CAPTAIN LEWIS WELLS COMSTOCK
UNITED STATES NAVY
1888 – 1975
Captain Comstock was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 15 November 1888, the son of Jay Comstock and Mrs. Mary E. (Wells) Comstock. He attended Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, before his appointment to the Naval Academy from his native state in 1907.
He was graduated from the Academy in June1911, and assigned to the USS NORTH CAROLINA (ACR-12). He was commissioned an Ensign to date from 7 March 1912. Captain Comstock had duty on the USS CELTIC (AF-2), USS VERMONT (Battleship #20) and USS DELAWARE (BB-28).
From June 1916 until March 1917, Captain Comstock had further instruction in Engineering at the Postgraduate School, Annapolis, Maryland, after which he had duty in the USS LAMSON (DD-367), USSVEDETTE (SP-163) and the USS ISABEL (PY-10).
On 22 February 1919, Captain Comstock reported to the First Naval District, Boston, Massachusetts, in connection with fitting out the USS EDWARDS (DD-265), and reported aboard that ship as Executive Officer upon her commissioning on 24 April 1919. He assisted in the fitting out of the USS BELKNAP (DD-251), commanding that destroyer from her commissioning on 28 April 1919 until September of that year. He had duty aboard the USS FULTON (AS-1), and USS GAMBLE (DD-123) until she was placed out of commission in June 1922.
Captain Comstock had a short tour of duty aboard the USS CHARLESTON (CA-19), after which here ported as Executive Officer of the USS NEWPORT NEWS (AK-3), en route to the Asiatic Station. Upon arrival at Manila, Philippine Islands on 13 July 1922, he was detached to duty on Asiatic Station until October 1922. He had duty aboard the PEARY (DD-226) from October 1922 until April 1923, when he assumed command of the USS SICARD (DD-346), and then the USS SMITH THOMPSON (DD-212). In July 1925, he returned to the United States and reported for duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, D.C. In July of 1926, he became the Officer-in-Charge, Code and Signal Section, Division of Naval Communications System, serving there until September 1927, when he reported in connection with fitting out the USS LEXINGTON (CV-2) and was assigned duty as Navigator of that carrier upon her commissioning on 14 December 1927.
In August 1930, Captain Comstock reported for duty in the Bureau of Engineering, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., and following that assignment, reported in June 1932, for instruction at the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. Upon completion in May 1933, he served until June 1935, aboard the USS ARIZONA (BB-39). He commanded the USS DOBBIN (AD-3) from January 1938, until July 1939,after which he was ordered to duty as Inspector of Ordnance in Charge, Naval Communication Depot, Balboa, Canal Zone, assuming the additional duty in March 1941, as Commander of the Naval Station there until May 1941. He commanded the USS TEXAS (BB-35) from July 1941, until September 1942, while the TEXAS was assigned convoy duty in the Atlantic. Captain Comstock’s last duty before being transferred to the Retired List of the U.S. Navy on 1 August 1943 was Commander Armed Guard and Advance Base Depot, Gulfport, Mississippi.
His wife was the former Miss Martha McAuley of Omaha, Nebraska, and they had two sons: Duncan and Craig.
Captain Comstock died on 8 June 1975 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. His ashes were scatted at sea.
Source: NCVA: Echoes of our Past