Frederick Moosbrugger

Frederick Moosbrugger (9 October 1900 – 1 October 1974) was an officer of the United States Navy eventually attaining the rank of vice admiral. He is best known for his service in World War II as a highly successful commander of destroyer squadrons.

Frederick Moosbrugger
Born(1900-10-09)October 9, 1900
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
DiedOctober 1, 1974(1974-10-01) (aged 73)
San Diego, California
Place of burial
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1923–1956
RankUSN-USMC O9 insignia Vice Admiral
Commands held
Battles/warsWorld War II Korean War
AwardsNavy Cross
Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jacob and Rosina (Maier Ritzer) Moosbrugger. He entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland on 25 June 1919. He graduated and commissioned as ensign on 8 June 1923.

Military careerEdit

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in June 1923, he had sea duty for four years, first in the USS Nevada (BB-36), then in USS Truxtun (DD-229), operating in the valley of the Yangtze River, China in 1926 and 1927. He returned to the United States to serve briefly at Headquarters, 13th Naval District in May 1927.

He served aboard the USS Brazos (AO-4) from August 1927 to June 1929, after which he reported for submarine instruction. Completing the course in December 1929, he joined Submarine Division 12 for duty until April 1931 in the USS S-6 (SS-111). Returning to Annapolis as an instructor, he remained there for three years, then joined USS Houston (CA-30). He served aboard that cruiser from 1 June 1934 to 29 May 1937. He then reported for his second tour of duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was an instructor in the Department of Ordnance and Gunnery.

Returning to duty afloat in June 1939, he joined the USS Tennessee (BB-43) as Gunnery Officer, and on 28 April 1941, assumed command of the USS McCall (DD-400). He was in command at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, and subsequently directed the activities of that destroyer in close cooperation with a carrier task group to cover the reinforcement of Samoa, to conduct raids on Wake Island and Minami Torishima, and to perform escort and screening duties in hazardous waters.

From May 1942 until September 1943, he had successive command of Destroyer Divisions 11 and 12, carrying out patrol and escort missions to Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands, supporting operations at New Georgia, Rendova, and Vangunu, and patrolling the Solomon Islands. He was in command during the smashing U.S. victory at the Battle of Vella Gulf in August 1943.

Returning to the United States, he assumed command on 5 April 1946, with the rank of captain, of the U.S. Naval School, General Line, Naval Base, Newport, Rhode Island. From June 1949 to January 1950, he commanded the USS Springfield (CL-66), after which he served as Commander Destroyer Flotilla One. On 1 June 1951, he was promoted to rear admiral, having temporarily served as a commodore from 6 April 1945 until 5 April 1946. In 1952, he became Commander Military Sea Transportation Service, Pacific Area, with headquarters in San Francisco, California.

In December 1952, he became Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California and, in December 1955, reported as Commander Training Command, U.S. Pacific Fleet. He was transferred to the Retired List of the United States Navy on 1 October 1956, and was advanced to the rank of vice admiral.

Vice Admiral Moosbrugger died October 1, 1974 in a San Diego hospital.[1] He was married to Miss Dorothy E. Britt of Rydal, Pennsylvania in January 1932. They had three sons, Frederick Britt Moosbrugger, Edward Arthur Moosbrugger and David B. Moosbrugger.


The United States Navy named the Spruance class destroyer USS Moosbrugger (DD-980) in his honor.


In addition to the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," and the Commendation Ribbon, Moosbrugger received the Yangtze Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Navy Occupation Service Medal, Asia Clasp, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Navy Cross Navy Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit w/ valor device Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal Yangtze Service Medal American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp
American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ 1 silver star World War II Victory Medal Philippine Liberation Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal with Asia Clasp National Defense Service Medal Korean Service Medal United Nations Service Medal for Korea

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Veteran Navy Admiral dies. Albuquerque Tribune. Albuquerque, New Mexico. Thursday, October 3, 1974 Page 19. "died Tuesday in a hospital at 73"