From PigBoats.COM

Edward John Marquart

Edward J Marquart
Edward J Marquart

Edward John Marquart was born on March 11, 1880 in Valparaiso, Indiana to immigrant parents, Peter Marquart, born (1839 – 1916) and raised in Holstein, Germany and Anna C Miller (Mueller) from Hesse Castle, Germany (1846–1926). Peter moved to the US in 1856. He married Anna in 1863 when she moved to the US. They had nine children from 1865 to 1884. Edward was the third from the last. Five boys and four girls.

Little is known of his youth and we first run into him in a newspaper account from August 31, 1899 that says he is at the US Naval Academy and has gone missing along with 148 other midshipmen aboard the USS Monongahela, the Academy training ship, on a summer cruise returning from the Caribbean. The midshipmen were from the second, third, and fourth classes, meaning Edward had to have entered in 1898. Seems they were delayed by a hurricane.

Edward graduated the Academy on May 2, 1902. He ranked number 17 in his class of 50. In his class was Emory S. Land who graduated sixth in the class and became the famous naval architect specializing in submarine construction. Also Donald Cameron Bingham, Joseph Otto Fisher and Kirby B. Crittenden. All names that appear on the early submarines of the US Navy.

After the graduation ceremonies were over the Midshipmen were sent home to await their orders to their first assignments. At this time the Midshipmen were not commissioned Ensigns out of the Academy. They had to serve two years in the fleet as Midshipmen.

Edwards' first ship assignment turned out to be with the Asiatic Fleet and the Battleship Oregon along with a number of other class mates, Emory S. Land included. In 1903 they are anchored in Honolulu harbor along with the battleships Wisconsin and Kentucky, the Protected Cruisers New Orleans, Albany, Cincinnati and Raleigh.

By 1904 he has secured his promotion to Ensign. He is still in the Asiatic Fleet aboard the patrol yacht USS Frolic stationed in the Philippines and conducting operations with the US Army and making and later conducting target practice in Chinese waters. The Frolic was decommissioned in 1906.

On November 30, 1905 Ensign E. J. Marquart, was transfered from the Frolic back to the battleship Oregon, but he didn't stay there long, on June 3, 1906 he was transferred to the Illinois..

In June of 1907 he was back in the United States and in Washington DC. Where he and Emory Land participated in a fellow Ensigns wedding. Land being the best man.

July 10, 1907; Lieutenant E. J. Marquart as again transferred. This time from the Illinois to Newport RI for special temporary duty with the Board of Inspection and Survey. From there to the command of the submarine Cuttlefish upon her commissioning. Cuttlefish (later B-2) was under construction at the Fore River Shipyard.

Cuttlefish commissioned on October 18, 1907 and reported to the Second Submarine Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet. Cuttlefish operated along the Atlantic coast, running experiments, testing machinery and equipment, and conducting extensive training exercises until going into reserve at Charleston Navy Yard on 30 November 1909.

In July of 1908 Edward was in attendance at the Naval War College. President Theodor Roosevelt was attending a conference on Naval Construction and besides the Admirals and Captains, Edward and other Lieutenants of the submarine service were there.

In September 1908 the Submarine Squadron participated in a large set of maneuvers in Buzzard's Bay, Mass. With the submarines was the USS Yankee acting as a tender and supply ship to the flotilla. Shortly after on September 23 the Yankee ran aground. Though pulled off she soon after sank in Buzzard's Bay.

While afloat she provided sleeping, eating and recreation facilities for the submariners. Her machine shops allowed the submarines to make much needed repairs. The Yankee it seems carried a wide selection of blank castings that could be turned out into what was most needed. Marquart and the Cuttlefish machinists took advantage of this service.

On April 24, 1910 it is reported that the list of notable attendees to be at the launch of the new battleship Florida on May 12. In this list of names are Lieutenant Edward J Marquart and President Taft and many more notables.

