Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Luke

Last Name: McNamee


Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Date of Birth: 04 April 1871

Date of Death: 30 December 1952

Rank or Rate: Admiral

Years Served:
Luke McNamee

Graduate, U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1892


Luke McNamee

Admiral, U.S. Navy

Luke McNamee was born on 4 April 1871.

Naval Career

McNamee was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy from Kansas, graduating in 1892. He was commissioned as an Ensign on 1 July 1894. He served two years aboard the training ship USS Atlanta before being transferred to the USS Essex, where he served from 1894 to 1898. He became a Lieutenant (J.G.) on 3 March 1899 and a Lieutenant on 1 July 1900.

He served as Executive Officer of the USS Princeton during the Spanish-American War. In 1901, he served aboard the battleship USS Oregon. From 1905-08, he was assigned to the Guam Naval Station.

McNamee twice served as acting Governor of Guam: first from 2 November 1905 to 3 December 1906, and again from 3 October 1907 to 28 December 1907. As Governor, he urged the U.S. Secretary of the Navy to invest in the control of leprosy and other infectious diseases on the island, arguing that this would be in the best interest of Navy finances, as it would protect paid personnel's productivity and the native Chamorro population, a group the Navy thought could provide cheap labor.

After leaving Guam, he served as the Naval Inspector to the General Electric works in Schenectady, New York and in Massachusetts. He then served as Navigator of the USS Nevada. After serving as the first commanding officer of the USS Sacramento, he was promoted to Captain in 1917. While on the Sacramento, he commanded all Navy forces in the Gulf of Mexico, though this only consisted of seven gunboats. After his promotion, he served as Chief of Staff to the Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and then to Admiral William Sims, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe. In 1919, he was on the Naval Advisory Board at the Paris Peace Conference.

In 1921, he served as Commanding Officer of the USS Nevada and of the USS Tennessee in 1923. He served as Director of the Office of Naval Intelligence. From 1924-26, McNamee was appointed Naval attaché to the Court of St. James's in the United Kingdom. During his time in London, he was promoted to Rear Admiral. In 1926, he commanded all the in the Destroyers in the Battle Fleet, before becoming Director of Fleet Training for the next four years.

After being promoted to Vice Admiral, he returned to the Battle Fleet to command its Battleship Force, doing so in 1931. On 11 August 1932, he was promoted to the four-star rank of Admiral and commanded the entire Battle Force. On 3 June 1933, he became President of the Naval War College. He left the post on 29 May 1934 after retiring from active duty.

Medals and Awards

During his career, he was awarded the Navy Cross and the French Legion of Honour.

In Retirement

After leaving the Navy, McNamee lived in New York City and became President of the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company in 1934. He aggressively expanded the company by modernizing its overseas operations. He extended service on government and private vessels using the company's equipment as well. In 1940, he led negotiations with labor unions after they shut down company operations, and was able to reach an agreement. On 19 May 1950, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also oversaw the opening of the first direct telegraph line to Bermuda. In May 1951, he resigned his position as Director of both Mackay and International Telephone and Telegraph.

In 1948, he succeeded Herbert Livingston Satterlee as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Marine Museum of the City of New York.


McNamee was married to Dorothy Swinburne, daughter of Admiral William T. Swinburne, with which he had no children. For much of his life, he lived in Wisconsin, though he later moved to Jamestown, RI.

Death and Burial

Admiral Luke McNamee spent the last two years of his life as a patient of the Naval Station Newport Hospital at Newport, RI. He died there on 30 December 1952. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, in Section 2, Site 4964.

Honoree ID: 598   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image