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William Michael Crose
Black-and-white frontal headshot of man with small glasses and a neatly trimmed mustache. The edge of a Navy uniform is around his neck.
7th Governor of American Samoa

In office
November 10, 1910 – March 14, 1913
President William Howard Taft
Preceded by John Frederick Parker
Succeeded by Nathan Woodworth Post
Personal details
Born February 9, 1867
Greencastle, Indiana
Died April 4, 1929(1929-04-04) (aged 62)
San Diego
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Occupation Naval officer
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of the Navy United States Navy
Rank US-O6 insignia Captain
Commands USS North Dakota (BB-29)
USS Princeton (PG-13)
Awards Navy Cross

William Michael Crose (February 8, 1867 – April 4, 1929) was a United States Navy Captain and the seventh Naval Governor of American Samoa, from November 10, 1910 to March 14, 1913. He was the first person designated "Governor of American Samoa", rather than the previous "Governor of Tutuila".[1]

Life and careerEdit

Early lifeEdit

Crose was born in Greencastle, Indiana on February 8, 1867.[2] He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy on May 19, 1884 and graduated in 1888.[3]

Naval careerEdit

The United States Department of the Navy awarded Crose the Navy Cross for "exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. NORTH DAKOTA in the Atlantic Fleet, during World War I."[4] On July 1, 1890, Crose was commissioned into the United States Navy as an Ensign. On May 10, 1898, he became a Lieutenant (junior grade), and a Lieutenant on March 3, 1898. He was stationed on the USS Galena in 1888, the USS Marion in 1890, the Naval Hydrographic office in 1894, the USS Pinta in 1895, the USS Wheeling the same year, the Bureau of Equipment in 1898, and the USS Kentucky in 1900.[3]


On November 10, 1910, Crose relieved Captain John Frederick Parker of command of United States Naval Station Tutuila, becoming the seventh Naval Governor of American Samoa.[2] While Governor, Crose appointed a board of education, composed of a naval chaplain, a naval assistant surgeon, and the wife of a local school teacher.[2] He also pushed for the renaming of the island Naval Post, claiming the name Tutuila was inadequate, as the territory contained additional islands other than Tutuila, and recommending a news name of either "American Samoa" or "Eastern Samoa", a wish he expressed to the Secretary of the Navy in a 1911 letter. On July 17, 1911, the island was officially designated "American Samoa", and President of the United States William Howard Taft recommissioned Crose as "Governor of American Samoa", rather than "Governor of Tutuila" on October 24, 1912.[2]

Crose also amended laws on firearms, perjury, road maintenance, and importation of animals. On March 14, 1913, Crose transferred command to Nathan Woodworth Post.[2]


Crose died in San Diego on April 4, 1929, and was buried at sea.


  1. Government of American Samoa (2008), 2.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Government of American Samoa (2009).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hamersly (1902), 307.
  4. Military Times (2009).


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