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First Name: David

Last Name: Conner

Birthplace: Harrisburg, PA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 1792

Date of Death: 20 March 1856

Rank or Rate: Commodore

Years Served:
David Conner

•  War of 1812
•  Mexican-American Wars (1846 - 1848)


David Conner
Commodore, U.S, Navy

David Conner was born in 1792 in Harrisburg, PA. After youthful employment in Philadelphia, he became a U.S. Navy Midshipman on 16 January 1809 and during the next few years served in the frigate USS President.

During the War of 1812, Conner served in USS Hornet during her chase of HMS Belvedere and her actions with HMS Peacock in February 1813, and the March 1815 capture of HMS Penguin, which was the last man-of-war engagement in the War of 1812. He was severely wounded in the engagement with the Penguin. For a time early in the conflict, he was a prisoner of war, having been captured on board the USS Hornet. He received promotion to Lieutenant in July 1813.

In the decade following the war, Lieutenant Conner served in the Pacific, had shore duty at Philadelphia and commanded the schooner USS Dolphin. Attaining the rank of Commander in March 1825, he was Commanding Officer of the sloops of war USS Erie and USS John Adams before receiving promotion to Captain in 1835.

He served as a Navy Commissioner in 1841 and 1842, and upon the establishment of the bureau system in the Navy became the first Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair.

Conner was given the title Commodore, but his official naval rank remained unchanged. The title "commodore" added nothing to his pay or to his permanent rank of Captain. Not until 1862, six years after Conner's death in 1856, did the title Commodore come to signify a higher grade or an increased salary.

During the Mexican-American War, Commodore Conner commanded the Home Squadron which operated in the Gulf of Mexico in 1846 and 1847 and executed a brilliant amphibious assault against the city of Vera Cruz. His most famous accomplishment while in command was the landing of General Winfield Scott's troops at Vera Cruz.

Leaving seagoing service soon afterwards, Conner subsequently commanded the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Ill health kept him from seeing much other active employment.

Two destroyers of the U.S. Navy have been named USS Conner in his honor.

Death and Burial

Commodore David Conner died at Philadelphia on 20 March 1856. He is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, PA.

Honoree ID: 2363   Created by: MHOH




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