ROBERT W. FLEMING, CAPT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Fleming '17

Date of birth: January 9, 1894

Date of death: January 6, 1945

Age: 50

Lucky Bag

From the 1917 Lucky Bag:


Loss

From Find A Grave:

Robert Walton Fleming was a 1917 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. On June 3, 1924, he married Emma Stitt, daughter of Rear Admiral Edward Stitt at St. Thomas’ Church in the District of Columbia. They were the parents of two sons including Robert Walton Fleming Jr. (1924-1996). In January 1945 he was captain of the battleship, USS New Mexico (BB-40), known as The Queen, which was the flagship of Rear Admiral George L. Weyler. The 25-year-old battleship was part of the task force for an amphibious operation to take control of the coast between Lingayen and San Fabien on the Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines.

In the middle of the day a single Kamikaze with a 500-pound bomb dove into the battleship’s port navigation bridge. Those who died included Captain Fleming, Lieut. General Herbert Lumsden who had been sent by Churchill as Special Military Representative to General MacArthur; Sub-Lieut. Bryan Morton of the Royal Navy and William Henry Chickering, Time magazine correspondent were on the bridge. [The commander of the British Pacific Fleet narrowly escaped death.] Twenty-nine died and eighty-seven were injured. For the next four days the New Mexico was under attack. His remains were buried at sea.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Captain Robert Walton Fleming (NSN: 0-10969), United States Navy, was awarded the Silver Star (Posthumously) for gallantry in action while serving as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. NEW MEXICO (BB-40) off San Fernando in the Philippine Islands on 6 January 1945. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 347 (February 1946) Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. New Mexico (BB-40)


Class of 1917

Robert is one of 8 members of the Class of 1917 in Memorial Hall.