Algernon Usborne Willis

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Admiral of the Fleet Algernon Usborne Willis G.C.B., K.C.B., D.S.O., R.N. (17 May, 1889 – 12 April, 1976) served in the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

Willis was born in Hampstead.

He passed first class in torpedoes in September, 1909 with 191/200 marks.

He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 15 November, 1909.[1]

On 15 July, 1913, he was appointed to Leander for Template:TBDs, having just qualified as Lieutenant (T) on 11 July.[2]

Great War

On 12 April, 1915, Willis was appointed to the armoured cruiser Donegal as torpedo officer. He remained in her until 29 October when he moved to Defiance. On 10 March, 1916 he went to Vernon for one month.

On 5 April, 1916, Willis was appointed to the torpedo cruiser Fearless, additional, for torpedo work with the First Destroyer Flotilla. It was in this role that he fought at the Battle of Jutland, sadly destined to play little part, as Fearless was unable to keep up with her destroyers. Willis quit the cruiser on 22 June, to return to Vernon until September, 1918.[3]

During this extended interlude, Willis was married to Olive Christine Millar on 7 September, 1916 at Christ Church, Hampstead, N.W. and then was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 15 November, 1917.[4]

On 19 September, 1918, he was appointed to the flotilla leader Saumarez for torpedo duties with the Twelfth Destroyer Flotilla.[5]

Post-war

Willis was appointed to Stuart for Seymour for torpedo duties with Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla on 17 January, 1919. On 5 March, this posting was changed to Wallace for torpedo duties with the First Destroyer Flotilla. He remained there until 8 January, 1920 when he was moved to Renown, as ever, to be torpedo officer.[6]

Willis was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1922. On 4 December, 1923 he began a two year stint as squadron torpedo officer in Coventry.[7]

Willis was promoted to the rank of Captain on 30 June, 1929.[8]

Willis was appointed in command of the battleship Barham in April, 1938.

World War II

Willis was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 5 January, 1940.[9]

Willis was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 3 April, 1943. The next day, he assumed command of Force H, vice Burroughs. At 0800 on 28 December, he struck his flag as C-in-C, Levant.[10]

Post-wars

Willis was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 16 October, 1945.[11]

Willis was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 30 March, 1949.[12]

He was admitted to Haslar Royal Naval Hospital on 4 January, 1951, suffering from Sciatica. He stayed there over a year, being discharged to his own home on 28 January, 1952.[13]

Willis died at Haslar Royal Naval Hospital on 12 April, 1976.[14]

See Also

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
William E. B. Magee
Captain of H.M.S. Warwick
20 Oct, 1927[15] – 1 Aug, 1929[16]
Succeeded by
Edmund G. N. Rushbrooke
Preceded by
Thomas B. Drew
Captain of H.M.S. Kent
Jan, 1933[17] – 20 May, 1934[18]
Succeeded by
Ion B. B. Tower
Preceded by
Patrick Macnamara
Captain of H.M.S. Nelson
20 May, 1934[19] – 6 Sep, 1935[20]
Succeeded by
Alan R. Dewar
Preceded by
Roderick B. T. Miles
Captain of H.M.S. Vernon
6 Sep, 1935[21] – 22 Apr, 1938[22]
Succeeded by
Denis W. Boyd
Preceded by
Henry E. Horan
Captain of H.M.S. Barham
22 Apr, 1938[23] – 2 Feb, 1939[24]
Succeeded by
Harold T. C. Walker
Preceded by
Robert H. T. Raikes
Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic
1941 – 1942
Succeeded by
William E. C. Tait
Preceded by
Sir William J. Whitworth
Second Sea Lord
1944 – 1946
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur J. Power

Footnotes

  1. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  2. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  3. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  4. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  5. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  6. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  7. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  8. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  9. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  10. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  11. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  12. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  13. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  14. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  15. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  16. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  17. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  18. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  19. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  20. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  21. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  22. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  23. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.
  24. Willis Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/52. f. 460.