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Distinguished Ancestors

 A number of brief articles about some Moffett ancestors can be accessed in my Blog HERE. The blogs has links to videos about the Macon and Akron sister-dirigibles and also to the transcribed Civil War letters of George Hall Moffettt.

Here, in summary, are brief biographies of some of the most distinguished of our ancestors:

George Hall Moffett (1829 – 1875) enlisted in the Washington Light Infantry, State of South Carolina, on 26 Dec 1860 as a private.  He entered Confederate service 24 Feb 1862 as a private in Company B, 25th Regiment, SCV.  Having entered the Confederate States Army as a private, Moffett was promoted for bravery on the field of battle. He became adjutant-general, Hagood’s brigade, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers, Confederate States Army.  The letters he sent home, some of which have been transcribed and can be viewed here, show the eloquence, grace and modesty that seem to run in the Moffett line.


George Hall Moffett (1867 – 1950) 

Was born in Charleston, South Carolina on October 27, 1867 and died December 26, 1950.  The book, Men of Mark in South Carolina: Ideals of American Life: A Collection of Biographies of Leading Men of the State, by J.C. Hemphill, 1908, describes him thus:

MOFFETT, GEORGE HALL, attorney-at-law, since 1903 corporation counsel for the city of Charleston, formerly a member of the South Carolina house of representatives, was born at Charleston on the 27th of October, 1867. His father, George Hall Moffett, was a merchant, whose high sense of honor and untiring energy contributed to his success in mercantile life and led to his promotion in military service. He entered the Confederate States army as a private, and was promoted for bravery on the field of battle. He became adjutant-general, Hagood’s brigade, Twenty-fifth South Carolina volunteers, Confederate States army. His father had come from Scotland to Charleston in 1810. The family of his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Henry (Simonton) Moffett, were from the north of Ireland, and as immigrants first settled in Pennsylvania, and later removed to South Carolina, where they were established before the French and Indian war.

As a boy, George Hall Moffett had excellent health, and enjoyed school life in his native city, Charleston. His father died when he was but a young boy; and the influence of his mother was very strong, both on his intellectual life and his moral character. He was fitted for college in the city public schools, the high school, and the College of Charleston.

He was graduated from South Carolina university in June, 1889, with the degree of A. B. In order to secure for himself the advantages of a college course, to fit him for the profession to which he looked forward, he had borrowed the money to pay the expenses of his college years. After his graduation he taught school for a year in the country and for a year in Charleston. In 1892 he was admitted to the bar and began the practice of his profession.

In 1901 he was elected a member of the lower house of the South Carolina legislature, serving through the sessions of 1901 and 1902. In 1903 he became corporation counsel for the city of Charleston, and he is still serving in that capacity.

In politics Mr. Moffett is a Democrat. By religious conviction he is affiliated with the Presbyterian church. At college he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He is a Knight of Pythias. He is a Knight Templar, a thirty-second degree Mason, and a Mystic Shriner. He is a member of most of the benevolent and social societies of the city of Charleston.

His address was 55 Broad street, Charleston, South Carolina.


George Hall Moffett, Jr. (1944 - 2012)

