PEOPLE--UNITED STATES

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN, (1827-1917)

Stephen Bleecker Luce was born on 25 March 1827 in Albany, New York. He entered the Navy in October 1841 as a Midshipman and, during the next seven years, served in the frigate Congress and ships of the line North Carolina and Columbus. Following graduation as a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1847 and promotion to Passed Midshipman in 1848, he served at the Academy until mid-1849. Luce spent the first half of the 1850s serving in the sloop-of-war Vandalia in the Pacific, on astromomical duty in Washington, D.C., and as an officer of the steamer Vixen. Attaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1855, he was employed on coast survey work and served in the sloop-of-war Jamestown during the rest of the decade.

Lieutenant Luce began another Naval Academy tour in May 1860. A year later, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, he returned to sea as an officer of the steam frigate Wabash. He was back at the Naval Academy in 1862-1863, receiving promotion to Lieutenant Commander during this time. From mid-1863 to the end of the Civil War two years later, he commanded several warships, including the sailing corvette Macedonian, steam sloop Canandaigua, monitor Nantucket and "double-ender" gunboats Sonoma and Pontiac. Lieutenant Commander (Commander after mid-1866) Luce was the Naval Academy's Commandant of Midshipmen from October 1865 to June 1868. He then returned to sea as commanding officer of the gunboat Mohongo, in the Pacific, and steam sloop Juniata in the Mediterranean Sea.

Promoted to Captain in December 1872, Luce served at the Boston Navy Yard until the autumn of 1875, then commanded the steam sloop Hartford until August 1877. His later career was heavily involved with educational affairs, initially as Inspector of Training Ships, then in command of the training ship Minnesota and the Training Squadron. He strongly advocated higher education for the Navy's officers and, as a Commodore and Rear Admiral, was the first President of the newly-established Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island during 1884-1886. He also commanded the North Atlantic Squadron in 1884 and in 1886-1889. Though retired in March 1889, Rear Admiral Luce remained active in Naval affairs as President of the U.S. Naval Institute until 1898 and, during the first decade of the 1900s, as President of the Naval Academy's Board of Visitors and on special duty at the War College. Stephen B. Luce died at Newport, R.I., on 28 July 1917.

The Navy has named three ships in honor of Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, including: USS Luce (Destroyer # 99, later DM 4), 1918-1936; USS Luce (DD 522), 1943-1945; and USS Luce (DLG-7, later DDG-38), 1961-1995.

This page features all the images we have concerning Stephen B. Luce.

Click on image for a larger view

Photo #: KN-10934 (Color)

Midshipman Stephen B. Luce, USN (1827-1917)

Oil on wood, 24" x 12", by Alexander James (1890-1946). Signed by the artist.

Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Gift of Charlotte Luce Noyes, 1940.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 52KB; 435 x 765 pixels

Reproductions may be available through the National Archives as Photo # 428-KN-10934

 
Photo #: NH 1383

Midshipman Stephen B. Luce, USN


Sketch drawing by Imrey, showing Luce in the uniform of 1842.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 57KB; 555 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 48030

Lieutenant Commander Stephen B. Luce, USN


Photographed circa 1865-1866 by William Chase, photographer for the U.S. Naval Academy.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 74KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: KN-711 (Color)

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN (1827-1917)

Oil on canvas, 54" x 40", by Alexander James (1890-1946) after E.P. Vinton.

Painting in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum Collection. Gift of Stephen B. Luce, 1938.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

Online Image: 61KB; 550 x 765 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system as Photo # 428-KN-711

 
Photo #: NH 2323

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN


Portrait photograph, taken circa 1888.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 57KB; 475 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 48031

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN


A late 1880s photograph, taken from the book "U.S.T.S. Monongahela & the U.S. Naval Training System", 1892.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 91KB; 605 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 79228

Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, USN


Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken circa the later 1880s, copied from the 1892 book "Officers of the Army and Navy who served in the Civil War".

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 51KB; 560 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 48028

Captain Stephen B. Luce, USN
(at right),
Commanding Officer, USS Hartford

In the Captain's Cabin on board Hartford, at Hampton Roads, Virginia, 1 March 1877.
The other officers present are not identified.
Photo mounted on a stereograph card.
Note the flags in the background and the lamp over the table.

Donation of Chaplain C.M. Drury.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 100KB; 580 x 765 pixels

A stereo pair version of this image is available as Photo # NH 48028-A

Online Image of stereo pair: 73KB; 675 x 450 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 46018

USS Minnesota
(1857-1901)

Reproduction of an engraving originally published in "Harper's Weekly", 27 April 1878, depicting scenes on board Minnesota, which was then serving as training ship for Naval Apprentices at the New York Navy Yard.
The central image, showing the firing of broadside guns, is surrounded by vignettes, the subjects of which include (clockwise from upper left): Captain Stephen B. Luce, Negro Stewards, "A Waltz among the Guns", lessons in clothing making, the ship's Doctor greeting ladies, a boxing class, "The Ancient Armorer" supervising firearms cleaning(he is holding what appears to be a Remington single-shot rifle), medical "Examination for Admission", and "Single Stick Exercise".

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 432KB; 1200 x 865 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103618

U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island


Photograph of an order written by the War College President, Commodore Stephen B. Luce, USN, on 2 September 1885, establishing the institution's working and lecture schedule.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph

Online Image: 107KB; 475 x 765 pixels

 


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.



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