Albert Bower Willits
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
WILLITS DIES IN 75TH YEAR
After Serving the Nation Two-Score Years, Resumed Duty During World War
Helped Build Battleships
Funeral to Be Held This Afternoon in Philadelphia – Will Rest In Arlington
PHILADELPHIA, January 7, 1926 – Rear Admiral Albert Bower Willits, USN, retired, died at the United States Naval Hospital here today in his seventy-fifth year.
Admiral Willits was born in Philadelphia in 1874. He was retired for age in 1913 but was recalled to active duty for two years during the World War.
The Admiral was a son of Alphonso and Eliza Street Willits. He married Anna Bain White of Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1876. Two years after his graduation from Annapolis he was promoted to the rank of Assistant Engineer. Advancement in his branch of the service was so slow that it required eighteen years for him to become a Chief Engineer.
He was made a Lieutenant Commander in 1881, Commander in 1903, Captain in 1908 and Rear Admiral on September 14, 1911. On his retirement he had served his country for forty years and five months.
Among the ships on which Admiral Willits had served were the Hartford, Yorktown, Boston, Iowa and Newark. From 1898 to 1901 he was assistant to Engineer-in-Charge George W. Melville at the Navy Department. For the next three years he helped inspect the construction of the Minneapolis and the Columbia, and then for four years was head of the Department of Engineering at the Norfolk Navy Yard. From 1908 to 1911 he was senior inspector in the building of the Utah and Arkansas, and for the last year of his service he was Director of the Navy Yards. During the World War Admiral Willits was inspector of machinery at Bayonne, New Jersey.
He was a member of the American Society of Naval Engineers and had written many technical articled for engineering magazines.
His home was in Philadelphia, where services
will beheld at 2:30 this afternoon at the Oliver Blair parlors. Burial
will take place at noon tomorrow in Arlington National Cemetery.
WILLITS, ARMA BAIN W/O ALBERT B
Posted: 25 December 2007