This Month In County History

1945: De Gaulle visits U.S. Naval Academy

August 19, 2005

France's Gen. Charles de Gaulle was accorded top honors at the U.S. Naval Academy on Aug. 25, 1945, and, in turn, gave high honors to the academy's superintendent, Vice Admiral Aubrey W. Fitch, The Sunreported.

The future prime minister of France was greeted upon "coming aboard" at Admiral Fitch's residence with a 21-gun salute, customarily accorded chiefs of state, and the breaking-out of the Tricolor (the French flag) at the mast of the station ship, Reina Mercedes.

On the grounds, de Gaulle saluted the tomb of John Paul Jones, whose body rested in France for 120 years before its re-interment in the crypt at the academy chapel in 1912.

He also stopped momentarily before Tecumseh, the bronze likeness of the old wooden figurehead that decorated the man-of-war Delawarea century and a half ago, and smiled at the legend that causes midshipmen to toss pennies at Tecumseh at examination time.

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