U.S. Naval Academy Class Rings

Graduates Remembered

Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss

Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss

On September 14, 1937, Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss donated his class ring to the United States Naval Academy Museum. Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham crafted the ring which features a blood red stone with a carved ship. Crossed swords over a ships wheel adorn both sides which are connected along the band by a line of stars.[1]

Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss was born on November 16, 1861 in Mount Morris, New York. Rear Admiral Strauss was temporarily promoted to Admiral when assigned as Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet. He was a veteran of the Spanish American War and World War I. [2] While serving as an Ensign with the Bureau of Ordnance in Washington, D.C. he designed the first electronically controlled heavy gun mount. During the Spanish-American War he served on the screw sloop Lancaster blockading the Cuban coast. In 1907, LCDR Strauss was a member of the Joint Army-Navy Board on Smokeless Powders. Smokeless powder was a tactical development that made it difficult for enemy to spot your ship while firing and greatly reduced the smoke of your own guns from hiding the target. While in command of the USS Nevada in World War I, he earned the Distinguish Service Medal for placing and removing the North Sea Mine Barrage to counter the German submarine threat. Throughout his career he also commanded the cruiser USS Montgomery, and battleship USS Ohio. Rear Admiral Strauss was the Budget Officer for the Navy during the Teapot Dome Scandal when Secretary of Interior Albert Fall secretly leased the Navy’s oil reserves. On November 16, 1925, Rear Admiral Strauss retired while serving as the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

Rear Admiral Strauss was a founding member of the Naval Historical Foundation and longtime financial adviser to the Navy Relief Society. He died on December 30, 1948 in Bethesda, Maryland at the age of 86 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The Navy destroyer USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16) was named in his honor.

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

Awarded for actions during the World War I:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Joseph Strauss, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commander of the Mine Force, Atlantic Fleet, engaged in laying a mine barrage in the North Sea during World War I.[3]

1885 class ring


[1] United States Naval Academy Class Ring Collection Master List, retrieved on January 7, 2014.

[2] United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, Inc., 2003 Register of Alumni, (Chesapeake, VA: Harris Connect, 2002), 12.

[3] "Hall of Valor," militarytimes.com, accessed May 5, 2016, http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=16859.