Courtesy of the USS Constellation Museum
A native of South Bend, Indiana, Campbell graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1893, and served two years, then required by law, before receiving his commission aboard USS Baltimore. During the Spanish-American War, Campbell saw service aboard several ships operating off the west coast of Central America, but did not encounter any hostile vessels. Following the war he was assigned to the battleships Iowa and Indiana, before being to detached to aid in fitting out the cruiser USS Milwaukee at Union Iron Works in 1907.
Later that year, Campbell returned to Washington, D.C. where he was named Judge Advocate General of the Navy, with the temporary rank of Captain. He departed this post in 1909, moving on to duty connected with fitting out the battleship North Dakota at Quincy, Massachusetts. Campbell remained with the ship after her completion, acting as her navigator, first lieutenant, and executive officer successively.
In March 1916, Campbell took command of the cruiser Charleston, then on duty in the Canal Zone. With the US being pulled into World War I, he took the precaution of drawing up plans to protect the new Panama Canal. Following American entry into the conflict Charleston patrolled the Caribbean, before steaming north to aid in escorting the first US troop transports to France. Upon returning from overseas, she resumed her patrols in the Caribbean. For his service commanding Charleston, Campbell received the Navy Cross.
Transferred in November 1917, Campbell took command of Naval Training Station, Newport, and by coincidence his former practice ship, Constellation. Under his command, the training station continued to provide the navy with a constant flow of new sailors for the fleet. He would remain at Newport until 1920, when he was named Chief of Staff to the Commander Battleship Force, Pacific Fleet.
In the years after World War I, Campbell progressed through several assignments, including a second stint as Navy Judge Advocate General. In 1927, he was promoted to Rear Admiral, and two years later took command of the Special Service Squadron.
From 1934 to 1935, Campbell, serving with the temporary rank of Vice Admiral, served as Commander, Scouting Force, US Fleet, before moving on to become commandant of the 12th Naval District.
In 1936, having reached the statutory retirement age of 64, Campbell was relieved and transferred to the retired list. In 1942, he was briefly recalled to fulfill a variety of duties in the 13th Naval District (Pacific Northwest) before retiring permanently later that year.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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