Jonas Howard Ingram
Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1907
Engagements: • Occupation of Veracruz (1914)• World War I (1914 - 1918)• World War II (1941 - 1945)
Jonas Howard Ingram
Admiral, U.S. Navy
Medal of Honor Recipient
Occupation of Veracruz
Admiral Jonas Howard Ingram was a U.S. Navy officer who received the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during the Occupation of Veracruz. He also served during World War I and World War II. He commanded the U.S. Atlantic Fleet during World War II.
Early Life and Sports
As a Player
Howard Ingram was born on 15 October 1886. As a youth, Ingram attended Jeffersonville High School and Culver Military Academy in Culver, IN, then was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1903, at the age of 17. During Ingram's time at the Academy, he was a member of the school's rowing, track and football teams, leading the latter team to the Midshipmen's first victory in six years over their bitter rivals from Army by scoring the lone touchdown in the 1906 clash. His athletic exploits helped earn him the Academy's prestigious Athletic Sword and induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1968.
As a Coach
As a Lieutenant, Ingram was named the 15th head college football coach for the U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen located in Annapolis, MD, and he held that position for two seasons, from 1915 until 1916. His coaching record at the Naval Academy was 9 wins, 8 losses, and 2 ties. As of the conclusion of the 2007 season, this ranks him 22nd at the Naval Academy in total wins and 24th in winning percentage (0.526).
Following his graduation in 1907, Ingram served in several battleships, cruisers and destroyers. As turret officer of the battleship USS Arkansas (BB-33), he established a world's record for firing 12-inch guns. On 22 April 1914 he landed at Veracruz, Mexico, with the Arkansas battalion and later received the Medal of Honor.
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, Junior Grade, U.S. Navy.
Citation: For distinguished conduct in battle, engagement of Vera Cruz, 22 April 1914. During the second day's fighting the service performed by him was eminent and conspicuous. He was conspicuous for skillful and efficient handling of the artillery and machineguns of the Arkansas battalion, for which he was specially commended in reports.
World War I & Inter-War Years
Ingram served as head football coach at the Naval Academy from 1915 to 1917. During World War I he was awarded the Navy Cross for his services on the staff of Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman Commander, Division Nine, Battle Force, Atlantic Fleet.
Earning the rank of Commander in 1924, he became the Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Stoddert (DD-302) before returning to the Naval Academy to serve as both Athletic Director and Football Director from 1926 to 1930.
Ingram moved on to command the battleship USS Pennsylvania (BB-38) for a period of time after that, before serving as Officer-in-Charge of the Public Relations Branch.
Prior to his promotion to Captain in 1935, Ingram served as an aide to the Secretary of the Navy and then returned to the sea as Commander of Destroyer Squadron Six. Ashore, he was Captain of the Yard, New York Navy Yard in Brooklyn, NY, before returning to sea, in Command of the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43).
World War II
In the early years of World War II, Ingram was promoted to Rear Admiral on 10 January 1942 and served as Commander Task Force Three prior to his designation in September 1942 as Commander South Atlantic Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, with the rank of Vice Admiral. This force, with headquarters in Brazil, guarded shipping in the coastal waters south of the equator and throughout the U.S. zone of responsibility in the South Atlantic. Admiral Ingram's command included air and surface units of Brazil which were brought to a high state of efficiency through his leadership and coordinating efforts. The ability to develop and maintain harmony and close cooperation with Brazilian naval forces contributed to the control of the South Atlantic achieved by the Allies. He assumed personal responsibility for properly equipping and training the Brazilian Navy and for their combat operations against U-Boats and German raiders and later for the important task of maintaining the air and sea rescue patrol for ultimate deployment in the Pacific. For his services in these important commands, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and a gold award star in lieu of a second.
On 15 November 1944, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, with the rank of Admiral. In this command he played a major role in assuring the steady flow of troops and materials to Europe across the Atlantic during the later phases of World War II. He also directed Atlantic Fleet efforts in containing and destroying the German U-Boat fleet. For exceptionally meritorious service during his command, he was awarded a gold award star in lieu of a third Distinguished Service Medal.
Retirement and Post-Military Life
Detached from duty as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, during September 1946, he subsequently retired from active duty on 1 April 1947 after 44 years of service.
Ingram was named Commissioner of the All-America Football Conference and served until he resigned in 1949. Ingram went on to serve as a vice president for the Reynolds Metal Company.
In August 1952, he suffered a heart attack while serving as the Superintendent of Summer Schools at Culver Academies, then was stricken again with another attack on 9 September, while at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. He died the following evening.
Medals and Awards
Medal of Honor
Order of the Southern Cross (Brazil)
The destroyer USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938), launched in 1956, was named in his honor.
Death and Burial
Admiral Jonas Howard Ingram died on 10 September 1952. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 30, Lot 643-RH.
|Honoree ID: 78||Created by: MHOH|