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Rear Admiral John Donaldson Ford (19 May 1840 – 17 April 1918) was an officer in the United States Navy during the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ford entered the Navy as third assistant engineer 30 July 1862. Assigned to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron 1862-65, he participated in engagements on the Mississippi River and the Battle of Mobile Bay. He was attached to the sloop-of-war Sacramento when she was wrecked off the coast of India in June 1867.

During the next three decades he held various sea and shore assignments; and, while attached to the Maryland Agricultural and Mechanical College (now the University of Maryland, College Park) from 1894–96, he started a course in mechanical engineering. As fleet engineer of the Pacific Squadron in 1898, he served in Baltimore (C-3) during the Battle of Manila Bay 1 May. For his "eminent and conspicuous conduct in battle" in operations at Cavite, Sangley Point, and Corregidor, he was advanced three numbers.

Promoted to Rear Admiral upon retirement 19 May 1902, Ford remained on active duty as Inspector of Machinery and Ordnance at Sparrow's Point, Baltimore, until December 1908.

Rear Admiral Ford died in Baltimore, Maryland 17 April 1918.


The destroyer USS John D. Ford (DD-228) was named for him.


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

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