On September 22, 1910 Edward is part of a delegation of navy officers sent to observe battleship target practice. The officers were spread throughout the fleet during the firing that took place at about six mile range or about 10,000 yards. The Battleship South Carolina was trying to duplicate her previous record of six shots, six hits.

In early March 1912, officers stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard were invited to a special performance at Maxine Elliott's Theater, on Manhattan, to see a drama production of Richard Walton Tully's Hawaiian drama,'The Bird of Paradise'. Edward was one of those in attendance.

In August 1913 Edward is transfer from the Ohio to the Arkansas. On September 25 1913 Marquart is the battleship Arkansas gunnery officer. The Arkansas has just finished firing her twelve inch guns at targets and has scored six direct hits of six shots made off the Virginia capes. The news papers of the time tout this as a possible world record for twelve inch in guns.

In April 1914 after what was known as the 'Tampico Affair' where 9 US sailors were arrested there and jailed the breakdown in diplomatic relations resulted in the US Navy sending ships and occupying the port city of Vera Cruz. The newspapers headlines blared 'US Ship and Men to Tampico', Lieutenant Edward Marquart aboard the Arkansas was one of those sailing into his first conflict.

The Washington Times reported on September 19, 1915 that though there were many Navy personal leaving the Navy Yard that the young women were not to fret too badly since it was known that eight of the newly arriving officers were bachelors, Edward Marquart being one of them.

It is remarked on March 6, 1915 that Edward now holds the position of First Lieutenant, (first lieutenant is the name of a billet and position title, rather than that of a rank. It is held by the officer in command of the deck department), aboard the Arkansas and retroactively promoted to Lieutenant Commander on December 11, 1914.

In January 1916 Edward is, again, an usher at another Naval friends wedding. This time a Naval Surgeon at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital.

June saw Edward attending another wedding, this time his own. He was marrying Miss Marie Teresa Scannell. The ceremony was held at her cousins home. The wedding was held at 11:30 AM in the gardens of the home. One of his ushers is fellow submarine commander Donald C Bingham. The bride was one of the favorites of the North Shore colony, and it was at one of the resorts near Brookline that she and the bridegroom met. She was a splendid horsewoman it is said and an all round athlete. She had been popular in Washington society. The couple occupied his quarters at the navy yard.

Already in the local Washington DC social circle the new Mrs Marquart enters a new social group and is now included in the Naval Officer wives circle. It is a very much more stratified and the husbands rank has much bearing and in reverse the wife can effect the husbands chances for promotion.

In December 1916 they attend a Christmas Ball given by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels and his wife. The dresses of all the women were relayed in the news papers; 'Mrs. Marquart's gown was of white satin draped in tulle, the bodice being of cloth of silver with pastel rosebuds on the corsage.'

On March 16, 1917, on the eve of the US entering WW I, the couple entertained a number of guests at the Army and Navy Club. They were only one of many dinner parties at the club that evening.

Another dinner party was given in late March 1917 and the newspapers are now calling Lieut. Commander Marquart, 'Commodore'. We haven't been able to run across the reason for this. Today, it is no longer a rank, but it continues to be used as an honorary title within the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard for those senior captains (pay grade O-6) in command of operational organizations composed of multiple independent subordinate naval units. But this was put into place in 1919. One wonders if the news papers were using 'Commodore' as an honorific and out of context to Navy ranks.

In April 1917 Mrs B. R. Scannell Marie's mother who lives in Brooklyn, N. Y. has come to visit and is staying at the house in the Washington Navy Yard.

August 15, 1917 saw Edward promoted to the temporary rank of Commander probably due to the US entry into WW I and the need for line officers. The Naval Academy graduated the class of 1918 a year early along with the class of 1917.

We have a gap here in what was going on with Edwards service and what he was doing. We next pick him and his wife up on March 1, 1919 on the birth of their daughter. Though this should be a joyous time it became a time of tragedy for the couple. The little girl lived only 28 hours and she was never given a name. She was listed as 'Infant Marquert'. Her birth and death were recorded in the same newspaper. The couple were not to have anymore children.

