Colby Mitchell Chester

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Colby Mitchell Chester
Colby Mitchell Chester (USS Kentucky).jpg
Captain Colby Mitchell Chester in his cabin on the USS Kentucky
Born (1844-02-29)February 29, 1844
New London, Connecticut
Died May 4, 1932(1932-05-04) (aged 88)
Rye, New York
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Department of the Navy Seal.svg United States Navy
Years of service 1863–1909, & 1917
Rank Admiral
Commands held Cincinnati
Kentucky
Battles/wars Civil War
Spanish-American War
World War I

Colby Mitchell Chester (February 29, 1844 – May 4, 1932) was a United States Navy admiral. He is the only naval officer to have actively served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.

Biography[edit]

Chester was born in New London, Connecticut, on 29 February 1844, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1863. In 1864, he participated in operations against Mobile, Alabama, aboard the Richmond, part of the squadron commanded by Admiral David G. Farragut. He served in the Navy for 46 more years.

He was Commandant of Cadets at the United States Naval Academy in 1891-94; commanded the Cincinnati, flagship of the South Atlantic squadron during the Spanish-American War; became commanding officer of Kentucky upon her commissioning on May 15, 1900 until 1901, and became superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1902, and retired on February 28, 1906.

Chester's active-service record was extended to February 28, 1909 to round out a full 50-year service career with the U.S. Navy. He was recalled to special duty in 1917, during World War I, as the first Commandant of the Navy ROTC units at Yale and Brown Universities.

In 1923 he traveled to Turkey at the head of the Americans who participated in an agreement called the Chester concession.

He died in Rye, New York, in 1932, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.