HC Castle

Captain Hal C. Castle


Hal Cushman Castle was born in Peoria, IL, on December 26, 1921, son of Karl E. and Helen (Minium) Castle. He attended Fenwick High School, Oak Park, IL and St. Mary's College, Winona, MN., prior to entering the U.S. Naval Academey, Annapolis, MD., on appointment from his native state in 1940. Graduated with the Class of 1944, on June 9, 1943 (course of instruction reduced to three years due to World War II) and commissioned Ensign, he subsequently advanced in rank to that of Captain, to date from September 1, 1963.

Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1943, he had training at the Naval Air Operational Training Center, Jacksonville, FL., until September of that year, when he joined the USS Phelps (DD-360) to serve as Electrical Officer and Assistant Gunnery Officer. The Phelps was credited with assisting in the sinking of the Japanese submarine RO-40 on February 15, 1944 during the Gilbert-Marshall Islands Campaign and was damaged by enemy coastal gunfire on June 18 and again on June 20, 1944, in the Mariana’s Campaign. She was the first United States ship to anchor in Japanese territorial waters in World War II.

Detached from the Phelps in October 1945, after the cessation of hostilities, he had instruction at the Gunnery Officers Ordinance School, Naval Receiving Station, Washington, D.C., until February 1946, and the next month joined the USS Bristol (DD-857) to serve as Gunnery Officer until February 1947. He transferred in a similar capacity to the USS Dickson (DD-708) in which he served until June 1948. He next had instruction in ordinance metallurgy at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Annapolis, MD., and from June 1950 to June 1951 continued the course at Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, PA. From which he received the degree of Master of Science.

In July 1951 he joined the USS Worcester (CL-144) for duty as Air Defense Officer, later Gunnery Officer, until February 1954 and the next month reported as Assistant Terminal Ballistics Officer at the naval Proving Grounds, Dahlgren, VA., where he remained until June 1956. He next served as Executive Officer of the USS William M. Wood (DDR-715) and in January 1958 assumed command of the USS Strong (DD-758). Detached from command of that destroyer in January 1959, he had instruction at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA, Nuclear Power surface School, New London, CT and Naval Reactors Division, Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, DC. Completing his training in April 1960, he was ordered to the Boston Naval Shipyard, where the USS Long Beach (CGN 9) was building and became Executive Officer of that vessel when she was commissioned September 9, 1961.

In February 1964 he reported as Executive Officer Afloat, Fleet Computer Programming Center Atlantic, with headquarters at Dam Neck, Virginia Beach, VA and in July 1964 became Command Officer of the USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25). In August 1966 was ordered detached for duty on the Staff of Commander Operational Test and Evaluation Force, headquartered at the Naval Base, Norfolk, VA.

Captain Castle has the America Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with silver star (five engagements), World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal.

His “home town” address was 3734 Jocelyn Street, N.W., Washington, DC. He is married to the former Martha Shelton of Washington, DC, and they have four children, Hal C. Castle, Jr., William A. Castle, Katherine S. Castle and Christopher H. Castle.

He was an Associate Member of Sigma Xi society.

Captain Castle passed away on 29 Jan. 1993 in Newport News,VA.

Note: The heading picture shows the U.S.S. Dyess spewing black smoke, a phenomenon unfamiliar to those of us in nuclear propelled men-o-war.