Return to Operational ArchivesImage of anchorSearch the Naval Historical Center Website
Flag banner


Painting, Navy ship behind sailboat
Operational Archives Branch
Naval Historical Center
805 Kidder Breese Street SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5060


Papers of Rear Admiral
Francis H. Delano
1867-1930



Biographical Note

Francis Henry Delano entered the U.S. Naval Academy as a Midshipman on 23 September 1863. He graduated on 6 June 1867 and reported to USS Susquehanna on 20 June. Detached in January 1868 he was transferred to the steamer Contoocook in March. On 26 October 1868 he was detached from Contoocook and ordered to duty on USS Yantie. In December 1868 Delano received his commission as an Ensign.

After a year onboard Yantie, he was detached in November 1869. Appointed Master on 21 March 1870, he had signal duty in Washington, DC until being detached in June of that year.

Delano arrived on USS Mohican in August 1870, where he served until October of the following year. His next orders, dated 19 October 1871, separated him from the Pacific Fleet for duty with the Asiatic Fleet.

Promoted to Lieutenant on 6 February 1873, Delano served on USS Ashuelot until detached in October 1873. In March 1874 he was ordered to duty on USS Portsmouth. By August 1875 he had received orders to report to the receiving ship Sabine. He was detached from Sabine in July 1876 and transferred to the steamer Shawmut, serving with the North Atlantic Fleet until January 1877.

Delano reported to the Hydrographic Office in Washington, DC on 14 February 1877. Just two months later he was reassigned to USS Supply. By December, he had again been reassigned, reporting to the receiving ship Wyoming. He served on Wyoming until receiving orders to report for duty on Supply in January 1878. He was detached from Supply in April 1879 and reported to Intrepid in August 1879. He served with Intrepid for three years, when he began duty on the steamer Pensacola.

After just over a year on Pensacola, he was transferred to USS Richmond in October 1883. In August 1884, Delano was detached from Richmond and arrived at Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire in January 1885. Four months later, in May 1885, he received orders for instruction in torpedo service at Newport, Rhode Island. He proceeded to the Naval War College in September 1885 and then returned to Portsmouth in October.

Reporting to steamer Ossipee in May 1887 he spent two years there before again returning to Portsmouth in December 1889. In June 1892 he began a two-year tour as executive officer of the training ship Portsmouth.

Appointed Lieutenant Commander on 22 June 1894, he reported to the Washington Navy Yard for ordnance instruction in September. The following month, he was assigned as executive officer of the receiving ship Wabash. His posting to Wabash ended in May 1896, and he proceeded to Yokohama, Japan to join USS Olympia as executive officer.

He reported for duty as executive officer of USS Minneapolis on 30 November 1897 before assuming command of USS Fish Hawk in July 1898. Under his command, Fish Hawk participated in blockading operations off the coast of Havana, Cuba during the month of August 1898. Promoted to Commander on 3 March 1899, he took command of the training ship Alliance, where he served until Alliance was decommissioned.

Delano spent the month of June 1900 at the Naval War College and in July reported to Boston Navy Yard for duty in connection with the fitting out of USS Topeka and for command of that ship once commissioned. After leaving Topeka, he had duty at League Island Navy Yard in Pennsylvania until December 1902 and subsequently as commanding officer of USS Dixie until November 1903. While in command of Dixie, Delano was promoted to Captain on 11 October 1903.

In October 1904 he reported for duty as commanding officer of the receiving ship Lancaster.

This was Delano's final assignment before retiring on 29 June 1905. On 4 March 1911, in accordance with the provisions of an act of Congress, he received a commission appointing him a Rear Admiral in the Navy, on the Retired List, from 29 June 1905.


Scope and Content Note

This collection of papers relates to the naval service of Rear Admiral Francis Henry Delano, USN, whose naval career spanned the years from 1863 (when he entered the U.S. Naval Academy) until his retirement in 1905. The collection is comprised of biographical data, official orders, and miscellany. The official orders are very comprehensive and document his career from just after the Civil War through the early twentieth century. The orders are especially valuable in documenting North Atlantic Fleet operations in August 1898 when Delano was commanding Fish Hawk, one of the blockading ships.


Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Papers of Francis H. Delano, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.


Subject Headings (LCSH)

United States. Navy--History--Sources.
Spanish-American War, 1898.
Fish Hawk (Screw steamer)
Maine (Battleship)


Extent

0.25 cubic feet


13 August 2002