cruiser) Richmond K. Turner (DLG-20, later CG-20) was named in honor of him.

External links

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