Admiral Willis A. Lee
Hall of Fame
Date of birth:
In 1907, Lee became the only American to ever win both the open U.S. National Rifle and Pistol Championships in the same year.
A 1920 Olympian, Lee was a member of the Rifle and Running Target team competing in 14 events and finished as the high medal winner for the Games, taking home seven team medals overall including five gold, one silver and one bronze.
“Shooting everything from army rifle to miniature (smallbore) and running target, Lee was an ever-present fixture on the Antwerp medal stand,” said Col. Jim Crossman in his book, Olympic Shooting. Lee and his teammate Lloyd Spooner held the record for the most medals won at a single Olympics for 60 years.
Admiral Lee, who passed away in 1945 at the age of 57, also enjoyed a distinguished naval career. He commanded the U. S. Naval Battleship Division Six during the Battle of Guadalcanal that turned back a Japanese invasion force headed for the island. The victory ended Japanese attempts to reinforce their troops on Guadalcanal and marked a turning point in World War II. Lee was later awarded the Navy Cross for his courageous leadership during that particular battle.