Jack W., Wintle, Lt. Commander, USN

Wintle was born on 18 April 1908 at Pittsburg, Kan.-was appointed a midshipman at the Naval Academy on 14 June 1928 and graduated on 2 June 1932. He reported for duty in California (BB-44) on the 30th and completed a three-year tour of duty in the battleship before being transferred to submarine tender Bushnell (AS-2). That assignment lasted 17 months. On 7 August 1936, he reported to the Puget Sound Navy Yard to help supervise the fitting out of Perkins (DD-377); and he remained in the destroyer after she went into commission on 18 September 1936. In the summer of 1939, Lt. (jg.) Wintle received postgraduate instruction at the Naval Academy before reporting for duty at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to help prepare Du Pont (DD-162) for re-commissioning and service on the Neutrality Patrol. His tour of duty in that destroyer-one of the first in the Atlantic Squadrons to be fitted with sonar-ended in August 1940 when he was sent to New Orleans where he served almost two years instructing NROTC midshipmen. Late in April 1942, he reported to the Bureau of Navigation in Washington where he learned that his next assignment was to be aide and flag lieutenant to the Commander, South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force. On 15 June 1942, Wintle received his promotion to lieutenant commander and, four days later, reported for duty in his new assignment in the South Pacific.

Lt. Comdr. Wintle served under Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan, Chief of Staff to the Commander South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force, through the early months of the bitter struggle for Guadalcanal in late 1942. Late in October 1942, when Rear Admiral Callaghan went to sea as the commander of a cruiser-destroyer force, Wintle joined him in his flagship San Francisco (CA-38) as a member of his staff. On the night of 12 and 13 November, Callaghan’s force met a Japanese raiding force built around battleships Hiei and Kirishima. During the confused melee off Savo Island, San Francisco suffered a terrific pounding from enemy ships-and briefly lost power completely. At that point, several Japanese salvos scored on her superstructure, obliterating her flag and navigating bridges. All but one member of the admiral’s staff were killed, and Lt. Comdr. Wintle was among the casualties. For this sacrifice, Wintle was awarded the Navy Cross, posthumously.