Rear Admiral Glennon was born at French Gulch, California, February 11, 1857. He was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1872, and after graduation he served in the USS Lackawana, USS Alaska, USS Pensacola and USS Constellation. He returned to the Naval Academy and served there until 1896, when he was ordered to the USS Massachusetts with duty about until the end of the Spanish-American War, and in December 1898 he was assigned to duty at Havana, Cuba.
He was Executive Officer and Navigator of the USS Vicksburg from 1900 to 1902, and, after commanding the USS General Alava for a short period, was in charge of the Nautical School, Manila, Philippine Islands. Thereafter he served consecutively as Executive Officer of the USS Monterey and the receiving ship Independence.
Rear Admiral Glennon was on duty in the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, Washington, D. C., from 1905 until 1907, and after commanding the USS Yorktown, was assigned to duty at the Navy Yard, Newport Island, Rhode Island, as Inspector of Ordnance. He commanded the USS Virginia in 1910 and 1911, and during the next two years was President of the Board on Naval Ordnance and Joint Army and Navy Board on smokeless powder.
From 1913 to 1915, he commanded the USS Wyoming, and returned to Washington, D. C., where he served as a member of the Panama Fortifications Board, and President of the Board on Naval Ordnance and the Joint Army and Navy Board on gun forgings. He was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard, and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory from 1915 until 1917, where he was appointed as the Naval Representative on a special mission to Russia. During World War I, Rear Admiral Glennon was Commander, Squadron One, Battleship Force, Atlantic Fleet from September 1917 until September 1918, and for his service during that period was awarded the Navy Cross and cited as follows:
“For exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as division commander of the Atlantic Fleet.”
Rear Admiral Glennon served as Commandant of the Thirteenth Naval District, Seattle, Washington, and had like duty in the Third Naval District, New York, New York, from April 1919 until he was transferred to the Retired List of the Navy on February 11, 1921, upon reaching the statutory retirement age.
Rear Admiral Glennon died on May 30, 1940, at his home in Washington, D. C.
In addition to the Navy Cross, he had the West Indian Campaign Medal with four bars (service in the USS Massachusetts during the Spanish-American War); the Spanish Campaign Medal (USS Massachusetts, 1898); the Philippine Campaign medal (USS Vicksburg, 1900-1902); the Mexican Service Medal (USS Wyoming, 1914); and the Victory Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp (USS Connecticut, World War I).
Rear Admiral Glennon’s three sons entered the Naval service: Captain James Blair Glennon, U. S. Navy, Retired; Lieutenant Commander Harrison Randolph Glennon, U. S. Navy, Retired; and Ensign Philip Thomson Glennon, U. S. Navy, graduate of the Class of 1915, who died aboard the USS Solace, July 13, 1917.
A destroyer, the USS Glennon, the second vessel so named, was sponsored by Miss Frances Reading Glennon, granddaughter of the late Rear Admiral Glennon, when that vessel was launched at the plant of Bath Iron Works Corporation, Bath, Maine. The first Glennon was lost due to enemy action during the Allied operations for Europe’s Liberation.