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First Name: Herbert

Last Name: Dunn

Birthplace: Westerly, RI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Omar

Date of Birth: 27 May 1857

Date of Death: 06 March 1939

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Herbert Omar Dunn

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)


Herbert Omar Dunn
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Herbert Omar Dunn was born on 27 May 1857 in Westerly, RI.

In 1877, as a cadet, Dunn sailed on the sloop-of-war USS Constellation on a voyage to the South Atlantic. Appointed Ensign on 12 March 1881, Dunn was successively promoted to Lieutenant (junior grade) on 1 July 1887, Lieutenant on 17 February 1893, and to Lieutenant Commander on 1 July 1900.

Continuing to rise through the ranks, he was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1915. By 1917, in the middle of World War I, now-Vice Admiral Dunn was appointed as the first Commander of U.S. Naval Forces stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Ponta Delgada, Azores. There he distinguished himself by sinking a German U-boat and by providing help to the civilian population when the great flu pandemic of 1918 killed 2,000 people on the island.

In 1919, Dunn was in put in charge of an inquiry of homosexual activities among naval personnel at the Newport, RI, Navy base.

In 1921, he retired from active service with the rank of Rear Admiral, Upper Half.


As an inventor, in 1889 he designed and patented the Dunn Anchor. This new anchor had many distinct advantages over old style maritime stock anchors used at that time. It had great holding power due to its moveable shanks and could be applied in applications of 200 to 20,000 pounds. Accepted by the American Bureau of Shipping, the Dunn Anchor thus became the standard for ships worldwide to date. He also held the patents for several other marine appliances.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Herbert Omar Dunn died on 6 March 1939 in Baltimore, MD. He is buried at River Bend Cemetery in Westerly, RI.

Honoree ID: 2444   Created by: MHOH




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