Richard Graham Davenport
Rear Admiral, United States Navy
in Washington, D.C. on January 11, 1849, the son of Captain Henry
Kollock and Jennie Brent Graham Davenport, he was appointed to the
United States Naval Academy from the State of Georgia on September 29,
1864 and graduted in 1869.
He served as an instructor of torpedoes-electricity, Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, 1875 and 1881; Ordnance Instructor, Washington, D.C. Navy Yard in the winter of 1880-81; attended courses of lectures in international law and naval science, Naval War College, Newport, in the terms of 1887 and 1902.
He married Serena Hale Gilman on November 20, 1884.
He was originally commissioned an Ensign, July 12, 1870, and advanced through the grades, retiring after more than 42 years of service on June 30, 1907 as Commodore, while in command of the First Class Battleship USS Georgia. While on shore duty, he served as an aide to the Rear Admiral representing the Navy Department at the Centennial Exposition, Phildelphia, 1875-76; temporary duty as the Chicago Exposition in 1893; served as a member of the Board of Civil Service Examiners for Nautical Experts; was President of the Permanent General Courts Martial and also as Navigation and Equipment Officer and senior member of the Board of Inspection, Labor Board and Wage Administrtion, Navy yard, Washington, D.C., May 1902 to August 1906; also a member of the US Navy Examining and Retiring Board, 1906; Assistant to the Chief, Bureau of Navigation, in charge of a detail of officers, 1897-98; and, from time to time, in charge of various divisions of the US Navy Hydrographic Office.
Afloat, he served as Midshipman and as Watch and Division Officer, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Pacific, Asiatic, Training and European Squadrons; as aide on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief of the Asiatic Squadron; Flag Lieutenant to Commodore J. C. Watson during the Spanish-American War (1898-99); second in command of the fleet blockading on the coast of Cuba; later Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Squadron. Attached to and on the USS Oregon off Santiago, Cuba, when the Spanish General in command surrendered. As a Lieutenant Commander in command of USS Fishhawk, investigated the radius of dispersion of star fish in the waters of Narragansett Bay and, in 1898-99, with a party of scientists aboard, made a biological survey of waters around Puerto Rico; as a Commander, 1900-02, commanded the USS Training Ship Essex and as a Captain, commanded the Battleship USS Georgia at the opening of the Jamestown Exposition, 1907.
Awarded the West India Campaign Medal, War With Spain Medal, and the Sampson Medal, with bars, for naval engagements in the Spanish-American War. During World War I, he was on active duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, January 26, 1918-June 1, 1919, as Senior Member of the Permanent Board of Investigations.
He died on May 30, 1926 and was buried in Section
3 of Arlington National Cemetery among other family members.
WASHINGTON, May 31, 1926 – Rear Admiral Richard Graham Davenport, USN, retired, died on Sunday in his seventy-eighth year at the United States Naval Hospital in Washington, where he had been under treatment for six weeks. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday at St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, and interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
Admiral Davenport is survived by his wife, who was Miss Serene Hale. They were married on November 20, 1884.
The Admiral was born in Washington on January 11, 1849, the son of Captain Henry K. Davenport of the Navy. He was of the fifth generation of his family born on the site Washington. Entering the Naval Academy in 1864, he graduated four years later. He served through the various grades and was retired as a Commodore in 1907. During the World War he was recalled to active duty with the rank of Rear Admiral and assigned to duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
During his forty-two years on the active list, Admiral Davenport had a varied service. He was on duty in connection with the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia in 1875 and 1876 and on temporary duty with the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He did much work in the Hydrographic Bureau of the Navy Department in revising and editing books on sailing directio9ns and other information for mariners issued by the office.
During the war with Spain he served as Flag Lieutenant to Commodore J. C. Watson, who was in command of the fleet blockading the Cuban coast and was attached to the Oregon off Santiago when the General in command of the Spanish forces capitulated aboard her.
In 1892 and 1899, with a party of scientists,
he made a biological survey of the waters around Puerto Rico. He
conducted similar investigations later. He held the West Indian medal,
the Sampson medal with bars for naval engagements, and the World War victory
DAVENPORT, SERENA HALE WID/O RICHARD GRAHAM
Updated: 16 December 2000 Updated: 31 March 2003 Updated: 3 October 2004 Updated: 27 August 2005 Updated: 10 January 2008