From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Putnam '73

Date of birth: December 1, 1854

Date of death: January 10, 1883

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.

Naval Academy Register

Charles Flint Putnam was admitted to the Naval Academy from Freeport, Illinois on June 22, 1869 at age 14 years 6 months.


From Wikipedia:

Born in Freeport, Illinois, Putnam entered the Naval Academy at the age of 14. Upon his request at graduation in 1873, he was ordered to the Far East in USS Kearsarge, serving in that vessel with the Asiatic Squadron until 1875. Master Putnam was stationed at San Francisco, California in 1876 and was attached to schoolship USS Jamestown in 1877–78.

In 1879 he joined the Coast Survey steamer Hassler in the North Pacific. Putnam volunteered in 1881 for service in USS Rodgers, fitted out to search for the USS Jeannette, which had been lost in the Arctic on an expedition to reach the North Pole. When Rodgers burned at St. Lawrence Bay, Siberia, 30 November 1881, Putnam took supplies to the survivors on dog sledges. On his return to his depot at Cape Serdze, he missed his way in a blinding snow storm 10 January 1882, drifted out to sea on an ice-floe and was never heard from again.

He was survived by his mother.


USS Putnam (DD 287) was named for Charles, as was USS Putnam (DD 757), which was sponsored by Mrs. Doana Putnam Wheeler.

Class of 1873

Charles is the only member of the Class of 1873 in Memorial Hall.