This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, awards, and memorabilia of Rear Admiral Philip Carleton Koelsch (1921-1993), a 1942 Naval Academy graduate, from his years of military service as well as that of his brother, John Kelvin Koelsch, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for whom the USS Koelsch (Destroyer Escort) was named. Koelsch family members are also represented in the collection.
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Philip Koelsch graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1942 (class of 1943) and was commissioned an Ensign. Thereafter, he served on destroyers in World War II's Pacific Theater. In 1949, he resigned from his regular commission, accepted a reserve commission, and attended law school at Georgetown University. During the Cold War, Koelsch served on a destroyer in the Mediterranean. After being released from active duty, Koelsch served as the Commanding Officer of the Reserve Crew of a reserve destroyer station in Galveston. After becoming a Rear Admiral, Koelsch commanded all of the Naval Reserve activities in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
Philip Koelsch received a number of awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, a Navy Commendation Medal, a Purple Heart, and eight battle stars.