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Lewis Dean Causey

Lewis Dean Causey in 1920
Lewis Dean Causey in 1920

Lewis Dean Causey, was born on January 5, 1883. He preferred being called 'Dean' all his life.

Dean Causey grew up on his family's farm in Louisiana. The farm was granted to Captain William Causey, Dean's great, great-grandfather, by the US Government for his service in the Revolutionary Army.

Causey entered the U. S. Naval Academy in 1901 and was in the graduating class of 1905.

His first duty station was aboard the USS Cincinnati (CL-7) on Asiatic Station. When the Cincinnati was due for decommissioning and she sailed for Mare Island Navy Yard on September 10, 1907. On June 28, 1907 he received orders, while the Cincinnati was leaving Amoy, China for Shanghai, to report to the Rainbow (AS-7), the submarine tender attached to the Asiatic Fleet and stationed in the Philippines.

On August 30, 1907 Midshipman Causey was in receipt of orders transferring him from the Rainbow to the USS Dale DD-4 which had been decommissioned on December 5, 1905 at Cavite and on July 10, 1907 when she was returned to commissioned status and he became the commanding officer conducting operations up and down the Asiatic Station. He was relieved by Ensign George Vandenburgh Stewart. On December 5, 1908 he received orders transferring him from the Dale to the Battleship Virginia.

On March 22, 1908 it was announced that Causey had been commissioned an Ensign in the Navy. Three years later on March 14, 1911 he was commissioned a Lieutenant (junior grade).

On October 22, 1911 we see he is being detached from the destroyer USS Sterett (DD-27) to go to the USS Connecticut. His exact date of transfer to the Sterett hasn't been located at this point.

It seems that Causey requested duty in submarines because on April 16, 1912 we see orders for him transferring him to “submarine instruction' but where isn't stated. On June 9, 1912 it was announced that as of February 16, 1912 Causey had been promoted to a full Lieutenant.

After completion of his submarine training on August 30, 1912, he was transferred to the G-4 under construction at the William Cramp Yard. He was to take command when she was commissioned. The G-4 was the only foreign designed submarine build by the US Navy designed by the Italian engineer Cesare Laurenti.

On December 7, 1912 he was detached from the works at the William Cramp & Sons Yard and the G-4 in Philadelphia; to command the First Group, Atlantic Submarine Flotilla and the USS C-5.

He was detached from the C-5 to take command of the USS E-1 on April 2, 1913. He relieved Claudius Roscoe Hyatt as commanding officer. At this time the tender Castine and the Tonopah plus the D-1, D-2 and D-3 with the E-1 are all at Jacksonville, Fla.

At the end of June, 1913, as commander of the Second Submarine Division Causey lead his Flotilla, consisting of the USS D-1, D-2 and D-3 with the E-1 and E-2, including the destroyers Walke and Jarvis up against a battleship fleet that had been holding tactical maneuveres off Block Island Sound.

While in command of E-1 during a torpedo practice in the fall of 1913, the E-1 scored two successive bullseyes on a towed target, 10 feet in size in Gardiner's Bay, Long Island, using the 17 foot long, by 18 inch diameter Bliss-Levett MK 7 torpedoes. The E-1 was traveling at full submerged speed and was 12 feet under the surface.

On October 5, 1913 Causey and the tender Tonopah and the D-1, D-2 and D-3 the E-1 and E-2 all were moored at the W. 79th street boat harbor on the island of Manhattan, New York City after a successful 48 hour performance trial in Long Island Sound. After the trials the small fleet proceeded though Hells Gate up the Hudson River to their moorings facing a strong opposing tide and in a heavy electrical storm.

The Second Submarine Division, under the command of Causey aboard the USS E-1, were on winter training in the gulf of Mexico and heading to the city of Galveston, Texas. They had departed from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on January 27, 1914, when they ran into a storm and the submarine E-2, under the command Ensign C. Laizure, was reported missing, after all the rest had reached that port on February 2, 1914. With no radios the where abouts and condition of vessels was always in doubt. The Navy wasn't concerned by no reporting or arrival at the time of this news report.

Seems Causey was very much a social person. On March 24, 1916 the bachelor officers at the Newport Naval Station, of which Causey was one, were holding a dance and he was involved in the planning process.

It seems Dean Causey was quite a tennis player as well. On August 20, 1914 he is reported to be playing in the National Lawn Tennis Championships at Newport, R.I. he played and was beaten by the tennis legend, Robert (Bob) Chauncey Seaver of Boston, 6-0, 6-2, and 6-1.

Causey was transferred from the E-1 and command of the second submarine division of the Atlantic Fleet on August 23, 1914 to the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport , Rhode Island.

On November 28, 1914 it was reported in the news papers that Lieut Lewis D Causey was among those traveling from Newport to Philadelphia for the Army-Navy football game. Army won 20 to nothing.

On June 3, 1916 Lieutenant Lewis Dean Causey was detached from the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport and ordered to command of the Second Division of the Submarine Flotilla. Atlantic Fleet.

