Captain Harvey Edward Overesch, USN
This is copied word for word from a 1964 chronological biographical history of the Commandants from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, done by the then Commandant. Overesch was the 48th Commandant(42-43)Captain Harvey Edward Overesch (Vice Admiral) was born in Lafayette, Indiana, January, 20, 1893. He attended Purdue University there before his appointment to the US Naval Academy from Indiana in 1911. He was an outstanding athlete while at Annapolis in football, basketball and crew, and was captain of the football team as a First Classman. Graduated and commissioned Ensign in June 1915, he subsequently advanced in rank as follows:
Lieutenant (jg) July 1, 1917; Lieutenant , October 5,1917;
Lieutenant Commander , June 4, 1926; Commander , June 30, 1936;
Captain, July 1, 1941; Commodore, April 30, 1945; and Rear Admiral , November 2, 1945, to rank from September 9, 1943. His retirement became effective on May 1, 1946, in the rank of Vice admiral.
After graduation and during World War 1, he first had duty in the USS South Carolina, serving until December 1918. He then had consecutive duty as Aide on the staff of Commandeer, Division 4, USS Minnesota, and
Commander Division 3, USS Connecticut, of Squadron 2 , Battleship Force, US Atlantic Fleet, and Commander Cruiser Squadron 2, USS Seattle, flagship, US Pacific Fleet.
On December 31, 1920, he reported to the US Naval Academy for postgraduate instruction in ordnance. He continued under instruction at Columbia University , New York, New York, at the plants of various private industries, at the Navy Yard, in Washington, D.C., Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, and at the Naval Powder Factory, Indian Head, Maryland. After completing the course in June 1923, he was ordered
to the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company plant, Newport News, Virginia, where the USS West Virginia was building. He served in her from her commissioning on December 1, 1923 until March, 1925, and was Executive Officer of the USS Osborne from April, 1925 until July,1926. His Next assignment was shore duty at the Naval Torpedo Station,Newport, Rhode Island, and later at the Naval Proving Ground, Dhalgren,Virginia, from August 1926 until December 1928.
Returning to sea, he was given command of the USS Monocacy from February to June 1929, when he reported for duty as Aide on the staff of Commander in Chief, Asiatic fleet , USS Pittsburgh, Flagship, and with additional duty as Fleet Gunnery Officer, continuing in that duty after the Admiral hoisted his flag in the USS Houston, and to June 1931. Rear Admiral Overesch was then named an instructor in the Department of Physical Training , Naval Academy, where he served for three years from August 1931 to May 1934. Following that duty he served consecutively in command of the USS Philip, as Navigator of the USS Oklahoma, and in Command of the USS Cuyama.
When relieved of command of the Cuyama in January 1937, he had brief duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department,before reporting in April as Naval Attache and Naval Attache for Air at the
American Legion, Peiping, China, where he served until 1940. The following July, he assumed command of Destroyer Division 10, Destroyers, Battle Force, US Fleet, USS Cushing, flagship, serving in that command
until September 1941, when he took command of Destroyer Squadron 5 , Pacific Fleet.
In May 1942, he returned to the Naval Academy and served as Commandant of Midshipmen there from June 1942 until December 11, 1943. For outstanding services to the Navy and to the Government of the United States during this period he was awarded the Legion of Merit. Returning to sea, he assumed command of the USS San Francisco on December 26, 1943.
Under his command, that cruiser participated in the successful bombardment of Taroa in the Marshall Islands and the islands of the Kwajalein Atoll. For his services in this command, he received a Letter of Commendation with ribbon and combat distinguishing device from the Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, for the period January 10 to July 30, 1944. He was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal while serving as Commanding Officer ofthe USS San Francisco.
When relieved of command of the USS San Francisco in March 1945, he served briefly in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, before reporting on May 2, 1945 for duty as chief of Staff and Aide on the
staff of the Commander, Hawaiian Sea Frontier, and of the 14th Naval District. He was awarded the Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star medal with a Citation for his outstanding service as Chief of Staff of the 14th
Naval District and Chief of Staff of the Hawaiian Sea Frontier. He was detached from staff duty on January 1, 1946 and relieved of all active duty , and placed on the retired list of the Navy in the rank of Vice Admiral to date from May 1, 1946.
In addition to the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal and Commendation ribbon, Vice Admiral Overesch has the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp(USS South Carolina), the Yangtze Service Medal (USS Houston), the
China Service Medal, American Defense Medal, Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War 2 Victory Medal. He was also decorated by the Government of Ecuador with theStar of Abdon Calderon First Class and Diploma,and the PhilippineLiberation Medal.