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Leroy Garrett '79

Date of birth: May 22, 1857

Date of death: November 21, 1906

Age: 49

Naval Academy Register

Leroy Mason Garrett was admitted to the Naval Academy from New York on September 16, 1875 at age 18 years 0 months.

Naval Academy Photo Album

Biography & Loss

From The United States Army and Navy Journal on December 1, 1906:

A despatch from Honolulu announces that Lieut. Comdr. Leroy M. Garrett, USN, commanding the US fish commission steamer Albatross, was washed overboard from that ship on Nov. 21, while she was five hundred miles northwest of Honolulu. … Commander Garrett was a native of New York and was graduated from the US Naval Academy, which he entered in 1875. He was known as an efficient officer and in high standing in the world of science, and was intensely interested in fish studies of the deep sea. He was on the Alert of the Atlantic Station from 1879-1881, and joined the fish commission steamer Albatross in 1883, serving on her to 1885. He spent the winters on the Albatross, and the summers on geological survey. Among other assignments he served on the Iroquois and Adams on the Pacific Station, 1885-8; commanded the coast survey steamer Endeavor, 1888-9; special longitude duty, 1889-90; on the San Francisco, Pacific Station, December, 1890, to June, 1893; commanding coast survey steamer Endeavor, October, 1893-6; U.S.S. Armenia, 1808, and was on the Marblehead, Jan. 17, 1899, to 1901. He subsequently served on the Iowa and Maine, and he was assigned to command the Albatross in December, 1902. His death was the sad ending of a successful scientific trip of professors interested in the inhabitants of the deep sea. No one made a more thorough study of these fish than did Commander Garrett. Many fine specimens were obtained by the deep sea dredge that the Albatross carries. Some of the fish were brought up from a depth of two miles. Part of the record of the trip of the Albatross was the report that she had sighted an island that arose out of the ocean before those on board. Prof. H. Heath declares that he saw the island grow up in the midst of the Aleutian Islands at about the time San Francisco was shaken by the earthquake last April.

He was survived by his mother. He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Cadet Midshipman, 18 September, 1875. Graduated 10 June, 1881. Ensign, Junior Grade, 3 March, 1883. Ensign, 26 June, 1884. Lieutenant, Junior Grade, 19 February, 1891. Lieutenant, 21 May, 1895.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

January 1880

Cadet Midshipman, Alert

July 1881

Midshipman, Platsburg, New York

January 1882

Midshipman, Alliance

January 1883

Midshipman, Special Duty, Smithsonian Institution

January 1884

Ensign (j.g.), Fish Commission steamer Albatross

February 1885

Ensign, Fish Commission steamer Albatross

January 1886

Ensign, Iroquois

Others at this command: Naval Cadet Nathaniel Moseley '84

February 1887

Ensign, Adams

January 1888

Ensign, Adams

January 1889

Ensign, commanding officer, Coast Survey steamer Endeavor

January 1890

Ensign, Special longitude duty

January 1891

Ensign, San Francisco

January 1892

Lieutenant (j.g.), San Francisco

Others at this command: Naval Cadet William Snow, Jr. '90

January 1893

Lieutenant (j.g.), San Francisco

July 1894

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, Steamer Endeavor

Others at this command: ENS John Blandin '82

January 1895

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, Steamer Endeavor

Others at this command: LTjg John Blandin '82

January 1896

Lieutenant, commanding officer, Steamer Endeavor

Others at this command: LTjg John Blandin '82

January 1897

Lieutenant, Albatross

January 1898

Lieutenant, Albatross

January 1899

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, New York

January 1900

Lieutenant, Marblehead

January 1901

Lieutenant, Iowa

January 1902

Lieutenant Commander, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

January 1903

Lieutenant Commander, Maine

Others at this command: LT Albert Beecher '84, LT William Moffett '90, LTjg Jonas Holden '96, and MIDN Caspar Goodrich '01

January 1904

Lieutenant Commander, Maine

Others at this command: LT Jonas Holden '96

January 1905

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Albatross

July 1906

Commander, commanding officer, Albatross

Class of 1879

Leroy is one of 3 members of the Class of 1879 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.