George H. Moffett Jr., 68, of Ledyard, died on Feb. 25, 2012, at home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with melanoma. He was born in Washington, D.C., to George H. Moffett and Margaret A. Truxal. As grandson of Admiral William A. Moffett, who became known as the "father of naval aviation" for having led the introduction of the aircraft carrier to the Navy, George had the sea in his blood. He was the third generation in his family to attend the U.S. Naval Academy, where he studied science and engineering from 1964 to 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War. He questioned the morality of the war and, much to his father's chagrin, transferred to St. Olaf College where he majored in studio art and developed an intense interest in philosophy. Searching for understanding and hungry to see the world, he went to Germany for graduate school to study theology at the University of Bonn. There he met his wife, Sabine, and they were married in 1971. After completing a Master of Divinity, he moved to England where he and Sabine had a daughter. He served for six years as headmaster of a small boarding school situated on the south coast. It was there that he fell in love with boats after buying a ketch and cruising the English Channel. In 1981, George found a position that allowed him to combine his love of sailing and background in education on the schooner Brilliant at Mystic Seaport. During the 25 years that he served as her captain, he introduced over 3,000 teenagers and adults to sea as part of the museum's sail-education program. The job turned out to be a perfect match: as a teacher and mentor, he inspired self-discovery and courage by motivating his crew members to challenge themselves, persevere in hardship and never do things halfway. As an engineer, artist, and steward, he maintained the classic vessel to perfection. As a preservationist and communicator, he garnered appreciation for the yacht's mission and craftsmanship and raised an endowment to make its operations sustainable. As a wanderer and tactician, he took the boat to ever further waters and won races on the New England Coast and to Bermuda. Most notably, he raced Brilliant across the Atlantic from Halifax to Amsterdam in Tall Ships 2000 and won first in class and first overall. George resigned from the Seaport in 2007 to pursue his terrestrial passion for motorcycling and explore the U.S. With friends, he rode a classic BMW motorcycle across country from British Colombia eastward. He was soon lured back to sea, however, by the opportunity to skipper the Fife ketch, Belle Aventure, until his retirement in 2009. In the months before his death, George was honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Tall Ships America and the William P. Stephens Award from the Mystic Seaport in recognition of an enduring contribution to the history, progress, and appreciation of American yachting. George was driven by a longing for understanding and knowledge that never left him. He was provoking, persistent, compassionate, witty, and eloquent. He appreciated simple beauty, made a life-long impression on many, and made life more fun for all around him. In addition to his wife, he is survived his sister, Elizabeth; by his daughter, Jessica and her husband, Thomas. Donations may be made in his name to the Brilliant program at Mystic Seaport, PO Box 6000, Mystic, CT 06355


William Andrew Moffett (1933 - 1995)

From Wikipedia: William Andrew Moffett (January 25, 1933 – February 20, 1995)[1] was a historian and librarian who was named "100 of the Most Important Leaders We Had in the 20th Century" by American Libraries in 1999.[2] He is primarily known for aiding in the capture of a prolific library thief, Stephen Blumberg, and, more famously, opening access of the Dead Sea Scrolls for scholarly use, both of which news stories made the front page of the New York Times.[3] Moffett was also known for being a highly influential academic librarian director at Oberlin College, the 6th Librarian at the Huntington Library and for being named Academic/Research Librarian of the Year in 1993 by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).[4]

From MaryAnn Moffett Mobley: Son of Rev. Alfred Nisbet Moffett and Elizabeth McLean. Attended Davidson College, Duke University for MA, PHD He taught English History for a number of years and received his MA Library Science from Simmons College, Boston, Mass. Served as Academic Librarian at Crumb Library, Potsdam, N.Y. Director of Mudd Library, Oberlin College, Oberlin,Ohio. Director of Huntington Library, Pasadena, California. Named in"100 of the Most Important Leaders in the 20th Century". He broke the 40 year monopoly on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Served as President of the College Libraries Association in 1992.

From his New York Times obituary: William A. Moffett, 62, Is Dead; Opened Door to Dead Sea Scrolls By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD Published: February 22, 1995 FACEBOOK TWITTER GOOGLE+ EMAIL SHARE PRINT REPRINTS Correction Appended William A. Moffett, a historian and librarian who was instrumental in breaking the 40-year monopoly on scholarly access to the Dead Sea Scrolls, died on Monday night at his home in Pasadena, Calif. He was 62.

The cause was cancer of the bladder, according to the Huntington Library in San Marino, where he had been the director since 1990.

As head of the Huntington, one of the world's largest independent research libraries, Dr. Moffett made a decision that was both widely criticized and widely praised, and had the effect of ending the absolute control of a few scholars over the study and publication of the scrolls, one of the great finds of biblical archeology. His action removed much of the secrecy that had surrounded the study of the documents and stimulated research by more scholars.

In September 1991, he announced that the library's photographic archive of the Dead Sea Scrolls would be available to all qualified scholars, not just those approved by the international team of editors that had so long limited access to a chosen few. The collection consists of 3,000 photographs of all the original scrolls.

A few other institutions also had photographic copies of the scrolls, made as a safeguard against loss of or damage to the originals in Jerusalem. But only the few members of the international team of editors and their students were permitted to study them. Dr. Moffett said the Huntington was not bound by restrictions imposed by the editing team.

In the ensuing days, he was threatened with a lawsuit and told that his action would open the documents to many people who might produce shoddy research. The scrolls, dating back 2,000 years and more, contain texts associated with the Bible, ancient literature and poetry, religious rules and other information from a critical time in the history of Judaism and the origins of Christianity.

