Casto Méndez Núñez

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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.)

Spanish Navy Ships[edit]

Four Spanish Navy warships were named Méndez Núñez in his honour including:

The municipality of Mendez, Cavite, Philippines was also named in his honor.

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