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Captain Colby Mitchell Chester, in his cabin, on the USS Kentucky

Colby Mitchell Chester (February 29, 1844 ‚Äď May 4, 1932) was a United States Navy admiral. He is the only naval officer to have actively served in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I.

He was born in New London, Conn. on 29 February 1844, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1863. In 1864, he participated in operations against Mobile aboard the USS Richmond, part of the squadron commanded by Admiral David G. Farragut. He served in the Navy for 46 more years.

He was Commandant of Cadets at Annapolis in 1891-94; commanded the USS Cincinnati, the flagship of the South Atlantic squadron during the Spanish-American War; became commanding officer of USS Kentucky upon her Commissioning on May 15, 1900 until 1901 and became superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1902, and retired on February 28, 1906.

Chester's active-service record was extended to February 28, 1909 to round out a full 50-year service career with the U.S. Navy. He was recalled to special duty in 1917, during World War I, as the first Commandant of the Navy ROTC units at Yale and Brown Universities.

In 1923 he traveled to Turkey at the head of the Americans who participated in an agreement called the Chester concession.

He died in Rye, NY, in 1932, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


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