Winslow, John A.
Rear Admiral John A. Winslow, USN (1811-1873)
John A. Winslow was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1811. He entered the Navy as a Midshipman in 1827, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1839 and to Commander in 1855. During the Mexican War, he was commended to gallantry for his activities at Tobasco. Soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, Commander Winslow was assigned as Executive Officer of the Western Gunboat Flotilla. He was injured while commanding the incomplete ironclad river gunboat Benton in the Fall of 1861 and spent several months recovering.
Promoted to Captain in July 1862, Winslow returned to the Mississippi area for further service, but was detached late in the year. He took command of USS Kearsarge in April 1863. Over the next year and a half, Captain Winslow patrolled European waters in search of Confederate raiders, keeping his ship and crew well-prepared for combat. On 19 June 1864, he led them to victory in one of the Civil War's most notable naval actions, the battle between USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama.
Winslow was promoted to the rank of Commodore as a result of this action. He became a Rear Admiral in 1870 and commanded the Pacific Squadron from then until 1872. Rear Admiral John A. Winslow died on 29 September 1873, soon after retiring from active naval service.
Several U.S. Navy ships have been named in his honor, including Winslow (Torpedo Boat # 5) of 1897-1911, Winslow (Destroyer # 53) of 1915-1936, and Winslow (DD-359, later AG-127) of 1937-1959.
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