Center Commanders

Capt. Paul P. Blackburn
April, 1936 -- June, 1939

Capt. Paul P. Blackburn Capt. Paul Pritchard Blackburn was born on Aug. 25, 1883 in Omaha, Neb.

On July 2, 1900, he was appointed as a Naval cadet from Nebraska and became a midshipman on July 1, 1902. He served on board USS Alabama and USS Eagle before being commissioned an ensign in 1906.

In 1907, her served at the Navy Recruiting Station, Omaha, Neb. and later completed more sea time on board USS Milwaukee and USS Fortune. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1909 and reported to USS Supply. Following a tour at the U.S. Naval Academy, he returned to sea duty on board USS Kansas and USS Virginia, where he was the gunnery officer on the latter.

In 1917, he was promoted to lieutenant commader, and temporarily held the title of commander in 1918.

He servee as executive officer of USS Mississippi and by 1921, he permanently held the title of commander.

During that year, he had tours at several stations in Washington D.C., including the Naval Observatory and Naval Operations of Navy Department.

In 1923, he reported to the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. as a student and immediately following graduation, he took command of USS Niagara.

He was commissioned a regular captain on July 16, 1926 and in 1928 he was the commander, Submarine Division, Asiatic Fleet.

In 1931, he reported to the 12th Naval District and also served on the Naval Examining Board at teh Navy Department. Following this tour, he was commander, Submarine Squadron Three. In 1934, he was chief of staff for Cruiser, Scouting Force and commanded USS California in 1935.

Following his tour at NTC, Capt. Blackburn went to the Naval War College and eventually qualified for command of submarines.

Capt. Blackburn's last assignment was in 1944 when he was commander of the northern California sector of the western sea frontier. He retired in 1945 and died in 1970 at the age of 86.

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