Captain Bowman Hendry McCalla, USN

Captain McCalla was a career officer, who served in the U.S. Navy for over 40 years. His courage and leadership often earned him great, and due, respect among his fellow officers. Notable achievements of his include leading an expeditionary force of 750 seamen and marines during the Panama Crisis of 1885 against the Panamanian rebels; taking part in 1898 in the blockade of Cuba; and the cutting of the underwater telegraph cable in Guantánamo Bay connecting Caimanera and Guantánamo City with Cap-Haïtien. The Marine landing force that went ashore made an outpost on a flat ridge on top of a hill, above the village on Fisherman's Point, and designated it Camp McCalla (today's McCalla Hill).

During the Boxer rebellion two years later, McCalla was second-in-command of the Seymour Expedition and was cited for conspicuous gallantry in battle, his 112 sailors and marines spearheading the international rescue force making its way from Tientsin to Peking to rescue the trapped ministers and their families. Engaged in repeated battles with hostile Chinese forces, McCalla and 25 of his force were wounded, with another five men killed in action.

Staying in the Navy, he was commissioned a rear admiral in 1903, retired in 1906, and died in 1910. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Captain McCalla of the U.S.S. Newark

Powered by

Copyright 2021 Joseph Benedetto Jr.