U.S. Naval Academy Class Rings

Graduates Remembered

Rear Admiral Carlo Bonaparte Brittain

Midshipman Brittain
Midshipman Carlo Brittain

Rear Admiral Brittain’s class ring was donated to the United States Naval Academy Museum by his son Vice Admiral Thomas B. Brittain (USNA 1920) in August 1952. Rear Admiral Brittain’s ring was manufactured by Tiffany & Company. [1]

Rear Admiral Carlo Bonaparte Brittain was born on January 16, 1867. He was a veteran of the Spanish American War and World War I. He was awarded the Sampson Medal for the engagement at Santiago, Cuba during while on board Newark and was awarded the Navy Cross for his battleship service during World War I. His sea commands included the practice ship Massachusetts, USS Wheeling, and the battleships USS Michigan and USS Pennsylvania and Commander Battle Division ONE, Battleship Force ONE, Atlantic Fleet. He took his own life on April 22, 1920, with a gunshot to the head aboard his battleship USS Pennsylvania in Guantánamo, Cuba. [2] He was 53 years old and is buried in Richmond Cemetery, Richmond, Kentucky.

1888 Ring

Navy Cross

Awarded for actions during the World War I:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Rear Admiral Carlo Bonaparte Brittain, United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commander, Division ONE, Battleship Force ONE, Atlantic Fleet, during World War I.[3]


[1] United States Naval Academy Museum card file of Curator James Cheevers, retrieved January 7, 2014.

[2] William B. Cogar, Dictionary of Admirals of the U.S. Navy, Volume 2: 1901 to 1918, (Annapolis, MD, 1991), 35.

[3] "Hall of Valor," militarytimes.com, accessed May 5, 2016, http://valor.militarytimes.com/recipient.php?recipientid=9330.