Dr. James H. Charlesworth, editor of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, said Dr. Moffett "risked his reputation and career to do what he thought was right."

As a result, Dr. Charlesworth said, "now we have an explosion of interest in scrolls scholarship, and we have dispelled a lot of unfortunate myths that either Christians or Jews were sitting on the scrolls because they were embarrassed by what they contain about their religions."

William Andrew Moffett was born on Jan. 25, 1933, in Charlotte, N.C., the son of a Presbyterian minister. He was educated at Davidson College and received a doctorate in history from Duke University. He later received a master's degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston.

After teaching history at colleges for a decade, Dr. Moffett moved into library work, first as the library director at the State University of New York at Potsdam and then as the library director at Oberlin College in Ohio. He was president of the Association of College and Research Libraries in 1989 and 1990; two years ago, the association named him librarian of the year.

The Huntington, founded by the railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, is one of the nation's foremost centers for the study of English and American history and literature and the history of science. Under Dr. Moffett's leadership, the library was automated and its endowment and collections were significantly increased.

He is survived by his wife, the former Deborah Ellen Hoover; two daughters, Pamela Padley of Irvine, Calif., and Stephanie Hynds of Pasadena, Calif.; two sons, William Andrew Jr., of Fletcher, N.C., and Charles Henry Buckers, of Manhattan; a sister, Mary Ann Mobley of Cowiche, Wash., and three grandsons.

Photo: William A. Moffett Correction: February 24, 1995, Friday An obituary on Wednesday about Dr. William A. Moffett, director of the Huntington Library of San Marino, Calif., who helped open the Dead Sea Scrolls to outside scholars, included an erroneous identification supplied by the library for a survivor and misstated his residence. The survivor, one of Dr. Moffett's sons, is Charles Henry Buckius Moffett; he lives in Brooklyn, not Manhattan.


Charles Simonton Moffett, Jr. (1945 - 2015)

Obituary from the NY Times, December 11, 2015:

Charles S. Moffett, a curator who reframed scholarly understanding of the Impressionists and their era in exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery and other major museums, died on Thursday at his home on Fishers Island, N.Y. He was 70.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, said his wife, Lucinda Herrick.

As a young curator at the Met, Mr. Moffett produced a string of impressive exhibitions, starting in 1973 with “Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic,” a one-room show that introduced visitors to the artist’s way of thinking by showing the works he liked and loathed, and why.

Two blockbusters followed: “The Impressionist Epoch,” organized in partnership with the Louvre Museum, and “Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism.” In 1983, he organized the New York version of “Manet: 1832-1883,” the most comprehensive show of the artist’s work ever seen in the United States and, according to John Russell, writing in The New York Times, “one of the great exhibitions of the age.”

A catalog for one of the blockbuster exhibitions that Mr. Moffett produced at the Met. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART NEW YORK At the National Gallery of Art, where he was the senior curator of paintings in the late 1980s and early 1980s, Mr. Moffett mounted important exhibitions on Paul Gauguin and Cézanne. After being appointed director of the Phillips Collection in Washington in 1992, he organized small-scale, jewel-like Impressionist exhibitions that dealt with specific works or themes: “The Impressionists in Winter: Effets de Neige” and “Impressionists on the Seine: A Celebration of Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party.’ ”

“Charlie’s name will remain synonymous with Impressionism for a long time, so masterly were his exhibitions and catalogs,” Philippe de Montebello, the former director of the Met, said at an event at the museum on Thursday night.

In 1998, Mr. Moffett joined the wave of museum curators putting their expertise at the service of the major auction houses. As executive vice president and vice chairman of Impressionist, Modern and contemporary art at Sotheby’s, he played a crucial role in some of the biggest art sales of recent years. In 2012, on behalf of a client, he placed the winning bid of $119.9 million for “The Scream,” by Edvard Munch, making it the single most expensive work of art ever sold at auction at the time.

Charles Simonton Moffett Jr. was born on Sept. 19, 1945, in Washington, into a Navy family. Moffett Federal Airfield in the Bay Area is named after his grandfather, Rear Adm. William A. Moffett, often called the father of naval aviation, and his father was a career officer. His mother was the former Faith Locke Phelps.

