Theodore Phinney Grosvenor

Theodore Phinney Grosvenor (1897-1985), was born in Providence, the scion of one of the first families of Rhode Island, operators of the Grosvenordale Mills.

After graduating in 1916 from St. George’s School in Newport, he entered Harvard that fall, joining ROTC. He enlisted in the Navy on March 23, 1917, with the intention of going into aviation. He earned his wings in December, 1917, and was assigned to the US Naval Air Station at Killingholme, England. For the most part he crewed H-16 Flying Boats, patrolling the sea lanes for enemy surface ships, submarines, planes and dirigibles. He returned to the family textile business after the war, then became an investment banker after the mills were sold.

He returned to service during WWII, first patrolling for German subs in the Caribbean. He was then transferred to Hawaii where he commanded a Carrier Aircraft Service Unit, maintained most types of combat aircraft, receiving new planes, training personnel in their duties and commissioning men and planes as squadrons. He resigned from the Naval Reserve on November 1, 1949 as a Commander.

After World War II, Ted returned to Newport where he continued to fly and sail until poor eyesight curtailed those activities. He took up art–sculpture in particular–and made many fine pieces for friends and family. He was active in the community and played an important role in establishing the Newport County Boys and Girls Club.

  • More in 2018:

  • More in Special Recognition Award:

  • More in US Navy:

  • Find this interesting? Share it!

    Help Us Continue to Honor RI's Aviation History.

    Please consider a tax-deductible gift to help support our efforts.