Military Wiki
Action of 22 August 1866
Part of the Chincha Islands War
Chilean steamer Pampero
DateAugust 22, 1866
LocationFunchal, Madeira
32°38′N 16°54′W / 32.633°N 16.9°W / 32.633; -16.9Coordinates: 32°38′N 16°54′W / 32.633°N 16.9°W / 32.633; -16.9
Result Spanish victory
 Spain  Chile
Commanders and leaders
Don Benito Escalera Chile Juan MacPherson
60 men
1 frigate 1 steamer
Casualties and losses
none 1 steamer captured

The Action of 22 August 1866 occurred during the Chincha Islands War near Funchal, on the island of Madeira.

The Chilean steamer Tornado was captured by the Spanish frigate Gerona, on August 22, 1866 off the island of Madeira. Tornado had arrived in Madeira under the command of Juan MacPherson, an English commander in service of the Chilean Navy. The Chilean ship had sailed to Madeira on 21 August to make provisions of charcoal and food supplements and to recruit sailors for its crew. Although the intent was to remain until August 23, at 14:00 hours on August 22 the watch aboard ship alerted the captain to the presence of an armed vessel, the Spanish frigate Gerona. Captain McPherson decided to leave all his supplies on the dock and sail immediately and the ship got underway 90 minutes after first sighting Gerona. In its haste, Tornado did not receive permission nor inspection from the Portuguese authorities in Madeira and caused the battery of the for to fire two blank charges to induce it to stop, but these were ignored and the Tornado fled. The firing of the guns however alerted the frigate Gerona, which was the armed vessel the Tornado had observed in port. It had been sent from Cádiz under the command of captain Benito Ruiz de la Escalera specifically to capture Tornado and its sister ship Cyclone. Alerted to the presence of Tornado, Gerona gave chase. At 22:30 the Spanish frigate fires a blank shot, which was ignored by Tornado. Gerona followed up with three live shots, and Tornado stopped its engines and struck its colors.

The crew of the Tornado was taken abord Gerona and Tornado was manned by a prize crew commanded by naval lieutenant Manuel de Bustillo y Pery. Tornado sailed for Cádiz, where it arrived on August 26, while Gerona returned to Madeira in a fruitless search for Tornado's sister ship Cyclone.[1]


The captured Tornado was subsequently taken into the Spanish service under the same name.[2]


  1. García Martínez, José Ramón (2005). Buques de la Real Armada de S.M.C. Isabel II (1830–1868). Madrid: Museo Naval.
  2. Sondhaus p.98


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).