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, California on Coronado Island. He was the first husband of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor.
Known as Win, 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. On November 8, 1916, he married Bessie Wallis Warfield (1896–1986), a socialite from a prominent Maryland family. Spencer was alleged to be abusive and an alcoholic, and his wife reportedly refused to consummate the marriage. After several separations, the Spencers divorced in December 1927. After a second marriage, to Ernest Simpson, and another divorce, she married the former Edward VIII of the United Kingdom and became the Duchess of Windsor.
Spencer's second wife was Miriam J. Spencer. They were divorced in 1936, the same year he was made a Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy by Benito Mussolini.
His third wife was Norma Reese (1889–?), the widow of Homer Stuyvesant Johnson, a Detroit manufacturer. Spencer and Mrs. Johnson were married in Los Angeles, California, on July 4, 1937. The wedding was a double ceremony; the other couple was Norma Johnson's daughter, Betty Johnson, an actress and songwriter, and Balie Peyton Legare, Jr., a jazz musician known as Peyton Legare.
Norma and Earl Spencer 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.'"
This letter to an autograph seeker was written onboard the U.S.Navy's one-of-a-kind sea plane tender the USS Wright AZ-1, named for the famous aircraft pioneers the Wright Brothers, and was mailed at Post Office Bay on the Galapagos Islands where a wooden post barrel was placed and put into use in the late 18th century by English whaling vessels for mail delivery. As an attraction, the wooden barrel is still used as an active postal drop-off station to this day.