Rear Admiral Robert Webster Cary, Jr. is one of the most decorated officers in the history of the United States Navy and recipient of the Medal of Honor.
Scarcely a year after graduating the Naval Academy he received the Medal of Honor for action in a boiler explosion on board USS San Diego. He was standing by the first of five boilers that blew up and saved the lives of three men by dragging them out of the boiler room. He also took charge of the situation in the adjacent boiler room, putting out the fires and thus preventing the explosion of these boilers.
During World War I, Cary served on the destroyers based at Queenstown, Ireland. During World War I Cary was awarded the Navy Cross. During a hurricane, a depth charge on the fan-tail of USS Sampson broke loose, menacing the safety of the ship. Together, with three enlisted men, he went to the fan-tail, and they managed to secure this depth charge, including its safety pin, at a great risk of being washed overboard themselves.
During the years between World War I and World War II, Cary served in many capacities and many stations. He served as the Director of Base Maintenance and in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations where he initiated the establishment of bases at home and abroad at the commencement of World War II. Cary also served with great distinction in World War II when he took part in various campaigns in the European Theater of Operations. On September 11, 1943 Cary was involved in another dramatic naval action when the ship he was commanding, the USS Savannah, was struck by a German radio-controlled Fritz X glide-bomb. By the time Cary retired he had achieved the rank of Rear Admiral.