After graduating from St. George’s School in Middletown, R.I., Mr. Moffett earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1967 from Middlebury College in Vermont. He nourished a deep interest in art dating from the days when his father would park him in the Louvre and other museums for an hour or two as he attended to official duties on visits around the world. He enrolled in the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, earning a master’s degree in 1971, but left before completing his doctoral dissertation.

After working as a Ford Foundation fellow at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, as an expert in 19th-century paintings at the Sotheby-Parke Bernet Galleries, and as the assistant director of H. Shickman Gallery in Manhattan, Mr. Moffett was hired by the Met as a researcher. He went on to become an assistant to John Walsh, the curator of Dutch and Flemish painting. His unfinished dissertation inspired “Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic.”

In the late 1970s Mr. Moffett was a curator of a Degas exhibition devoted to works in the Met’s collection and conceived the 1984 exhibition “Van Gogh in Arles,” which put a key period in the artist’s life under the microscope.

“For the first time,” Mr. Russell wrote in his Times review, “drawing is ranked as a full and equal partner with painting in van Gogh’s output, and the interactivity between the two is set out in ways that are only possible when the original work is on the wall and in the right order.”

At the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he was curator in charge of paintings, Mr. Moffett returned to the Impressionists with “The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886,” a didactic exhibition organized with the National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition originated in a 1974 lecture he had given at the Smithsonian Institution on the original context in which painters like Monet and Pissarro first appeared to the public. Over the years, as he spotted works that had been part of in the eight original Impressionist exhibitions in Paris, he kept notes. Eventually, he was able to show 150 paintings and works on paper, with 38 paintings never seen before in the United States.

“What we have tried to show is that those early shows were more than just exhibitions about Impressionism,” he said in an interview in conjunction with the National Gallery show in 1986. “They were umbrella shows of very wide-ranging, avant-garde work. Degas, for instance, preferred to be known as a ‘realist,’ and to use the word ‘Impressionist’ is to impose a set of criteria on these paintings that isn’t fair.”

Mr. Moffett wrote or contributed to many catalogs that remain standard texts for art historians, notably “The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886.” After leaving Sotheby’s last year, he was a private art adviser.

Mr. Moffett’s first two marriages ended in divorce. In addition to Ms. Herrick, he is survived by two children from his first marriage, Kate Moffett and Charles Locke Moffett, an expert on contemporary art at Sotheby’s; and three sisters, Diana Aziz, Faith Low Humann and Sheila Moffett Rubey.

When he left the Phillips Collection for Sotheby’s, Mr. Moffett explained his motives with a lament that spoke volumes about the changing museum world. “I was spending all my time raising money,” he said. “I knew that if I lost contact with works of art, I would dry up and turn to dust and blow away.”

William Adger Moffett (1869 - 1933)

Encyclopedia of World Biography | 2004 | COPYRIGHT 2004 The Gale Group Inc. (Hide copyright information) Copyright

William Moffett Considered by many to be the architect of United States naval aviation, Rear Admiral William Moffett (1869-1933), was the chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics from 1921 until his death in 1933. He was responsible for the modernization of the navy to include aircraft carriers and the aircraft needed to land on them. He introduced launching catapults on all cruisers and battleships, encouraged the development of large flying boats for work with the fleet, motivated the improvement of the design of the air-cooled engine, and supported the experimentation with dirigibles.

William Adger Moffett was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on October 31, 1869, to Captain George Hall Moffett, a Confederate veteran and merchant, and Elizabeth H. Simonton. He was the fourth son of seven children. His father was killed in an accident when he was six. He had a strong mother who raised him to believe that he should always act with judgment and behave according to a strict code of conduct. He attended public schools, the Presbyterian Sunday School, and engaged in typical boy activities such as hunting, fishing, and boating. At sixteen, Moffett took the competitive examinations for the Naval Academy on July 30, 1886, and passed with top honors. He began school in August 1886, and graduated in 1890.

Served in Spanish American War After eight years of service mostly at sea, Moffett was on the Charleston when Guam surrendered without a fight during the Spanish American War. He also served as watch and division officer during the Battle of Manila Bay. The commander at Manila Bay, Admiral George Dewey, designated Moffett as captain of the port. He was to salvage Spanish ships sunk in the Battle of Manila Bay.

