Rear Admiral David B. Macomb

Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 85791.

RAdm. David B. Macomb, ca. 1890.

Commodore William H. Macomb, born 6 June 1819 in Michigan, served with distinction during the Civil War. He took part in the riverine warfare along the Mississippi, commanded Shamrock in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, headed the naval force which captured Plymouth, NC, and led an expedition up the Roanoke River in North Carolina. For his gallantry in action with the North Atlantic Squadron, he was advanced several numbers in his grade. Commodore Macomb died on 12 August 1872 in Philadelphia.

Commodore Macomb’s first cousin, Rear Adm. David B. Macomb, was born near Tallahassee, Florida 27 February 1827, and entered the Navy as third assistant engineer in 1849.

Prior to the Civil War, he served with the Ringgold Expedition which explored the North Pacific and the China and Japanese Seas; and he accompanied Commodore Perry’s fleet to Japan, 1853–55. After the start of hostilities in 1861, he took part in the blockades of Charleston, SC and Pensacola, FL, then at Boston helped build monitors Nahant and Canonicus. He subsequently served on the latter with the James River Fleet and the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

He contributed several inventions to the Navy including the Macomb Bilge Strainer and the hydraulic lift used in the turrets of ironclads. He retired in 1889 and died 27 January 1911 at New York City.