Born in Boston, Mass. on Jan. 22, 1887, Capt. Henry Chalfant Gearing Jr. was appointed a midshipman from Pennsylvania on May 6, 1905. He graduated in 1907 and spent two years on the cruiser USS California, until commissioned an ensign in 1909.
Other ships he served on during his career included USS Lawrence, USS Paul Jones, USS Illinois, USS Ohio and USS Mayflower.
He was promoted to lieutenant in 1916 and temporarily promoted to lieutenant commander in 1918. On April 5, 1918, he reported as executive officer off the newly commissioned USS Princess Matoika, and by October, he was temporarily promoted to commander. That ship carried troops to France during World War I. After the signing of the Armistice, he was ordered ashore as General Inspector of Torpedoes, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport R.I.
In 1919, Capt. Gearing commanded the destroyer USSWoolsey. Following duty there, he also commanded USS Somers, USS Bruce and USS Maury, which was attached to the mine force.
This photo, taken from the March 3, 1944
issue of 'The Hoist" newspaper, shows eight
pallbearers slowly escorting Capt. Gearing's
body from the chapel after memorial services
held in his honor.
By 1924, he was commissioned a regular commander and reported as executive officer of USS Dobbin. Following Dobbin, he reported to Fourth Naval District, Philadelphia, to command the Naval Radio Station. He attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. in 1928 and became the executive officer of
USS Salt Lake City in 1929.
He commanded USS Altair in 1934 and was promoted to captain in November, 1934. He served as recruiting inspector. Western Division, San Francisco and commander, Destroyer Squadron Four. He reported to NTC July 24, 1940.
His awards include the Victory Medal and the American Defense Service Medal. He died at the Naval Hospital, San Diego, on Feb. 24, 1944.
Above is a clipping from the March 3, 1944 issue of
NTC's newspaper "The Hoist" of the eulogy for Capt. Gearing.
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