Charles Triebel was born on November 17, 1907, in Peoria, Illinois. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1925, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 6, 1929. His first assignment was aboard the battleship USS New York (BB-34) from June 1929 to June 1931, followed by Submarine School in New London, Connecticut, from June 1931 to March 1932. He served as a Gunnery & Torpedo Officer aboard the submarine USS S-25 (SS-130) from April to May 1932, and then as a Communications Officer aboard the submarine USS S-18 (SS-123) from May to July 1932. LtJG Triebel next served as Engineering and Electrical Officer aboard the submarine USS S-22 (SS-127) from July 1932 to January 1935, followed by service as Executive Officer aboard the submarine USS S-17 (SS-122) from January to May 1935. He then served in the Office of the Superintending Constructor with the Electric Boat Company at Groton, Connecticut, for the fitting out of the submarine USS Shark (SS-174), and then served aboard the Shark from it's commissioning on May 21, 1935, to May 1936. LT Triebel served as the Assistant Superintending Constructor at the Electric Boat Company at Groton from May 1936 to August 1938, and then served as Commanding Officer of the submarine USS S-41 (SS-146) from August 1938 to January 1941. He then took command of the submarine USS S-15 (SS-120) at her recommissioning on January 3, 1941, and served as Commanding Officer until July 1942. LCDR Triebel next served at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine, during the fitting out of the submarine USS Snook (SS-279), followed by service as Commanding Officer of the Snook from her commissioning on October 24, 1942, and through her first five war patrols from March 1943 to March 1944. During this time he was credited with the sinking and damaging of 21 enemy ships, making him the 9th most successful submarine commander of World War II. His next assignment was as Subsection Chief, Maintenance of Torpedoes and Torpedo Tubes, with the Bureau of Ordnance in the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., from March 1944 to August 1945, followed by service as Commanding Officer of Submarine Division 301 in Perth, Australia, from August 1945 to April 1946. CAPT Triebel served as a staff office and as an observer for the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests while serving on the Staff of the Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, from April to September 1946. He next served as Commanding Officer and Director of the Special Devices Center with the Office of Naval Research at Sands Point, Port Washington, New York, from September 1946 to May 1947, followed by service as Commanding Officer of the submarine tender USS Howard W. Gilmore (AS-16) from May 1947 to July 1948. CAPT Triebel served as Commander of Submarine Squadron 8 out of New London, Connecticut, from July 1948 to August 1950, and then as Commander of U.S. Naval Submarine Base New London, Connecticut, from August 1950 to August 1952. After attending the National War College in Washington, D.C., he served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans on the Staff of the Commander in Chief, Naval Forces, Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean in Naples, Italy, from July 1953 to September 1955. His next assignment was as Commander of Submarine Flotilla One in San Diego, California, from October 1955 to October 1956, followed by service as Special Assistant to the Director of the Strategic Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from November 1956 to July 1957. RADM Triebel served as Representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for National Security Affairs in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon from July 1957 to August 1959, and then served as Commander of Amphibious Group ONE at San Diego from November 1959 to September 1960. His final assignment was as Director of the Logistic Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon from September 1960 until his retirement from the Navy on August 1, 1962. Charles Triebel died on March 10, 1996, and was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.
His 3rd Navy Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of a United States submarine during a war patrol of that vessel in enemy-controlled waters. With exceptional skill, he succeeded in penetrating strong escort screens and by a series of aggressive and well-executed torpedo attacks, he succeeded in sinking five enemy ships totaling over 26,000 tons and damaging one other freighter of over 6,000 tons. Despite enemy counter-attacks, he skillfully evaded damage by depth-charging and brought his ship to port safely. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to his officers and men, and in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service.