|Born||16 Feb 1887|
|Died||27 Apr 1974|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseJesse Bartlett Oldendorf graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1909 and then went on to serve on cruisers and destroyers. His first command was the destroyer Decatur between 1922 and 1927, then he was given the cruiser Houston. During the interwar years he also spent time at the Naval War College teaching navigation.
ww2dbaseDuring WW2, Oldendorf was promoted to the war time rank of rear admiral to lead forces in the Caribbeans against potential German U-boat raids. In 1943 he also spent time in the Atlantic guarding transports. In Jan 1944, he was transferred to command Cruiser Division 4 in the Pacific aboard the flagship Louisville. In this role he participated in the campaigns to gain footholds at the Marshalls, Palaus, Marianas, and Leyte. At Leyte on 24 Oct 1944 he made fame at the Battle of Surigao Strait by "crossing the T" of the oncoming Japanese surface fleet. In this very last surface engagement in WW2, his battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and torpedo boats of the Seventh Fleet Bombardment and Fire Support Group devastated the Japanese Southern Force. At the conclusion of the battle, battleships Fuso and Yamashiro were sunk and Admiral Shoji Nishimura was killed. In Dec 1944 he was promoted to the rank of vice admiral, in which position he led Battleship Squadron One to support the landings at Lingayen, Philippines and at Okinawa.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, Oldendorf commanded the 11th Naval District and the Western Sea Frontier, retiring in Sep 1948 at the rank of admiral.
Jesse Oldendorf Timeline
|16 Feb 1887||Jesse Oldendorf was born.|
|27 Apr 1974||Jesse Oldendorf passed away.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945