Edward W. Eberle
Chief of Naval OperationsClass of 1885
- Chief of Naval Operations, 1923-1927
Edward Walter Eberle was born in Denton, Texas, on 17 August 1864. Raised in Arkansas, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1885. Over the next decade he served in several ships and shore stations, demonstrating a talent for naval ordnance and gunnery. In 1896, after two years' duty at the U.S. Naval Academy, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Eberle was assigned to the new battleship Oregon (BB-3) and rendered distinguished service as one of her turret officers during the Battle of Santiago in July 1898.
Lieutenant Eberle next served as the Asiatic Squadron's Flag Lieutenant, the first of a number of assignments that kept him close to the Navy's senior officers. In the early years of the New Century, he continued his ordnance studies and was one of the Navy's influential figures in this field. He was in charge of the Atlantic Torpedo Flotilla in 1911-13, during which time he received promotion to the rank of Captain. After more sea and shore service, he became Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, holding that position through the First World War. Rear Admiral Eberle commanded Atlantic Fleet battleship divisions in 1919-21, then, with the rank of Admiral, became Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet.
In 1923, Admiral Eberle was selected as the Navy's third Chief of Naval Operations. His four years in this position war marked by struggles to maintain the Navy's strength in the face of arms limitation treaties, financial stringency and political attacks on naval aviation. He was successful in obtaining funds to modernize battleships, begin construction of a force of heavy cruisers, and complete the aircraft carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3). Admiral Eberle was relieved as Chief of Naval Operations in November 1927 and served on the General Board until his retirement in August 1928. He died on 6 July 1929.
USS Eberle (DD-430) and USS Admiral E.W. Eberle (AP-123) were named in honor of Admiral Eberle.