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Admiral George Dewey Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: December 26, 1837
Died: January 16, 1917
Biography | show moreshow less
George Dewey (1837-1917) fought with distinction in the Civil War, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. As commander of the US Navy's Asiatic Squadron and anticipating war with Spain in 1898, he had his fleet assembled and ready to sail as soon was war was declared. On May 1, 1898, Commodore Dewey entered Manila Bay in the Philippine Islands with a squadron of four cruisers and two gunboats. The Spanish fleet was at anchor, and at 5:30 A.M., Commodore Dewey gave the order to Captain Charles V. Gridley of the flagship Olympia: "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley." Rapid, accurate fire sank or destroyed all ten ships of the Spanish fleet before mid-day. This one-sided victory signaled the world that the US had become a first-class naval power. Dewey was promoted to Rear Admiral nine days later. In March 1899, Dewey was made Admiral of the Navy, a rank created especially for him and the highest held by an American naval officer.

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