James Meredith Helm was born 16 December 1855 at Grayville, Illinois.

After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1875, he served in multiple ships and abroad until the Spanish-American War, when he commanded gunboat Hornet.

In the blockade of Cuba, he captured a Spanish steamer and three contraband schooners, and was advanced five numbers in grade for outstanding performance at the Battle of Manzanillo, 30 June 1898.

Helm subsequently commanded Idaho and Wabash.

During World War I, Rear Admiral Helm was Commandant of the 4th Naval District and received the Navy Cross for his achievements.

He retired 16 December 1919 and died 28 October 1927.

Source: Arlington National Cemetery.