Commanding Officer

U.S. Navy photograph

Commander Leon Samuel Kintberger, U.S. Navy


navycross.jpg Navy Cross
SS.jpg Silver Star
PH.jpg Purple Heart
CAR.jpg Combat Action Ribbon
PUC.jpg Presidential Unit Citation
ADM.jpg American Defense Service Medal
ACM.jpg American Campaign Medal
APCM.jpg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
WW2VM.jpg World War II Victory Medal
national_defense_SM.jpg National Defense Service Medal
PPUC.jpg Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
PLM.jpg Philippine Liberation Medal
Award Criteria


- 1910 Born in Zanesville, Ohio
- 1926 - 1927 Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
- 1928 - 1929 Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
MIDN 1929 - 1932 United States Naval Academy
LTJG 1935 - 1936 USS MINNEAPOLIS (CA-36)
LT 1936 - 1938 USS EVANS (DD-78)
LT 1938 - 1939 USS GRIDLEY (DD-92)
LT 1939 - 1940 USS ARGONNE (AP-4)
LT 1940 - 1941 USS BERNADOU (DD-153)
CDR 1944 USS HOEL (DD-533)
- 1946 - 1957 Unknown
CAPT 1958 - 1959 Joint Chiefs of Staff
RADM 1959 Retired from Service
- 1983 Died

Short biography of
Rear Admiral Leon Samuel Kintberger, U.S. Navy

Leon S. Kintberger was born in Zanesville, Ohio in 1910.

He attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and John Hopkins University before graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1932.

In 1936 he earned the distinction of being the first of his Academy class to command a destroyer, the USS Evans and began a long and honored career as a skipper in the surface/line navy.

Early in World War II he commanded destroyers in the Atlantic on convoy and anti-submarine operations.

Coolbaugh (DE-217) was launched 29 May 1943 by Philadelphia Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. A. Coolbaugh; and commissioned 15 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander L. S. Kintberger in command.

When USS Charles Lawrence was commissioned, Lieutenant Commander Leon S. Kintberger, USN, assumed command as her first Commanding Officer, and the ship spent several weeks at the Boston Navy Yard for fitting out. After her fitting out period, she sailed for Bermuda on her shakedown cruise. After a three-week shakedown, which consisted of drills and exercises of all kinds, such as firing all guns and torpedoes, laying smoke screen, fueling at sea, antisubmarine warfare drills, antiaircraft gunnery practice and station keeping, USS Charles Lawrence headed back for the east coast to await assignment to the fleet.

On 1 August 1943, USS Charles Lawrence was in Norfolk Navy Shipyard awaiting her first convoy, which was due to sail in about two weeks. In the meantime, she was available for general duty and she soon got it. She received orders to proceed in company with USS Hopping and search for an enemy submarine which had been reported off the coast. After searching for two days, a suspicious radar contact was made. The USS Charles Lawrence immediately went to General Quarters, closed the target, and illuminated it with starshells and searchlights. The target was a large German submarine, estimated at over 1600 tons, which submerged immediately. Sound contact was made and an attack followed. However, no results were observed and the submarine slipped away into the darkness and depths without further contact being made.

Assigned first to escort central Atlantic convoys of tankers between Norfolk and Casablanca, USS Charles Lawrence made one such voyage. On 16 August 1943, she sailed from Norfolk with her first convoy, proceeding to Casablanca. It was a quiet orderly convoy, both over and back, with no enemy contacts.

Upon returning from Casablanca, Lieutenant Francis Kerning, USNR, relieved lieutenant Commander Kintberger, USN, as Commanding Officer of USS Charles Lawrence in August 1943.

In August 1944 he took command of the USS HOEL and led a destroyer division into action off Samar Island in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. With enemy battleships and heavy cruisers attempting to destroy the U.S. aircraft carriers and retake Leyte. Commander Kintberger, sailed his ship into harms' way. Although the HOEL took over 40 hits from the 18", 16". 14" and 8" inch guns of the Japanese battleships and cruisers before it sank, this heroic and gallant act helped to force the Japanese to retreat. Commander Kintberger received the Navy Cross, second only to the Medal Of Honor, and the Purple Heart for his role, and his ship was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

After Samar he commanded USS ZELLARS performing picket duty at Okinawa. The ZELLARS shot down seven kamikazes before being hit and damaged. For this action he was awarded the Silver Star.

He retired from the Navy in 1959 with the rank of Rear Admiral.

Rear Admiral Leon S. Kintberger died in 1983 - at the age of 73.

Source: Robert Jon Cox independent research, USS JOHNSTON-HOEL Association and Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships

Powered by liveSite Get your free site!