Admiral Richmond Kelly "Terrible" Turner (USN)

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Admiral Richmond Kelly "Terrible" Turner (USN)'s Geni Profile

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Richmond Kelly "Terrible" Turner

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Enoch Turner and Laura Frances Turner

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Admiral Richmond Kelly "Terrible" Turner (USN)

Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner (May 27, 1885 – February 12, 1961) served in the United States Navy during World War II.

Early life and career

Richmond Turner was born in Portland, Oregon on May 27, 1885, to Enoch and Laura Francis (née Kelly) Turner. His father alternated between being a rancher and farmer, and working as a printer in both Portland (for The Oregonian with his older brother Thomas) and Stockton, California (where he owned a small print shop). Young Richmond would spend most of his childhood in and around Stockton, with a brief stop in Santa Ana, and graduating from Stockton High School in 1904.

He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from California's sixth district, his name put forward by Congressman James Carion Needham, in 1904. He graduated on 5 June 1908 and served in several ships over the next four years.

On 3 August 1910, he married Harriet "Hattie" Sterling in Stockton.

In 1913, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Turner briefly held command of the destroyer USS Stewart. After receiving instruction in ordnance engineering and service on board the gunboat Marietta, he was assigned to the battleships Pennsylvania, Michigan and Mississippi during 1916-19. From 1919 to 1922, Lieutenant Commander Turner was an Ordnance Officer at the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C. He then was Gunnery Officer of the battleship California, Fleet Gunnery Officer on the Staff of Commander Scouting Fleet and Commanding Officer of the destroyer Mervine.

Following promotion to the rank of Commander in 1925, Turner served with the Bureau of Ordnance at the Navy Department. In 1927, he received flight training at Pensacola, Florida, and a year later became Commanding Officer of the seaplane tender Jason and Commander Aircraft Squadrons, Asiatic Fleet. He had further aviation-related assignments into the 1930s and was Executive Officer of the aircraft carrier Saratoga in 1933-34. Captain Turner attended the Naval War College and served on that institution's staff in 1935-38 as head of the Strategy faculty.

Turner's final field command was the heavy cruiser Astoria, a diplomatic mission to Japan in 1939.

Turner was Director of War Plans in Washington, D.C., in 1940-41 and was promoted to Rear Admiral late in 1941.

World War II

In December 1941, Turner was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet (a new position created after Pearl Harbor for Admiral Ernest King), serving until June 1942. He was then sent to the Pacific to take command of the Amphibious Force, South Pacific Force.

Over the next three years, he held a variety of senior Amphibious Force commands as a Rear Admiral and Vice Admiral. He helped plan and execute amphibious operations against enemy positions in the south, central and western Pacific.

He would have commanded the amphibious component of the invasion of Japan. However, in August 1945 United States used atomic bombs on Japan, and Japan surrendered. Turner's invasion plans were never realized.


After World War II, Admiral Turner served on the Navy Department's General Board and was U.S. Naval Representative on the United Nations Military Staff Committee. He retired from active duty in July 1947. Admiral Turner died in Monterey, California on February 12, 1961. He is buried in Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California alongside his wife and Admirals Chester Nimitz, Raymond A. Spruance, and Charles A. Lockwood, an arrangement made by all of them while living.

Honors and depictions

The guided missile frigate (later cruiser) USS Richmond K.Turner DLG 20 (later CG) was named in honor of Admiral Turner.

Turner was portrayed by actor Stuart Randall in the film The Gallant Hours.

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Admiral Richmond Kelly "Terrible" Turner (USN)'s Timeline

May 27, 1885
February 12, 1961
Age 75