Augustus Francis Fechteler, born in Paderborn, Prussia (now Germany) 1 September 1857. His family emigrated to the United States in 1865.
He was appointed Cadet Midshipman to the US Naval Academy by the Honorable Thomas J. Creamer, Member of Congress from the Seventh District of New York in June 1873, and completed the course on 20 June 1877.
His first service at sea was on European Station, and during the period, June 1879 to November 1888, he served successively aboard the Shenandoah; with the Coast Survey from 1882-1885; in the receiving ship Vermont; training ships Jamestown and Portsmouth; and Essex. On 10 January 1889, he reported to the Bureau of Navigation, Navy department, Washington, DC, and a year later was transferred to the Office of Naval Intelligence where he remained until January 1892.
He was placed in charge of a draft of men sent to Mare Island, California, to serve as crew for USS Mohican (1883), and reported aboard that vessel on 16 February 1892. He completed that period of sea duty in October 1894, and for a year thereafter was in charge of the Branch Hydrographic Office, San Francisco, California. From October 1895 to August 1896, he was in charge of Inspection of Ships, and on 19 September, joined Monterey. He completed inspection of Oregon, first class battleship, in November 1896, and in December 1898, joined Concord. He remained aboard that gunboat, on Asiatic Station, until August 1899, when he joined Solace for transportation back to Mare Island, California. There he served as Aide to the Commandant until 15 August 1901.
Duty as navigator of Iowa, from 16 August 1901, until she was decommissioned on 16 July 1903, was followed by inspection duty, for the Bureaus of Ordnance and Engineering, at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, until 2 March 1904. He then returned to the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, where he served during the year following. In May 1905, he went to New York to inspect Dubuque, and commanded her from her commissioning until 22 December 1906.
While on duty as a Member of the Board of Inspection and Survey, navy Department, he inspected Brooklyn and Mississippi. He attended the Conference of Officers at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, resuming his inspection duties in September 1908. He was assigned duty as General Inspector of South Carolina at the works of William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, in October 1909, and assumed command of that battleship at her commissioning on 1 March 1910. When detached in November 1911, he was designated President of the Board of Inspection and Survey (for ships), and from 18 December, that year, he had additional temporary duty in connection with battleship plans to the General Board, Navy Department.
He attended a course at the Naval War College from November 1914 until Jul 1915, when he was ordered to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to assume command of the Second Division, Atlantic Fleet, under the Commander in Chief, and on 24 July, he was commissioned Rear Admiral, to date from 11 July 1915. His flag remained in Florida after he was transferred on 15 May 1916, to duty as Commander Seventh Division, but was transferred to New York and later to Utah, when he was in command of the Sixth Division, from 19 June 1916, during World War I, to 2 February 1918.
On 5 February 1918, he assumed the duties of Commandant, Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, and remained in that assignment throughout the latter months of the war and until 10 April 1919. He was awarded the Navy Cross and cited as follows: “For exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Division Commander, Sixth Division of the Atlantic Fleet, and later as Commandant of the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia.”
Transferred to duty as Commandant of the Fifth Naval District, with Headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia, he reported on 10 April 1919. He died on 26 May 1921, at the Naval Operating Base, Hampton Roads, Virginia.Navy Cross
Spanish Campaign Medal
Philippine Campaign Medal
World War I Victory Medal
Navy Cross citation
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral Augustus Francis Fechteler, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Division Commander of the Atlantic Fleet and later as Commandant of the Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va.