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Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. (Redirected from Win Spencer)

Earl Winfield Spencer Jr.
Spencer 2.jpg
Nickname(s)Win
Born(1888-09-20)September 20, 1888
Kinsley, Kansas, U.S.
DiedMay 29, 1950(1950-05-29) (aged 61)
Coronado, California, U.S.
Buried
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1910–1939
RankUS-O5 insignia.svg Commander
Commands heldNaval Air Station San Diego
Spouse(s)
(m. 1916; div. 1927)
Mariam J. Maze
(m. 1928; div. 1936)
Norma Reese Johnson
(m. 1937; div. 1941)
Lillian Phillips
(after 1941)
Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. (1920)

Earl Winfield Spencer Jr. (September 20, 1888 – May 29, 1950) was a pioneering U.S. Navy pilot who served as the first commanding officer of Naval Air Station San Diego. He was the first husband of Wallis Simpson, who later married Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.

Early life and military career

Known as Win, he was born in Kinsley, Kansas, son of Earl Winfield Spencer Sr., a socially prominent Chicago stockbroker, and the former Agnes Lucy Hughes of Jersey. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1910 and in 1917 was sent to San Diego with instructions to set up a permanent naval air station, which was to be used for training exercises, and he became its first commanding officer.

Personal life

Spencer was married five times.[citation needed] Four of his wives were:

  • Norma Reese Johnson (1891–1944), the widow of Homer Sturtevant Johnson, a Detroit manufacturer who died in 1928, and a daughter of Carl Reese, of Detroit, Michigan. Spencer and Johnson were married in Los Angeles, California, on July 4, 1937. By this marriage he had two stepdaughters: Betty L. Johnson, an actress and songwriter (married Balie Peyton Legare Jr. (1908–1984), a jazz musician, whom she divorced in 1942) and Kathryne Johnson (born circa 1912, married Dell Myron Wade Jr). The Spencers' wedding was a double wedding with Betty and Peyton Legare, whose wedding in February 1937 in Tijuana, Mexico, was not valid under California law and needed to be resolemnized. The couple separated on February 9, 1940, and were divorced later that year in Santa Monica, California. Both parties charged cruelty, and Norma declared that her husband was plagued by what The New York Times's announcement of their acrimonious divorce delicately called "habitual intemperance." Time magazine reported, "During a stormy session of accusations and counteraccusations Navyman Spencer, charged with cruelty and habitual intemperance, testified that his weekly liquor bill was only about $10, that his wife 'drank as much of it as I did.'"
  • Lillian Phillips (1892–1981), daughter of Robert A. and Ella Burgess Phillips, whom he married October 2, 1941.

Later life

Commander Spencer died in Coronado, California. He is buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California, with his wife Lillian.

In art, screen portrayals, and literature

He was portrayed by actor Ryan Hayward in W.E., the 2011 British romantic drama film about the love of Wallis and King Edward VIII co-written and directed by Madonna.

This page was last updated at 2023-01-03 02:06 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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