KINTBERGER, Leon Samuel  
Name:  Kintberger, Leon Samuel
Date of birth: April 24th, 1910 (Zanesville/Ohio, United States)
Date of death:  September 4th, 1983 (Anne Arundel County/Maryland, United States)
Nationality:  American
Leon S. Kintberger qualified at the U.S. Naval Academy Class of 1932. On October 25th, 1944, then Commanding Officer U.S.S. Hoel (DD 533), had to abandon ship when it was sunk at the Battle of Samar after inflicting serious damage during an encounter with a superior Japanese fleet. Commander Kintberger and his remaining crewmembers spent 52 hours in the water before being rescued. On February 28th, 1945 he became commanding officer of the U.S.S. Zellars (DD 777). During the Battle for Okinawa, April 12th, 1945 the ship managed to destroy 7 Japanese Kamikaze planes before being badly damaged by another.

Rear Admiral Leon S. Kintberger passed away on September 4th, 1983 at age 73. He lies buried at the Annapolis Hebrwe Cemetery, Annapolis, Maryland, United States.

Besides his World War Two related decorations he received the National Defence Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon and was entitled to wear the Presidential Unit Citation and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

1926 - 1927: Student Baltimore Polytechnic Institute;
1928 - 1929: John Hopkins University, Baltimore;
1929 - 1932: United States Naval Academy;
1934: Engisn, U.S.S. New York (BB 34);
1935 - 1936: Lieutenant (Junior Grade), U.S.S. Minneapolis (CA 36);
1936 - 1938: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Evans (DD 78);
1940 - 1941: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Bernadou (DD 153);
May 31st, 1943 - August 1943: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Charles Lawrence (DE 53);
October 15th, 1943 - ?: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Coolbaugh (DE 217);
August 1944 - October 25th, 1944: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Hoel (DD 533);
February 8th, 1945 - ? 1945: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Zellars (DD 777);
1946 - 1957: ?;
1958 - 1959: Joint Chiefs of Staff;
1959: Retirement.

Rank: Commander
Unit: Commanding Officer U.S.S. Hoel (DD 533)
Action: Citation:
"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. HoelL (DD-533), during action against enemy Japanese forces near Samar in the Philippine Islands, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on 25 October 1944. Commander Kintberger directed his ship in a surface engagement with a large task force of the Japanese Fleet, during the Battle of Samar Island in Philippine waters. The enemy force was immensely superior in number, firepower and armor, but Commander Kintberger twice brought his ship within four thousand yards of the enemy to launch torpedo attacks on their heavy ships, despite the fact that his ship was under constant fire. With an outstanding display of seamanship, he again maneuvered within short range to bring his surface guns to bear more effectively upon two heavy cruisers, and the many crippling hits he scored helped materially to put these ships out of action. By his actions he diverted enemy fire to himself from the lightly armored carriers he was protecting. By his skill in combat and his dauntless determination, he gave inspiration to his officers and men during a most critical situation. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States."
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Picture source:   - U.S.S Zellars (DD-777) Association
Information source(s):   - Sterner S.D., Recipients of The Navy Cross, 1916 - Present
- Home of Heroes
- U.S.S Zelllars DD 777 Association records
- U-boat net
- Find a Grave
- The Battle of Samar
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