Recent Posts about various military Warburtons prompted Leon Warburton of the Audley clan to draw my attention to Real Admiral Audley Lyme Warburton of the US Navy. I have been unable to find a full biography of Audley, but Leon and I have been able to piece together some information and a couple of photos. Audley is included in a list of biographies on the Naval History and Heritage Command website, but it is not one of the ones digitised. If anyone has further information I would be happy to add it. I have also updated the Audley clan with additional details uncovered by the research.
Audley was born on August 24th 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the youngest of 5 surviving children of Christopher Warburton and Charlotte nee Lyne. Christopher was born in Audley, Staffordshire in 1861, and emigrated to Milwaukee around 1880 where he met Charlotte and married her circa 1881.
Audley graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1924 and served for 32 years including service in world War II and the Korean War.
On the December 6th 1941 Audley was appointed Lieutenant Commander of the USS Sacramento docked in Pearl Harbour the day before the Japanese attack.
The USS Sacramento was an old gunboat, originally launched in 1914. Her history can be explored in a Wikipedia entry. Entering Pearl Harbour on 15 August 1941, she was assigned to the Naval Coastal Force of the 14th Naval District, with fellow gunboat Niagara and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boats Reliance and Tiger. On the December 6th 1941 Audley was appointed the Sacramento’s Lieutenant Commander. It was the second time he had commanded the vessel, being in charge from late 1939 into 1940 when the Sacramento was a training ship for 9th Naval District reservists on the Great Lakes.
At the time of the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941, the Sacramento was berthed in the Navy Yard’s repair berth B-6. Sacramento’s battle stations were manned by 08:00; two minutes later, her gun crews opened fire on Japanese aircraft attacking “Battleship Row” off Ford Island. Her batteries assisted in destroying one enemy plane which crossed her bow 200 yds (180m) ahead and later helped down another which was pressing home an attack on the battleship Nevada. Her boat crews participated in rescue and salvage operations throughout the aftermath of the battle.
On June 6th 1944 Audley is listed as being in command of the green assault group 125.4 attacking Utah Beach. After D.Day he is listed as in command of the US supply ship USS Guadalupe in 1950 /1951. This is also mentioned in his mother’s obituary of May 1950. The Guadalupe was a replenishment oiler, launched in 1940. When the Korean War broke out on June 24th 1950 she was undergoing repairs at Long Beach, California, but she was soon heading to join the 7th Fleet in the Korean theatre.
Audley is also listed as the Commander of the USS Prairie from September 1953 to March 1955. The Prairie was a destroyer tender, also attached to the 7th Fleet. Audley’s first few months on board coincided with a period the ship was supporting Korean War operations.
Audley retired in 1956 and settled in Miami, Florida. He died on April 7th 1974 at his home, 3110 Segovia, Coral Gables. He was survived by his brother Harry.