After his return to the United States, Moffett married Jeanette Beverly Whitton in July 1902. The marriage produced seven children. Two children died before reaching adulthood. His three sons became naval aviators and his two daughters married naval officers. Moffett was short at 5' 6" but kept in shape. He taught his children good values, and administered corporal punishment if necessary. As an officer he was known as patient, diplomatic, and a team player who worked within the naval system. He was considered a lively fellow who liked action, color, and a little noise, as well as being a noted raconteur. He rarely swore and did not tell off-color stories. He liked his pre-dinner manhattan, smoked a pipe, and liked mystery stories, especially Agatha Christie.

As an officer Moffett was well liked. He was able to choose the right man for the job and expected him to work "for the good of the ship." He delegated the details and concentrated on broad policies. He backed his men to the hilt unless he found out that they had fouled up. Then he got rid of them quickly. He encouraged his men to show initiative and advanced their careers as well as he could. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1905, studied at the War College in 1906, and served two years as navigator and later executive of the Maryland from 1908 through 1910. His ships, including the Maryland, won many efficiency awards in engineering, gunnery, and athletics.

Battle of Vera Cruz Moffett was appointed commander in 1911, and after a year as executive aboard the Arkansas, he was given command of the Chester, a scout cruiser. During the winter of 1912 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Moffett saw his first aircraft. Two years later in 1914, he saw Lieutenant Patrick N.L. Bellinger make reconnaissance flights at Vera Cruz. These flights provided the intelligence needed to defeat the Mexican sea and land forces during an American intervention in the Mexican Civil War. Moffett took his ship the Chester into the inner harbor at Vera Cruz without a pilot or navigational aides and had her moored close in at daybreak. The Chester fired on buildings along the waterfront, greatly supporting the troops ashore. For his efforts in this battle, Moffett was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on December 4, 1915. General Order 177 stated that he "placed his ship nearest the enemy and did most of the firing and received most of the hits."

During World War I from August 1914 to November 1918, Moffett commanded the Great Lakes Training Station in Illinois and the 9th, 10th, and 11th naval districts. He expanded the station from a capacity of 1,600 men to over 50,000. During the war he trained nearly 100,000 men for the fleet. He also founded a school for aviation mechanics and organized several flight units for practical instruction. In 1916 he was made captain. He showed excellent executive ability and promoted naval activities to the general public. He wanted to fight overseas during the war, but the navy felt that his abilities were best used in training men. For this service he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

Appointed Director of Naval Aviation After the war Moffett assumed command of the Mississippi in 1919. The ship carried spotter aircraft. Moffett believed that naval aviation would be extremely important in the future. He wanted to reform the Office of Naval Aviation after he had some difficulty cutting through the bureaucracy to learn about catapults. Also, he learned that a new post, chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, would soon be created. Lastly, he was certain that aircraft carriers would be the best weapon system to have if the United States had to wage a war in the Pacific with Japan. In 1921 he was appointed director of naval aviation.

As director of naval aviation, Moffett was enmeshed in bureaucracy. He could not get his needs met with the current chain of command. He found that he had to go through the chief of naval operations who could not legally give orders to the bureaus that handled aviation. Also, there were no aviators among the ranking naval leaders. There were no aircraft carriers and no planes that could land on ships. Without one he could not get the other. Pioneer aviators were too junior in the navy to influence policy and as line officers had to spend two years at sea before they could be promoted. This lowered their flying proficiency. Navy personnel argued about whether there should be a Naval Aviation Corps similar to that of the Marine Corps or a Bureau of Aeronautics. Lastly, Congress drastically cut defense funds after World War I.

Named First Chief of Bureau of Aeronautics Fortunately, Moffett had the support of the secretary of the navy, Josephus Daniels, and the chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, Rear Admiral David W. Taylor. They supported the idea of a bureau. Moffett spoke before Congress detailing the need for a central authority to coordinate affairs. President Harding entered the discussion and called for a subcommittee to recommend legislation on both civil and military aviation. Harding approved the bills for air bureaus in the Navy and Commerce Departments. Representative Hicks, a member of the House Naval Affairs Committee, shepherded the legislation through Congress. Brigadier General William "Billy" Mitchell of the United States Army entered the fray and supported the idea of an independent air force. Moffett wanted the Navy Air Wing tied to the Navy. Moffett prevailed and the Bureau of Aeronautics was authorized. Moffett was promoted to rear admiral, the first air admiral in the Navy, and became the first chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics on July 25, 1921 where he served three four-year terms. While all this political maneuvering was going on, the Navy was slowly going forward with its air program. Congress authorized the conversion of a collier to be refitted as an experimental aircraft carrier, the Langley. In the winter of 1919 catapults and planes were fitted to battleships and flying boats were added to the fleet.

As chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Moffett controlled the activities of the Naval Air Force, including a naval experimental station at Annapolis, Maryland, and helium production. He became the chief of naval operation's major advisor. He controlled purchasing, and supervised the construction, design and installation of equipment provided by other bureaus. He brought together ships carrying aircraft, planes, and pilots while also managing a revolution in aviation technology. At 52 years of age, Moffett created and enrolled in the naval aviation observer course in Pensacola, Florida. By June 17, 1922, he had performed every flight function except piloting. His flight pay made him the highest paid admiral in the Navy.

Placed Turntable Catapults on Ships The Washington Conference of November 1921 through February 1922 affected the Bureau of Aeronautics greatly. Moffett realized that aircraft carriers could serve as advanced bases that were not allowed under Article XIX of the Five Power Naval Disarmament Treaty. Congress did not fund the carriers Moffett demanded so he sent aviation to sea on fleet ships outfitted with turntable catapults. He acquired an airship tender, the Wright. The Lexington and the Saratoga, two fleet carriers, were being built. With the carriers, five aircraft tenders, and an airship tender, Moffett felt that the Navy could sustain a cross-Pacific war. He also embarked on a program to build a thousand planes in five years. He promoted and funded the development of Charles Lawrance's radial air-cooled engine. This engine did not have radiators, coolant, and plumbing that caused a lot of trouble in liquid-cooled types.

Moffett employed his planes in fleet exercises as spotters for long-range gun fire, took photographs and movies, towed target sleeves for antiaircraft firing, and tracked torpedoes fired by ships for recovery. Moffett ran into flack from fleet commanders who felt that they needed carriers, better fighting and observation planes, and radios in torpedo planes. They also felt that Moffett spent too much time on publicity and favored Naval Air Factory products over private industry.

Fleet Exercise Mock-Bombed Panama Canal and Pearl Harbor In his first term as chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Moffett had brought in improvements in both the liquid-cooled and radial engines. His planes held 22 of 42 world records. He boosted the airplane industry by purchasing new equipment on the open market. He shifted the use of wood, wire, and fabric in favor of metal for aircraft. Moffett's carriers performed excellently in severe tests of their ability during the 1926-1929 fleet exercises. Aircraft from the Langley mock bombed the Panama Canal in 1926, and in 1928 planes from the Lexington and Saratoga successfully performed a mock bombing of Pearl Harbor, perhaps giving the Japanese a lesson which they put to use in 1941. The Saratoga crossed the Pacific in 1929 and launched 32 fighters, 17 dive bombers, and 17 torpedo bombers from 140 miles out and caught the defenders of the Panama Canal unaware again. Other planes attacked from the Atlantic side of the canal in another mock attack. Moffett certainly proved the importance of the air wing in warfare.

Killed in Dirigible Accident President Herbert Hoover appointed Moffett to an unprecedented third term as chief of aeronautics. Moffett continued to fight for more money from Congress to bring his fleet up to the level needed to fight a war. Hoover wanted to reduce naval power. Moffett served as an advisor to the Naval Conference of 1930 in London, England. He made some points and lost some but was generally pleased with the London Naval Treaty of 1930 because it did not limit aircraft. Another interest Moffett had was dirigibles. He obtained funding for two large rigid aircraft, the Akron and the Macon. Moffett was uncertain as to the usefulness of rigid aircraft for either military or commercial purposes, but he was open-minded. True to his nature to try out new aircraft, he went up in the Akron ; however, he was killed when it was caught in vertically opposed air currents off the coast of New Jersey on April 4, 1933.

Moffett is remembered as the man who brought the navy into the modern era. He had the ability to understand the technical aspects of the machinery and the personal charisma to convince Congress to fund the projects. He understood political power as well as the value of publicity to get his projects done. He understood what he could get done and what he could not. Historians contend that the navy would not have been as prepared for World War II with its excellently trained personnel and carriers if it had not been for Moffett's persistence. Will Rogers deemed him the "propeller of the navy."