Russell Willson

Deceased Person from United States of America

Russell Willson Vice Admiral Russell Willson (December 27, 1883, Fredonia, New York – June 6, 1948, Chevy Chase, Maryland) was a flag officer of the United States Navy and inventor of the Navy Cipher Box (also called 'Naval Cipher Box' or 'Navy Code Box') issued in 1917. The son of Sidney Louis Willson and Lucy Fenton Staats Willson, Russell Willson attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1901-1902, before going on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy in 1906. After graduating from the naval academy, Wilson was commissioned an ensign in 1908. He served in the battleship USS New York during the Vera Cruz Incident at Vera Cruz, Mexico, in 1914 and later as flag lieutenant to Admiral Henry Mayo, who was Commander-in-Chief, United States Atlantic Fleet. During World War I, Willson organized and developed the Navy's Code Signal Section in the United States Department of the Navy, for which he was awarded the Navy Cross. He served with the Sixth Battle Squadron of the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet at the end of World War I. Willson commanded destroyers at Greenland in connection with the United States Army's around-the-world flight. He graduated from the Naval War College in 1924  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth
United States of America


Institution From To
United States Naval Academy
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Date of death
Place of death
Chevy Chase
Place of burial
United States Naval Academy Cemetery

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