Thomas Oliver Selfridge

Thomas O. Selfridge
Born (1804-04-24)April 24, 1804
Died October 15, 1902(1902-10-15) (aged 98)
Waverly, Massachusetts
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 18181866
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held Dale
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
American Civil War
Relations Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr. (son)
Thomas Etholen Selfridge (grandson)

Rear Admiral Thomas Oliver Selfridge (24 April 1804 15 October 1902) was an officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican–American War and the American Civil War and was the father of Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr.


Selfridge was appointed midshipman on 1 January 1818, at the age of 13. Promoted to Lieutenant in 1827, he served in the East India, Mediterranean, and Pacific Squadrons. He took command of the sloop USS Dale, in May 1847 and participated in the capture of Mazatlán and Guaymas. Badly wounded in the latter engagement, he was invalided home in June 1848.

He was promoted to captain in 1855 and was subsequently assigned to the Boston Navy Yard, where he remained until 1861. He commanded the paddle frigate USS Mississippi, flagship of the Gulf Squadron, on blockade duty off Mobile, Alabama and off the passes of the Mississippi River.


Selfridge's old wound forced him to relinquish his command in February 1862. He was promoted to commodore on July 16, 1862 and commanded the Mare Island Navy Yard until 1864. He retired from the Navy on April 24, 1866 after 48 years of service.

In 1867, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral on the retired list to date from 25 July 1866 in honor of his long and distinguished career. When his son, Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., was promoted to rear admiral on February 28, 1896 they were the first father and son in U.S. Navy history to be living when they were both admirals.

He was a Companion of the First Class of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States and an Honorary Veteran Companion of the Military Order of Foreign Wars.

Rear Admiral Selfridge died in Waverly (now part of Belmont, Massachusetts) in 1902 at the age of 98.


Dates of Rank


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