From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Jack Wintle '32

Date of birth: April 18, 1908

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1932 Lucky Bag:


1932 Wintle 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

Jack William Wintle was born 18 April 1908 at Pittsburg, Kan., and was appointed a midshipman at the Naval Academy on 14 June 1928, graduating 2 June 1932. He reported for duty on USS CALIFORNIA (BB-44) on the 30th and completed a three-year tour of duty in the battleship before being transferred to submarine tender BUSHNELL (AS-2). That assignment lasted 17 months.

On 7 August 1936, he reported to the Puget Sound Navy Yard to help supervise the fitting out of USS PERKINS (DD-377); and he remained in the destroyer after she went into commission on 18 September 1936. In the summer of 1939, Lt. (jg.) Wintle received postgraduate instruction at the Naval Academy before reporting for duty at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to help prepare destroyer DU PONT (DD-152) for recommissioning and service on the Neutrality Patrol. His tour of duty in that destroyer, one of the first in the Atlantic Squadrons to be fitted with sonar, ended in August 1940 when he was sent to New Orleans where he served almost two years instructing NROTC midshipmen.

Late in April 1942, he reported to the Bureau of Navigation in Washington where he learned that his next assignment was to be aide and flag lieutenant to the Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force. On 15 June 1942, Wintle received his promotion to lieutenant commander and, four days later, reported for duty in his new assignment in the South Pacific.

Lt. Comdr. Wintle served under Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan, Chief of Staff to the Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force, through the early months of the bitter struggle for Guadalcanal in late 1942. Late in October 1942, when Rear Admiral Callaghan went to sea as the commander of a cruiser-destroyer force, Wintle joined him in his flagship, heavy cruiser SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), as a member of his staff.

On the night of 12 and 13 November, Callaghan's force met a Japanese raiding force built around battleships HIEI and KIRISHIMA. During the confused melee off Savo Island, SAN FRANCISCO suffered a terrific pounding from enemy ships and briefly lost power completely. At that point, several Japanese salvos scored on her superstructure, obliterating her flag and navigating bridges. All but one member of the admiral's staff were killed, and Lt. Comdr. Wintle was among the casualties.

For this sacrifice, Wintle was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously…

Wintle's remains were buried at sea, but his widow, before her death, was able to toss a wreath in his honor in Ironbottom Sound for a National Geographic Special.

In November 2012, he was added to the Louisiana Military Hall of Fame.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He was also survived by two daughters.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Jack William Wintle (NSN: 0-71345), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession on the Staff of the Commander, South Pacific Force, serving on board the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. SAN FRANCISCO (CA-38), during an engagement with Japanese naval forces near Savo Island on the night of 12 - 13 November, 1942. On this occasion the force to which Lieutenant Commander Wintle was attached engaged at close quarters and defeated a superior enemy force, inflicting heavy damage upon them and preventing the accomplishment of their intended mission. This daring and intrepid attack, brilliantly executed, led to a great victory for his country's forces. By his indomitable fighting spirit, expert seamanship, and gallant devotion to duty, Lieutenant Commander Wintle contributed largely to the success of the battle and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)
Action Date: November 12 - 13, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Staff of the Commander
Regiment: South Pacific Force
Division: U.S.S. San Francisco (CA-38)


USS Wintle (DE 25) was named for Jack. A prior ship had also been named for him, but the ship was immediately transferred to the British.

Memorial Award

The LCDR Jack W. Wintle Award at Tulane ROTC is "presented to the senior navy option midshipman who demonstrates excellence in military character."

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

October 1932

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at this command:

April 1935

Ensign, USS Bushnell

October 1935

Ensign, USS Bushnell

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Bushnell

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Bushnell

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Bushnell

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Perkins

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Perkins

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Perkins

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Perkins

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), 1st Lieutenant, USS Perkins

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), 1st Lieutenant, USS Perkins

Others at this command:

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Dupont

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Dupont

November 1940

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana

April 1941

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Tulane University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana

Class of 1932

Jack is one of 53 members of the Class of 1932 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.