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Charles Quinby

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameCharles Fenton Mercer Spotswood•Quinby
Used nameCharles•Quinby
Born6 October 1899 in Norfolk, Virginia (USA)
Died4 January 1988 in Englewood, Florida (USA)
AffiliationsUS Naval Academy, Annapolis (USA)
NOC United States


Charles Quinby came from a military family, with a father, John Quinby, who attended the US Naval Academy and became a captain in the Navy. Charles Quinby also attended Annapolis, graduating in 1921, after earning his “N” in swimming, and he became a career military man. After graduation he served on the USS Oklahoma battleship from 1921-23, after which he served in the light cruiser USS Cincinnati as 3rd division officer in 1924. He then served time on various ships and as an instructor at the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Unit at the University of Washington, until World War II.

In World War II, Quinby was initially assigned to Washington as Assistant Officer in Charge of Officer Training. In January 1941 he became Commanding Officer of the destroyer USS Craven. From December 1941 to July 1943 he was Acting Captain of the Yard at the Portsmouth (NH) Navy Yard. He went to Europe in July 1943 as Commanding Officer of the US Naval Amphibious Bases in Southwest England, and from December 1943 to June 1944 he was Commanding Officer of the US Naval Advance Base in Plymouth, England. In January 1945 he became Commanding Officer of the USS Sitka, holding that command until he became Assistant Chief of Staff in the First Naval District in June 1946. He retired from the Navy in June 1952, and settled first in Kittery, Maine, and later near Sarasota, Florida.

Quinby was given numerous awards for his military work during the war, including a Legion of Merit from England and the Croix de Guerre from France. He also was awarded the American Area Ribbon, the European-African-Middle East Campaign Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon, the China Service Ribbon, the Navy Occupation Ribbon, the American Defense Ribbon, and both a World War I and World War II victory medal.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1920 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Charles Quinby
400 metres Breaststroke, Men (Olympic) 4 h2 r1/3