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|182k||George Washington Williams was born in Yorkville, S.C. on 30 July 1869. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1890 and served two years of sea duty in Pensacola, before he was commissioned an ensign on 1 July 1892. He served in a succession of sea (Essex, Columbia, Yankee, Buffalo, Panther, Richmond, and Monongahela) and shore billets (Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I.) through the turn of the century. In addition, he served on the staff of the Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, in 1899 and commanded the torpedo boat Bainbridge in 1903 before commanding the 1st Torpedo Boat Flotilla. Reporting to Wisconsin (BB 9) on 5 April 1905, he subsequently joined the protected cruiser Chicago for a tour of duty which included relief efforts at San Francisco, Cal. in the wake of the earthquake and fire which destroyed much of that city.
In the years immediately preceding World War I, Williams served as ordnance officer in Montana (Armored Cruiser No. 13); commander of the Atlantic Torpedo Fleet; Inspector of Ordnance in Charge at the Naval Torpedo Station; commanding officer of the cruiser Cleveland and later of battleship Oregon, before he assumed command of Pueblo (Armored Cruiser No. 7) on 29 April 1917. Williams, by then a captain, was awarded the Navy Cross for "distinguished service in the line of his profession" while commanding Pueblo during World War I, as the armored cruiser engaged in the "important, exacting, and hazardous duty of transporting and escorting troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines." Detached from Pueblo on 6 September 1918, Williams participated in fitting out the new dreadnaught Idaho (BB 42) and later served ashore in the Office of Naval Intelligence. He took the Naval War College course in 1919 and 1920 before commanding the New Mexico (BB 40) from 31 May 1921 to 18 May 1922. After detachment from New Mexico, Williams became the senior member of the Pacific Coast section of the Board of Inspection and Survey.
Reaching flag rank on 29 September 1922, Williams served as Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, and later as the Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, when the former command was reorganized. Detached from this duty in the spring of 1923, Williams subsequently served at Charleston SC as the commandant of the 6th Naval District before breaking his two-star flag in Concord (CL 10) on 15 September 1924 as Commander, Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. Rear Admiral Williams died on 18 July 1925 at the Naval Hospital, Charleston SC.
USS Williams (DE 372) (1944-1946) was the first ship to be named in his honor.
(U.S. Navy photo #NH 54148 from the Naval History and Heritage Command)
|33kb||undated wartime image||Alton Smith|
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