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Bancroft Gherardi (November 10, 1832 - December 10, 1903) was born in Jackson, Louisiana. He was appointed Acting Midshipman June 26, 1846 and served on the Ohio during the Mexican-American War. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1851 and graduated the next year. Ordered to the St. Louis, he cruised the Mediterranean, and after promotion to Lieutenant in 1855 he was ordered to the Saratoga.
At the outbreak of the American Civil War he served in the steam sloop Lancaster and later became the executive officer of the Chippewa in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He commanded gunboats Chocorua and Port Royal, and was commended for his conduct in the Battle of Mobile Bay under Admiral David Farragut August 5, 1864.
In later years he commanded receiving ships Colorado and Lancaster and was present at the bombardment of Alexandria, Egypt. He served as President of the Naval Examining Board, as Governor of the Naval Asylum at Philadelphia, and as Commandant of the New York Navy Yard. He was promoted to Rear Admiral August 25, 1887. In 1893 he was made Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Review Fleet on the Hudson River and then Commandant of the New York Navy Yard. He retired November 10, 1894 and died at his home in Stratford, Connecticut, December 10, 1903.
The USS Gherardi (DD-637) was named in his honor.
Gherardi's son, Bancroft Gherardi, Jr., was a noted American electrical engineer.
- This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.