Captain Allen Buchanan, USN, (Retired), (1876-1940)
Allen Buchanan was born on 22 December 1876 in Evansville, Indiana. Appointed from that same state to the U.S. Naval Academy, he graduated in January 1899 and served on board USS Solace, USS Oregon and the ex-Spanish Navy patrol gunboat Callao. Remaining at sea, he transferred to USS Monadock then to the ex-Spanish Navy gunboat Don Juan de Austria. Commissioned as an Ensign in January 1901, he reported back to Solace later transferring to USS Mayflower. In September 1904, Buchanan was promoted to Lieutenant and that December was assigned to the Naval Academy. Returning to sea duty in August 1906, he served in succession on the battleships Tennessee, New Jersey, Ohio, and New Hampshire. Two years later, he commanded USS Scorpion.
In September 1910, Buchanan was assigned duty at the Naval Academy. While at the Academy in February 1911, he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Three years later, he was ordered to USS Florida and participated in the intervention at Vera Cruz, Mexico. On 21-22 April 1914, while under continual fire and in points of great danger, he courageously commanded and skillfully directed the First Seaman Regiment to ensure the city's capture. For his "distinguished conduct in battle" on this occasion, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. After graduating from the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, in December 1916, he reported to the Division of Naval Militia Affairs in Washington, D.C. During World War I, Buchanan was temporarily promoted to Commander and commanded the destroyer Downes until returning to the U.S. to help fit out the destroyer McDermut. In October 1918, he was temporarily promoted to Captain and reported to Queenstown, Ireland, to briefly serve with the Destroyer Force until commanding USS Dixie.
In March 1919, Captain Buchanan led Flotilla One of Destroyer Squadron Three, Atlantic Fleet. In fall of 1920, he reported as the Recruiting Inspector to oversee the recruiting stations in Chicago, Illinois. A year later, he was reverted to Commander and became a staff member at the Naval War College. In June 1922, he was permanently promoted to Captain and reported a year later to command USS Henderson. In October 1924, he was assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations at Washington, D.C. In August 1927, he commanded USS Omaha. Two years later, he was the Naval Aide to the President of the United States. In June 1930, he became the Chief of Staff at the Naval War College. In February 1932, he retired and was placed on the retired list. Allen Buchanan died on 12 January 1940 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.
This page features all the images we have concerning Allen Buchanan.
Medal of Honor citation of Lieutenant Commander Allen Buchanan, USN (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 97):
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