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Rear Admiral David B. Macomb, USN (27 February 1827 – 27 January 1911) was an admiral and engineering officer of the United States Navy. He served on blockade duty during the Civil War, and was also a noted inventor.

Early life and naval career[]

Macomb was born near Tallahassee, Florida, 27 February 1827, and entered the Navy as a third assistant engineer in 1849. Prior to the Civil War, he served with the Ringgold Expedition which explored the North Pacific and the China and Japanese Seas; and he accompanied Commodore Matthew Perry’s fleet to Japan, 1853–55.

Civil War service[]

After the start of hostilities in 1861, he took part in the blockade of Charleston, S.C., and of Pensacola, Fla., then at Boston helped build monitors Nahant and Canonicus. He subsequently served on the latter with the James River Fleet and the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. He contributed several inventions to the Navy including the Macomb Bilge Strainer and the hydraulic lift used in the turrets of ironclads.

Later years and legacy[]

Macomb retired in 1889 and died 27 January 1911 in New York City.


In 1941, the destroyer USS Macomb (DD-458) was named in honor of Rear Admiral Macomb and his first cousin, Commodore William H. Macomb (1811–1872).

See also[]


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.