282,643 Pages

Ralph Earle
Born (1874-05-03)May 3, 1874
Died February 13, 1939(1939-02-13) (aged 64)
Place of birth Worcester, Massachusetts
Place of death not known
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1896-1927
Rank Rear Admiral
Unit Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance
Battles/wars Spanish-American War
World War I
Awards Commendations from the President

Ralph Earle (3 May 1874 - 13 February 1939) served the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War and World War I. He was the Chief, Bureau of Ordnance (BUORD) and retired as a rear admiral in 1927.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Earle was born and died in Worcester, Massachusetts, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1896.

Navy service[edit | edit source]

He served at sea in several ships, among them USS Massachusetts, Essex, and Hornet. While on board USS Missouri, he won commendations from the President and Secretary of the Navy for his conduct at the time of a disastrous turret explosion. He commanded USS Dolphin at the U.S. occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, and later commanded Connecticut.

Ordnance expertise[edit | edit source]

Ashore, Earle had duty at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Naval Proving Ground. An expert on guns and explosives, he was made Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance shortly before the United States entered World War I. Under his administration the North Sea mine barrage was conceived and executed using a new type of mine, and the plan of mounting naval 14-inch guns on railway cars for use as long-range artillery on the Western Front, was evolved and carried out.

Later years[edit | edit source]

After his retirement in 1927, Rear Admiral Earle served as president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute until his death, 13 February 1939. Earle, well loved as WPI's sixth president implemented a five year plan which brought the students a swimming pool and a new hall named after R. Sanford Riley among other needed campus improvements. He also served as president of the Worcester Economic Club in 1931.[1]

Honored in ship naming[edit | edit source]

The USS Earle, launched 10 December 1941 by Boston Navy Yard, was named in his honor. The launch was sponsored by Mrs. John F. Hines, Jr., daughter of Rear Admiral Earle.

The Naval Weapons Station Earle (New Jersey) was also named (in 1943) to honor the admiral because of his strong association with ordnance projects.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.