27 July 2011. Rear Admiral Maurice H. “Mike” Rindskopf, USN (Ret.), 94, at BayWoods of Annapolis passed away after a short illness. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on 27 September, 1917, Mike graduated from Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn at age 16. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in the Class of 1938, graduating with a BSEE and a commission as an ensign.
Mike was class of 1938 and was the last living WWII submarine commander. He was DNI as a CAPT (later made RADM) May-July of ’66 between Rufus Taylor and Gene Fluckey. He would have been 94 this coming September.
The highlights of a 34-year Navy career included: Service in submarine DRUM for three years in World War II for which he was awarded a Navy Cross, Silver Star and Bronze Star and other combat decorations for action against the Imperial Japanese Navy
USS Drum is a memorial submarine today at the USS Alabama Memorial Part in Mobile, Alabama.
(More information and the article in the Annapolis Capital can be found here, saying, in part “Best known for being the youngest officer in history to command a submarine, Annapolis resident and retired Navy Rear Adm. Maurice Rindskopf died Wednesday after a short illness”)
The citation to his Navy Cross reads, in part: “U.S.S. DRUM (SS-228)… during the period 9 September 1944 to 8 November 1944, (operated) in enemy controlled waters of the Luzon Straits in the Philippine Islands. Through his daring, aggressive spirit and tenacity, Commander Rindskopf skillfully launched well-planned and smartly executed attacks which resulted in the sinking of enemy ships totaling over 24,000 tons and in damaging additional vessels totaling over 8,000 tons. Through his experience and sound judgment Commander Rindskopf brought his ship safely back to port. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to his officers and men and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”
Tom Brooks commented that “as an intelligence sub-specialist, his post-war service included command the USS Fulton, of two Submarine Flotillas, duty as CINCPACFLT N2, Director of Naval Intelligence (May-Jul 1966), and as Deep Submergence Program Coordinator.”
Mike Rindskopf retired in 1972 as a Rear Admiral. His accomplishments on active duty included being the youngest Commanding Officer in the submarine force (USS Drum, 1944). He is believed to have been the last surviving submarine skipper of WW II. He authored an authoritative account of the contribution of the submarine navy to victory in his book “Steel Boats, Iron Men: the History of the U.S. Submarine Force.”
He is fondly remembered by Jinny Martin and Mac Showers, both of whom knew him well and enjoyed his company, describing him as “a true gentleman.”
In retirement, Mike spent 17 years with the Westinghouse Oceanic Division, Annapolis, MD as Director of International Marketing, selling underwater products, military and industrial, around the world, finally retiring in 1989.
He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Sylvia Lubow Rindskopf in 2010, and by his only son Peter Eric Rindskopf, Yale University (1964) and Yale Law School (1967) in 1971. He is survived by his granddaughter, Amy Kathryn Rindskopf, her husband James V. Schultz, and two great grandsons, Jasper and Ian Schultz of Winchester, MA, and by his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker of Sacramento, CA.
There was a funeral service at the Levy Chapel of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis on Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9 a.m. Admiral Rindskopf was active in the effort to establish the Levy Center along with the Naval Intelligence foundation founder RADM Sumner “Shap” Shapiro.
A reception followed at BayWoods of Annapolis from 12 to 2:30 p.m., where the Admiral was the long time President of the Board of Directors. The Admiral’s ashes will be scattered at sea from a submarine into the Pacific Ocean. Memorial contributions may be made to the Poly Prep Country Day School, 9216 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11228.