Casto Méndez Núñez
Casto Secundino María Méndez Núñez (July 1, 1824 – August 21, 1869), Spanish military naval officer. Born in Vigo (Galicia). In 1866 during the Chincha Islands War between Spain, Peru and Chile, he was general commander of the Spanish fleet in the Pacific. As such, he bombarded and destroyed the port of Valparaiso, and fought the Battle of Callao (during which he was injured nine times.) Méndez Núñez was the first man to circumnavigate the world on an ironclad warship: "Enloricata navis quae primo terram circuivit".
When Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, the American Minister to Chile, learned that Commodore Méndez Núñez was to bombard the port of Valparaiso, he asked the American naval commander Commodore John Rodgers to attack the Spanish fleet. Méndez Núñez famously responded with "I will be forced to sink [the US ships], because even if I have one ship left I will proceed with the bombardment. Spain, the Queen and I prefer honor without ships than ships without honor." (España prefiere honra sin barcos a barcos sin honra.)
Four Spanish Navy warships were named Méndez Núñez in his honour, including:
- An armoured frigate, converted from screw frigate Resolución, renamed in 1870, retired in 1896
- A Blas de Lezo-class cruiser built in 1924, retired in 1963
- The former USS O'Hare (DD-889), a Gearing-class destroyer 1973–1992
- An Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate commissioned in 2006
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Casto Méndez Núñez.|
- Numancia (includes short biography)
- Biography (in Spanish)
- War Ensign used by Spanish Navy ships between 1785-1931
- Ensign used by Navy ships belonging to the Ferrol Naval Department 1732
- The "Revista Naval" page published in Ferrol in Spanish for the "Armada Española"
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