The 1920 US Census has him and his wife living in Cristobal, Canal Zone, Panama at the submarine base there. His function there is not detailed.

In October 1921 Marie Maquart returned to the US and given a luncheon by her cousin Mrs Loren Johnson. Edward is still at Panama. In the summer of 1922 Mrs Loren Johnson will lease her Washington DC home to the Marquarts while she goes to her summer home in Southwest Harbor, Maine.

1925 brings us back to Newport, Rhode Island where it seems Edward must be stationed at either the Torpedo Station or the Naval War College. The couple are living in a large house that has been divided up into three apartments, each with its own outside door. The house is at 21 Bull Street and is still standing today.

By July of 1927 he has been to China and we find him aboard the SS President Cleveland that departed from Shanghai on July 30 and arrived in Seattle on August 15, 1927. His wife Marie had accompanied her husband. China was to figure much larger for Edward later.

In 1930 the couple are living in Washington DC along with a 14 year old nephew, Charles T Bailey. Edward is now 50 years old and Marie is 38.

By September 1931 Edward is a Captain and has just placed the brand new Cruiser USS Louisville into commission as her first commanding officer. A post he will hold until the end of 1932.

By 1936 Edward is now a Rear Admiral and he is stationed at Cavite in the Philippines. President Manuel Quezon had been elected to office and one of the first salutes rendered him was by the US Navy. Admiral Marquart presented to him a gold plated shell case, the first fired in the 19 gun salute to him the day he was Inaugurated. It became his prized possession.

By 1937 the Japanese have invaded China and are pushing to the capital Nanking. Admiral Marquart is in charge of the Yangtze River squadron there. He was determined to keep the boats there even after evacuating the United States Ambassador Nelson Johnson to the new capital of Hankow. The Japanese said foreign lives would not be spared if they remained in Nanking. Marquart had the patrol boats Guam and Luzon and would not remove them until all Americans had been removed.

On March 9, 1937 wife Marie dies. The cause is unknown.

The US Embassy at Nanking was abandoned on November 20, 1937. The new capital was set up at Chunking.

Marquart is succeeded by Admiral Davis M LeBreton and at what point Edward returns to Manila has not been discovered but he departed from there on March 22, 1938 to Los Angles, California, arriving on April 17, 1938. He is assigned to duty with the naval examining board.

In April 1939 it is announced that Edward will replace Admiral Wilhelm L. Friedell as commander of minecraft of the battle force, stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

In April of 1941 Edward and second wife Helen have returned from Hawaii aboard the SS Lurline. Leaving Honolulu on April 11 and arriving at Los Angles on April 18, 1941. He is to become the Commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

By July of 1941 Marquart is in charge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in the middle of huge electrical workers strike. Halting all construction work in the yard including several Battleships under construction at that time.

Work at the Navy Yard is continuing apace by October 1941 and Marquart is in talks with the city to improve transportation to the shipyard. That close to 30,000 will be employed there and the need for better transportation was imperative to the yard and worker.

November 1941 the couple seem to have had a bit of luck and have box seats for the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra.

Part of the duties of leading the Navy Yard is keeping up morale. On June 25, 1942 Admial Marquart held a small ceremony presenting a certificate to Frederick C. Whitehouse, the chief engineering draughtsman in the design section of the yard, for recognition of 50 years continuous service to the yard.

Under Marquarts command the Navy Yard was presented with the Navy 'E' for efficiency. The first Navy Yard to receive the award. Over 1000 yard employees volunteered to go to Pearl Harbor to help repair the damage made by the attack.

While still commanding the Navy Yard he is given command of the Third Navy District as well.

On April 1, 1944 he had reached the mandatory retirement age for the Navy and officially retired ay noon that day. The records don't say but it could be inferred that he may have continued helping the war effort in some way.

