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Rear Admiral Henry V. Butler, Jr., Commandant, Washington Navy Yard, Memorandum to Bureau of Navigation





29 September 1930.

From:     Rear Admiral H.V. Butler, U.S. Navy.

To:  Chief, Bureau of Navigation.1

SUBJECT:      U.S.S. Olympia, Pilotage of, entering Manila Bay, 1 May 1898.

     1.   There having come to my notice the revival of an old rumor to the effect that Commodore George Dewey, U.S. Navy, employed the services of a foreign (British) pilot, when entering Manila Bay on 1 May 1898, I desire to make of record, and as of my own knowledge, that no civilian pilot, foreign or American was employed on that occasion.2

     2.   At the time, I was an Ensign and performed the duty of Aide to the Commanding Officer of the Olympia, the late Captain Charles V. Gridley, U.S. Navy.

     3.   Piloting, under the direction of THE Commodore and the Captain, was performed by the Navigator of the Olympia, the then Lieutenant Carlos G. Calkins, U.S. Navy, and the Assistant navigator, the then Ensign Arthur G. Kavanagh, U.S. Navy.

     4.   Nor was there a pilot on board any of the other vessels of Commodore Dewey’s Squadron. All entered the Bay in column formation, the Olympia leading.

H.V. Butler       

Source Note: CyS, DNA, AFNRC, M625, roll 363. Document reference: “IX40/L14-2(916-A).” Document was written on the Commandant of the United States Navy Yard stationary.

Footnote 1: RAdm. Richard H. Leigh.

Footnote 2: The source of the rumor that a foreign pilot was used by the Olympia is unknown.

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