October 28, 1916; Lieut. L. D. Causey was transferred from command division 2, submarine force, Atlantic fleet, to command USS K 5 and division 4. Division 4 was later, in 1917, sent to the Azores where Causey was the commander of the submarines based there. He was to receive a Navy Cross for his distinguished service at this assignment.

It was reported that he was to be an usher at the wedding of Miss Margaret Fechteler, daughter of Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler, U.S.N., to Lieutenant Commander Herbert Emery Kays, on July 18, 1917 and that Lieutenant Causey arrived that morning from 'somewhere at sea' to take part in the ceremonies.

On April 5, 1917, the eve of the US entry into World War I, Causey is now in command of the USS K-3 of Submarine Division 4 and is commander of his 3 other division mates the, K-l commanded by Lieutenant G. L. Dickson, K-2 by Lieutenant E. M. Williams and the K-4 by Lieutenant S. O. Greig.

There is little found about Causey's actions during the war years but in August 1920, now a full Commander, he was part of a delegation sent to Peru, no doubt at the behest of the government there, to reorganize the Peruvian Navy and Naval Academy. Causey was placed in general charge of Peruvian ships while the other aspects of the reorganization fell to others in the delegation. The assignment was to be for two years.

One fact is known that on April 20, 1920 he secretly married Mary Adelaide Fairbanks, who was 8 years his senior and also the daughter of former Vice-President of the US, Charles Warren Fairbanks, under Teddy Roosevelt and for whom Fairbanks, Alaska was named.

Fairbanks was a financier and well noted in commercial and industrial circles for the Fairbanks-Morse manufacturing plants. His Fairbanks-Morse diesels were to become a mainstay of diesel submarine propulsion as many later submariners would come to appreciate.

Adelaide Fairbanks Causey and her two brothers were to inherit vast wealth from her father. The Causey's, being childless, Lewis and Adelaide adopted eight children, six from three sets of twins. Adelaide was to pass away in 1961.

After his return to the US little is known until he surfaces again on Mach 21, 1923 as he returns from Rio De Janeiro after having been in charge of the US Naval exhibit at the 1922 Worlds Fair Exposition there, (Exposição Internacional do Centenário do Brasil).

In 1923 or 1924 he was assigned as the Executive Officer of the USS Milwaukee that was sent to Honduras to protect US lives and property. 167 armed sailors, under his direct command, landed at Teguctagalpa. Honduras. The action was prompted by American Minister Franklin E Morales. His request for the landing force was prompted by disturbances In the city on March 17th and that the mere word that the force was coming served to quiet much of the disorder even before the column arrived. The sailors were to guard the legation doorways and prevent US property from destruction. The operation was a success and Causey received high praise for his and his sailors performance.

In September of 1925 he was back at Newport. This time as the executive officer of the torpedo station there.

Causey next shows up on May 6, 1927 at an informal luncheon for an naval officer, no doubt some one he knows and has probably worked with, Commander and Mrs. Harry Pence who were transferring to the west coast.

In December 1930 the newspapers reported that Commander Causey and his wife were spending the Christmas holidays at Newport. There is little mention of what his Naval duties are in the later years.

In 1935 he appears to be a member of the U. S. Naval Reserve Inspection Board, Washington, and is found at Oswego, N.Y., for the annual muster and inspection of the 15th Separate Fleet Division, N. Y. N. M. - U. S. N. R. By this time Causey has been on active duty for 29 years and is 52 years old.

The exact date of his first retirement hasn't been located but with the outbreak of WW II in 1941 Causey stepped forward and was placed in service as the Naval Attache to the American Legation at Canberra, Australia.

On February 5, 1942, a Naval officer named L. Ron Hubbard writes a report; in it, he quotes Commander Lewis D. Causey, the US Naval Attache to Australia, as saying, 'I have sent a message to the CinC Asiatic as of this morning stating that I wish you to be removed from Brisbane, stating that you are making a nuisance of yourself. You have never been under my orders and I consider you as having nothing to do with me.'

Causey returned to the US in April of 1944 from Sydney, Australia. He was subsequently assigned duty as Director of the Office of Naval Officer Procurement at Boston. In this capacity he signed up Miss Jane A. Freeman, 22 years of age from Roxbury, Mass. Miss Freeman became the first enlisted Negro WAVE in the US Navy. Two hours later two more Negro women were signed up as WAVE officers in New York City.

At the war's end Causey returned to retired life. His wife, Mary Adelaide Fairbanks, died Oct. 23, 1961 though it appears they were divorced. She is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana. Plot: Section 24 Lot 3.

Lewis Dean Causey married again to Jeanette B. Nobles, a widow who he married in 1952. Jeanette Causey, who at 99 years of age, died on February 6, 2003 and is buried at Roseland Cemetery Gloster, Mississippi.

Lewis Dean Causey, died March 23, 1964 and is buried Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Florida, Plot: 30 1051.

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