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David Conner
Born 1792 (1792)
Died 20 March 1856 (1856-03-21)
Place of birth Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Place of death Philadelphia
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1809–1847
Rank USN commodore rank insignia.jpg Commodore
Battles/wars War of 1812
Mexican-American War
Siege of Veracruz

Commodore David Conner (1792 – 20 March 1856) was an officer of the United States Navy, whose service included the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. During the 1840s, he served on the Board of Navy Commissioners and as the first Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair.

Early life

Conner was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. After youthful employment in Philadelphia, he became a U.S. Navy Midshipman on 16 January 1809 and during the next few years served in the frigate President.

Military career

During the War of 1812 Conner served in Hornet during her chase of HMS Belvedere and her actions with HMS Peacock in February 1813 and the March 1815 capture of HMS Penguin, during the latter of which he was wounded. For a time early in the conflict, he was a prisoner of war. He received promotion to Lieutenant in July 1813.

In the decade following the war, Lieutenant Conner served in the Pacific, had shore duty at Philadelphia and commanded the schooner Dolphin. Attaining the rank of Commander in March 1825, he was Commanding Officer of the sloops of war Erie and John Adams before receiving promotion to Captain in 1835. He served as a Navy Commissioner in 1841 and 1842, and upon the establishment of the bureau system in the Navy became the first Chief of the Bureau of Construction, Equipment, and Repair. Conner was given the title Commodore, but his official naval rank remained unchanged. The title "commodore" added nothing to his pay or to his permanent rank of captain. Not until 1862, six years after Conner's death in 1856, did the title commodore come to signify a higher grade or an increased salary.[1]

During the Mexican-American War, Commodore Conner commanded the Home Squadron which operated in the Gulf of Mexico in 1846 and 1847 and executed a brilliant amphibious assault against the city of Veracruz. Commodore Matthew C. Perry, USN was his vice commander during the war.

Leaving seagoing service soon afterwards, Conner subsequently commanded the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Ill health, however, kept him from seeing much other active employment. Commodore Conner died at Philadelphia on 20 March 1856 at age 64.

Two destroyers of the Navy have been named USS Conner in his honor.



 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command. This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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