James Henry Gillis
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Admiral James Henry Gillis (14 May 1831-6 December 1910) was an officer
in the United States Navy. His active-duty career extended from the 1850s
through the 1890s, including service in the American Civil War.
Born in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, Gillis graduated from the Naval Academy in 1854. Three years later, while serving in store ship Supply he rescued the crew of a floundered Argentine ship during a violent storm.
During the Civil War he served with Union Squadrons blockading the Confederacy and subsequently commanded Michigan, Franklin (Flagship European Station), Lackawanna, Minnesota, and Hartford (Flagship Pacific Station).
Appointed Rear Admiral in 1888, he retired on 14 May 1893.
Known as the "Sailor with a charmed life" because he never lost a man at sea, Rear Admiral Gillis died at Melbourne Beach, Florida.
The destroyer USS Gillis (DD-260) was named
for him and Commodore John P. Gillis.