Bowman H. McCalla

Bowman Hendry McCalla
Born June 19, 1844
Camden, New Jersey
Died May 6, 1910
Santa Barbara, California
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1861–1906
Rank Admiral
Battles/wars American Civil War
1885 Panama Expedition
Spanish–American War
*Battle of Cienfuegos
*Battle of Guantanamo Bay
*Battle of Fort Cayo del Tore
Boxer Rebellion
*China Relief Expedition
*Battle of Hsiku Arsenal

Rear Admiral Bowman Hendry McCalla (19 June 1844 – 6 May 1910) was an officer in the United States Navy, who was noted for his roles in the Spanish–American War and putting down the Boxer Rebellion.


Born in Camden, New Jersey, McCalla was appointed midshipman November 30, 1861. McCalla's courage and leadership during his career often earned him great, and due, respect among his fellow officers.

In the spring of 1885, during the Panama crisis of 1885, McCalla led an expeditionary force of 750 seamen and marines which landed at Panama to protect American treaty rights when the revolution there threatened to block transit across the isthmus.

As commanding officer of USS Marblehead, September 11, 1897 to September 16, 1898, he took part in the blockade of Cuba and was responsible for the cutting of submarine cables linking Cienfuegos with the outside world, thus isolating the Spanish garrison there, in May 1898. In June 1898, he led the invasion of Guantánamo Bay.

While in command of Newark during the Boxer Rebellion two years later, he was cited for conspicuous gallantry in battle as he led a force of sailors from Tientsin to Peking. McCalla's force of 112 men spearheaded an international column, under British Admiral Sir Edward Seymour, which was attempting to fight its way to the aid of foreign legations under siege at Peking. In the course of the battle at Hsiku Arsenal, McCalla, along with 25 of his force, was wounded; five were killed. See Seymour Expedition, China 1900.

Commissioned rear admiral October 11, 1903, and entered on the retired list June 19, 1906, McCalla died on May 6, 1910 at Santa Barbara, California, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


In 1898 he was elected as a veteran companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars. He was also a veteran companion of the Illinois Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and was vice president of the Military Order of the Dragon.


Two ships were named USS McCalla for him. McCalla Field and McCalla Hill at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base are named after him as well.

See also

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This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.
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