Port admiral

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Naval officer ranks
Flag officers:

Admiral of the fleetFleet admiralGrand admiral
AdmiralGeneral admiral
Vice admiralSquadron vice-admiralLieutenant admiral
Rear admiralCounter admiralDivisional admiral
CommodoreFlotilla admiral

Senior officers:

CaptainCaptain at seaCaptain of sea and warShip-of-the-line captain
CommanderFrigate captain
Lieutenant commanderCorvette captain

Junior officers:

Captain lieutenantLieutenantShip-of-the-line lieutenant
Frigate lieutenantLieutenant (junior grade)Sub-lieutenant
Corvette lieutenantEnsign

Port admiral is an honorary rank in the United States Navy, and a former appointment in the British Royal Navy.

Royal Navy[edit]

The term 'port admiral' was used to designate the senior naval officer having authority over all commissioned ships and naval personnel stationed at a particular home base or anchorage.[1] A port admiral did not, however, have oversight of the local Royal Navy Dockyard (if any); dockyards (as well as any ships laid up 'in ordinary') were the responsibility of an independent official: prior to 1832, a resident Commissioner appointed by the Navy Board, subsequently an admiral-superintendent appointed by the Admiralty.

In practice, the offices of port admiral and admiral-superintendent often came to be combined,[2] not least when (from the late 18th century) port admirals began to be based ashore rather than afloat on their flagship. Since the 1970s the term has fallen into disuse.

United States Navy[edit]

Port admiral is an honorary rank in the United States Navy for the senior officer of the ships in a naval dockyard. Examples include Samuel Livingston Breese from 1869 to 1870 in Philadelphia. The port admiral usually has a flagship, examples of which include USS Roanoke for the New York City port admiral from 1865 to 1874.

Use of the title in science fiction[edit]

The rank of port admiral appears in several futuristic military organisations in science fiction.

In the Lensman novels, the rank of port admiral appeared as the most senior naval officer of the Galactic Patrol, with de facto supreme command over its forces. Three specific port admirals were mentioned by name: Roderick K. Kinnison, the first port admiral and ancestor of series protagonist Kimball Kinnison; Port Admiral Haynes, who commanded the patrol during Kimball Kinnison's early career and was a mentor and father figure to him; and Raoul Laforge, an academy classmate and friend of Kinnison's who had replaced the retired Haynes by the time of the last novel.

In the Starfire universe, a fleet admiral (five-star admiral) holds the position of port admiral, presiding over The Yard, the Terran Federation's largest and most important naval base and shipyard.


  1. ^ Lavery, Brian (1989). Nelson's Navy: the Ships, Men and Organisation 1793-1815. London: Conway Maritime Press. 
  2. ^ "National archives".