Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 94 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

-- John F. Kennedy

Commodore William D. Porter, USN (1808-1864)

(238 total words in this text)
(1260 Reads)  Printer-friendly page
William David Porter, son of Commodore David Porter and elder brother of Admiral David Dixon Porter, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on 10 March 1808. He entered the Navy as a Midshipman in January 1823 and attained the rank of Lieutenant at the end of 1833. He was retired in September 1855, but was later reinstated on active duty with the rank of Commander. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was commanding the sloop of war USS Saint Mary's.

Late in 1861, Porter took command of the newly-converted gunboat New Era, serving in the Mississippi River area with the Army's Western Gunboat Flotilla. He renamed her Essex, after his father's old ship of the War of 1812. During late 1861 and early 1862, he had Essex further modified and took her into action on a number of occasions, distinguishing himself for his courageous conduct. After the gunboat was damaged in action with Fort Henry, Tennessee, in February 1862, Porter had the ship virtually rebuilt. He then commanded her in further combat undertakings, including the destruction of the Confederate ironclad Arkansas. A controversial figure in the Navy, Porter received the rank of Commodore in recognition of his achievements, but was detached from Essex in September 1862 and had no further assignments afloat. He died on 1 May 1864.

USS William D. Porter (DD-579), 1943-1945, was named in honor of Commodore Porter.

Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

Should the proposed Global War on Terrorism Medal be issued?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 51

This Day in History
1270: The Seventh Crusade ends by the Treaty of Barbary.

1697: The Treaty of Ryswick ends the war between France and the Grand Alliance.

1899: Two battalions of British troops are cut off, surrounded and forced to surrender to General Petrus Jouberts Boers at Nicholsons Nek.

1918: Turkey signs an armistice with the Allies, agreeing to end hostilities at noon, October 31.

1918: The Italians capture Vittorio Veneto and rout the Austro-Hungarian army.

1941: President Roosevelt, determined to keep the United States out of the war while helping those allies already mired in it, approves $1 billion in Lend-Lease loans to the Soviet Union.

1941: The U.S. destroyer Reuben James, on convoy duty off Iceland, is sunk by a German U-boat with the loss of 96 Americans.

1950: The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.

1965: Just miles from Da Nang, U.S. Marines repel an intense attack by successive waves of Viet Cong troops and kill 56 guerrillas. A search of the dead uncovered a sketch of Marine positions written on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who had been selling drinks to the Marines the previous day. This incident was indicative of the nature of a war in which even the most seemingly innocent child could be the enemy.

1970: Fighting in the five northern-most provinces comes to a virtual halt as the worst monsoon rains in six years strikes the region.