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James Findlay Schenck (11 June 1807 – 21 December 1882) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served in the Mexican-American War and the American Civil War.


Born in Franklin, Ohio, he was the son of William Schenck, the founder of Franklin. He entered West Point as a cadet in the class of 1826, but left before graduation. Schenck was appointed Midshipman in the United States Navy in 1825. During service in the Mexican-American War, he served under Commodore Stockton at Santa Barbara, San Pedro, Los Angeles, Guaymas, and Mazatlan. At Santa Barbara, in 1846, he raised with his own hands the first American flag to fly in California. He was highly commended for his service.

Taking command of Saginaw in 1859, Schenck served on the China Station for two years, silencing a fort at Quinhon Bay, Cochin China, on 30 June 1861.

Since Saginaw became unsea-worthy early in the Civil War, Schenck decommissioned his ship on 3 January 1862, proceeded home without waiting for orders, and was at once given command of St. Lawrence in the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. Schenck commanded Powhatan and the 3d Division of Admiral David Dixon Porter's fleet in operations against Fort Fisher, and he was mentioned for gallantry in Admiral Porter's action report. He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 21 September 1868 and retired on 11 June 1869.

Rear Admiral Schenck died at Dayton, Ohio and is interred in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio.


USS Schenck (DD-159) was named for him.

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