After the war a 1945 Newspaper reprinted a column from Ed Sullivan, newspaperman and radio personality, (later TV show host), he wrote a piece that included Marquart. Here it is:


'The Fleet, and the Glasses come home. By Ed Sullivan (copyright) From this column, April I1, 1942

The Navy, said Admiral E. J. Marquart In his April, 1942 memo, wanted to borrow binoculars from civilians for the duration. So I sent them mine, Zeiss 6x30, and the young Navy man at 99 Church St. first opened my package and inspected it, and then sent the messenger to another room for an official, numbered button which permitted him to take the binoculars to the ninth floor, where they were accepted.

To whatever Navy officer gets these glasses, I'd like to tell him some of the things I hope they'll reveal and some of the things they've seen.

I hope they'll show the skies ever Tokyo filled with warplanes manned by such lads as Butch O'Hare who knocked down six Japs in his first blazing encounter. . . . I hope they'll one day they show MacArthnr shoving off Australia to take back the Philippines, and that when the gets there, the flag will still be flying from Corregidor.

I hope that the Navy officer who uses them will see German submarines blasted to hell-and-gone along the Atlantic Coast, and if he carries them to the North Sea, may they show the Scharnhorst beached, and the Gneisenau a shambles along the Norwegian coast.

I hope they'll show Laval crawling back to the rat hole from whence he came. . . .I hope some day through these glasses to see Berchtesgarden razed to the ground with only a plaque to identify it: 'Here died Adolph Hitler, for whom 7,000,000, men were murdered'

These binoculars have looked on many things: On the Normandie, the late Floyd Gibbons and I took turns watching the vain effort of the Bremen to overhaul the big French liner, with ribbons of smoke pouring from our stacks and the stacks of the Germans. 'Let me take longer looks',- teased Gibbons.'After all, I only look through one lens.'

At Santa Anita, these glasses brought up Stagehand and Seabiscuit one of the most sensational runnings of the $100,000 race. . . . In the Rose Bowl, at Pasadena, they revealed 50,000 cheering UCLA's Negro star, Kenny Washington, in his farewell and perhaps greatest game against USC.

They have focused on the Danube, holiday crowds on the Thames, Saratoga in August, Paris in the spring. . . . At Yosemite, they showed the spectacular Fire Fall, and near the Painted Desert, Indians performing their Harvest Dance. . . . In Venice, through these lenses, I saw destroyers of the Italian fleet, most of which rest now on Mediterranean bottom.

In Rio these glasses brought the statue of the Christus so close he seemed to be at arms length, and when we crossed the Amazon River, far above it, from the plane we could see crocodiles sprawled on the bank.

But now they're in the Navy, and I hope they'll see other things. Some night, when A US destroyer is pounding through the Atlantic seas, I hope that a young Navy lieutenant will look through them and see the lights of Europe go on.

Then there will be only one other task for these glasses, to show the victorious legions of the United States marching up the Fifth Avenues of the nation, their regimental colors decorated with honors, the skies filled with confetti from skyscrapers, the sidewalks black, with exultant people.

The Navy says that after the war they'll send back my glasses, truth to tell, I'd like to have them, because after this war those binoculars will look out upon a changed world that will be nicer to livein, not to say die in...They're in the Navy now, these glasses, and may they bring good luck, fair skies and following winds to the ship on which they serve and the boy that uses them.'


In June of 1948 we see that he and Helen are flying to Los Angles aboard a Pan American plane from Honolulu. No other information is forth coming about this trip. Vacation perhaps.

A 1950 register of retired Naval Officers shows him in it. Sadly there is little more to be found.

Edward John Marquart passed away on November 4, 1954 at 74 years of age. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Plot: Section 3 Lot 4195. He is buried with both his wives. Helen passed away December 22, 1965.

Photo courtesy of NavSource

Page created by:
Ric Hedman & David Johnston
1999 - 2023 - PigBoats.COM©
Mountlake Terrace, WA, Norfolk, VA
webmaster at pigboats dot com