Captain Joseph Murdock, USS Rhode Island

Joseph Ballard Murdock was born February 13, 1851 in Hartford, Connecticut.  He was appointed to the Naval Academy from the State of Massachusetts in 1866 and graduated in June 1870.  His first assignment was to the gunboat USS Nipsic in the North Atlantic Squadron and was promoted to Ensign in 1871.  He next served on the sloop-of-war Monongahela in the South Atlantic Squadron and was promoted to Master in 1874.  He served tours with the United States Coast Survey, the frigate USS Constitution, and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1880.  His next assignment was as an instructor at the Naval Academy and then to the Dolphin till 1886.  He next went to Asiatic Squadron for three years serving on the Pensacola and the Omaha before be transferred to the New York Navy Yard.  After leaving the yard he served on the protected cruisers Atlanta and Minneapolis in the North Atlantic Squadron.  During the Spanish-American War he was assigned as Executive Officer of the USS Panther seeing action in the blockade of Cuba, landing Marines along the Cuban coast, and in the Battle of Santiago de Cuba in August 1898.  Afterward he returned to the Naval War College and was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.  His next assignment was as Executive Officer USS New York from 1899 to the end of 1900, returned to the War College and was promoted to Commander.  In 1902 he took command of the USS Alliance, and then in 1904, command of the USS Denver.  In January 1906 he was promoted to Captain and later that year given command of the USS Rhode Island which would take him on a cruise around the world.  Afterwards he took command of the Third Naval District was appointed to Rear  Admiral in November 1909.  From 1910 he was Commander Second Division and Battleship Division Three of the Atlantic Fleet on his flagship the Minnesota.  He became Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet in 1911 and earned distinction in handling the Xinhai Revolution in China.  His final tour was on the General Board until he retired in February 1913 after 43 years of service.  He was recalled to active duty during WWI to be president of a general court martial and then resumed retirement.  He died March 20, 1931.




This card is from a series that was made to give out for free with delivery of the newspaper.  Most of the cards I have collected were from the Lincoln Daily Star, this one showing Captain J. B. Murdock with the USS Rhode Island.  The photograph is copyrighted by Enrique Muller.




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