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William Reynolds Purnell

Date of death: March 5, 1955
Home of record: Washington D. C.

William Purnell graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1908. He retired as a U.S. Navy Rear Admiral.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War I

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander William Reynolds Purnell, United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. LAMSON, engaged in the important, exacting and hazardous duty of patrolling the waters infested with enemy submarines and mines, in escorting and protecting vitally important convoys of troops and supplies through these waters, and in offensive and defensive action, vigorously and unremittingly prosecuted against all forms of enemy naval activity during World War I.

Action Date: World War I

Service: Navy

Rank: Lieutenant Commander

Company: Commanding Officer

Division: U.S.S. Lamson

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral William Reynolds Purnell, United States Navy, for especially meritorious service as Chief of Staff to Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, and Commander U.S. Forces, Southwest, Pacific, since the outbreak of war for duties involving great responsibility connected with formulation plans, counseling their application and aid in directing execution, especially of offensive missions of forces of this command which have resulted in substantial damage to the enemy together with skill and tact displayed in, negotiating, conferring and dealing with Commanders of the Allied Forces during World War II.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 302 (May 1942)

Action Date: World War II

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Civil War

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral William Reynolds Purnell, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Chief Naval Officer for Material and as a member of the Military Policy Committee in connection with the development of the atomic bomb, 11 October 1943 to 31 August 1945. Admiral Purnell coordinated and directed the vast complex tasks of the agencies fulfilling the logistics requirements of the Navy so that the operating Navy was maintained and supplied with a degree of success unprecedented in the history of ware. In his additional duty in connection with the atom bomb, Admiral Purnell rendered wise counsel and assistance and made a significant contribution to the successful results obtained.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 348 (March 1946)

Action Date: October 11, 1943 - August 31, 1945

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral