Author Archives: nlmadrid

About nlmadrid

This is one of the most active US Navy League chapters outside of the US. The USNL Madrid Council receives broad support from Spain's defence community. It focuses on uniting US and Spanish defence communities to support and advance continued strong bi-lateral co-operation and relations between the two nations and their maritime services. It holds regular events with speakers from the worlds of business, defence, diplomacy and politics. More details are at

AGM – 24th June 2020

On Wednesday June 24th the US Navy League Madrid Council hosted its first ever virtual AGM. The AGM is normally held in conjunction with a dinner but given current restrictions it was decided to hold the event online.

A range of individual and corporate members attended and Robert Davis was elected as our new President. The Madrid Council congratulates Bob on his appointment and also wishes to offer many thanks to Carlos for all of the work he has done during his two year term as President. Carlos now becomes Immediate Past President. The full list of board members will be published on this site once the board has met and appointed advisors.

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Memorial Day 2020 – Monday May 25th


Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. In 2020, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 25.

Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in military service to their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of this day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and our freedoms that they protected.

The United States Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999. This was to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our service members–past and present.

In the spirit of both Memorial Day and National Military Appreciation Month, the Madrid Council goes to Menorca each May to honor Admiral Farragut and visit the Anglo- American Cemetery. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, our events in Menorca have been cancelled. Despite this temporary setback, the Madrid Council remains committed to helping the Spanish Army preserve this historic cemetery. We must never forget the sacrifices made by those buried there. What a comfort it is for us to know that the people resting there are in good hands and not forgotten…

Sea View

The cemetery is located in the bay of Port Mahon


The Dock at the Cemetery (which is the only way to gain access)

Menorca Cemetery

A view of the cemetery from its highest point


The 2016 Navy League Commemoration at the Cemetery (which was attended by US Ambassador James Costos and Adm. James Foggo (of the US Sixth Fleet)

Information on the U.S. personnel buried in Port Mahon Cemetery

The Madrid Council has been unable to find a definitive listing of the U.S. personnel buried in the Port Mahon Cemetery. The information that exists is often conflicting and incomplete. We are unaware of any researcher who has combed through the surviving handwritten ship logs, commanding officers’ letters, and other documents looking for data on sailors who died while serving on US Navy ships that went into port at Menorca. There should be a body of information on this subject at the National Archives in Washington, DC. However, in the 19th century many Navy officers took official documents with them, treating them as personal property, when they finished their assignments, meaning information on this subject is not readily available. The following is a compilation of the burial data that we have found.

“Spain, British Cemetery, Port Mahon, Menorca, Balearic Islands (26 burials) made between 1825 and 1850.”[Identified burials listed below:] William Malloy, USS Delaware, died 2 April 1829.
David Horton, USS North Carolina, died 24 March 1826.
Smothers, crew member of a US frigate.
John Landseer.
John Croft, USS Delaware, died 7 May 1829.
Joseph Cooper, died 18 January 1870.
John Brown.
Jacob Shane, USS Delaware, died 2 December 1843.
James M. Lee, USS Delaware, died 30 October 1843.
Midshipman John Patterson, Acting Master of US Frigate Congress., died 28 October 1842.
Silas Howard, USS Delaware.
? Jones, USS North Carolina.
Source for the above information: Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Descendent Affairs Branch. “Listing of US Naval Personnel Interred In Foreign Cemeteries.” n.d. [1953?], located in Navy Department Library’s ZO file titled “Cemeteries Containing Navy Dead,”  Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington, DC.

The list below is from: Hentschel, Arthur, “Graveyard of American Sailors Slain By Algerian Pirates in the Mediterranean,” US Naval Institute Proceedings (Oct. 1938) pp.1495-1496, and contains some duplicates with the list above, and different, sometimes conflicting, information. The information was obtained from legible inscriptions in November 1928 during a visit to Mahón by VADM John Dayton. As the article says, “Many of the headstones were so decayed and broken with the passing of the years that it was impossible to make out the names, etc. of the deceased.”:

Passed Midshipman John Smith Patterson of South Carolina, acting Master of USS Frigate Congress who was assassinated at Mahon on the night of 28 October 1842.
Henry Jones, Quartermaster on US ship North Carolina, a native of Boston, aged 28 years, killed in this port March –.
Seaman Silas Howard, US ship Delaware, died 30 November–.
David Horton, native of Baltimore, Maryland, a seaman on US ship North Carolina, aged 45 years, died 2 March 1826.
John Landsley.
Berger, aged 19 years, died on board US ship Delaware.
Quartermaster Smothers, aged 29 years, a native of Salem, Massachusetts, of US Frigate — drowned in the harbor of Port Mahon on the night of 24 September –.
John Brown.
William Malloy, aged 48 years, native of Troy, New York, on US ship Delaware, died 2 April 1829.
Lester Johnson Coppersmith.
Jacob Shane, native of the state of Massachusetts, died in the harbor on board US ship Delaware, 2 December 1843.
James M. Lee, a native of Philadelphia, aged 19 years and four months, died on US ship Delaware at Port Mahon, 30 October 1843.

In our ZO file titled “Cemeteries Containing Navy Dead,”  we also found reference to others buried on Menorca:

Quartermaster Alexander Graves, USS Brandywine, died 17 January 1826.
Captain of the main top James Smith, USS Frigate Brandywine, died 4 February 1826.

Information provided by the Navy Department Library
Naval History and Heritage Command

Thursday May 7th Update

As of today, Thursday May 7th, Madrid is in Phase 0 of the de-escalation plan and it is not clear when Madrid will move through all of the 4 phases to the “new normal”.

As soon as it is practical (and safe), while observing all health guidelines, the Navy League does intend to restart our dinner events. More details will be posted here when the situation changes.

Postponement of our March Dinner Meeting

It is with regret that we announce the postponement of the dinner with Major General Antonio Planells Palau.
There are many reasons for this. Although our dinners are well under levels at which Sanidad recommends that events be cancelled everyone wants to be cautious anyway and many people who would normally attend our dinner would prefer not to this time. 
In addition, several of our corporate sponsors have imposed restrictions on their personnel regarding the types of event they can attend and would be unable to attend even if they wished too.
Consequently, it was felt that the best course of action was to postpone this dinner until a time when people would not feel so restricted.
Please note that this is a postponement not a cancellation. We are looking at possible slots later this year when we can schedule this dinner so as to maintain our normal number of dinner meetings per year. Obviously, the whole situation regarding COVID-19 needs to clearer before we can confirm any dates.
Hoping that all of you are keeping well……

March Dinner – Major General Antonio Planells Palau

Dear Navy League member/friend,

Our next dinner will take place on Thursday March 19th at 8pm in the Hotel Miguel Ángel which is located at Calle Miguel Ángel 29 and is very close to the Intercontinental Hotel.
Please note the change of venue. The Hotel Miguel Ángel will be our venue for events for the rest of the year.
We are delighted to welcome to our podium Major General Antonio Planells Palau, Commandant Spanish Marine Corps (COMGEIM).  He will speak on The Spanish Marine Corps in the 21st Century: “Devoted to our Roots”.
More details are in the flyer which is here: March 2020 NL dinner announcement
All people wishing to attend should RSVP by Monday March 16th to
Looking forward to seeing you there!

February Dinner – Sr. D. Guillermo Alcantara

Dear Navy League member/friend,

Our next dinner meeting takes place on Thursday February 20th at 8pm in the Intercontinental Hotel.

We are delighted to welcome to our podium Sr. D. Guillermo Alcantara He will speak on “A Tribute to the Veterans. The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge”

This dinner will also celebrate the memory of George Mahl, a long-time member of the US Navy League – Madrid Council who passed away in January. George was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge.

More details are in the attached flyer which is here: February 2020 NL dinner announcement v2

All people wishing to attend should RSVP by Monday February 17th to

Looking forward to seeing you there!

January Dinner – Alm. Santiago R. González Gómez, Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DIGAM)

Dear Navy League member/friend,

I hope you have had a good start to 2020!
Our next dinner meeting takes place on Thursday January 23rd at 8pm in the Intercontinental Hotel.
We are delighted to welcome to our podium Almirante Santiago R. González Gómez – Dirección General de Armamento y Material (DIGAM) He will speak on “Spain, a Possible Gateway for American Industry Co-operation in EDF (European Defence Fund)”

More details are in the flyer that is here: January 2020 NL dinner announcement
All people wishing to attend should RSVP by Monday January 20th to
Looking forward to seeing you there!

A Christmas Message from your Navy League Council President

Carlos Photo

Dear members and friends,

We have had a very busy year at our Navy League Madrid Council, with extraordinary guest speakers at each of our eight dinners. We came back to the US Embassy for our May Cocktail and also to Menorca for celebrating our traditional memorial events at Ciudadela and Mahon.

On July we were also at the Spanish Naval Academy in Marin, where we awarded the Cadet of the Year and as every year we sponsored for him a trip to the US, where he was hosted by the Navy League Councils in Annapolis and Boston.

In September the Madrid Council Board of Directors and the Presidents of the other Councils in Spain (Barcelona, Levante, Menorca and Rota) had the immense honor to participate in an audience at the Royal Palace in Madrid with King Philippe VI. This represents an unforgettable event and a historical milestone for the US Navy League in Spain

We also enjoyed a very special Gala Ball, with a remarkable recognition to Enrique Mora for his long standing valuable contributions to our Council objectives.

I would like to thank to all our Sponsors and Members for their support to the Madrid Council. Without them we would not be able to fulfill our objectives and support the men and women of the Sea Services in the US and Spain.

Like every year, we are not having a dinner in December. We will have our next dinner on January 23rd, when the Spanish Armament Director Admiral Santiago González will be our guest speaker. I am sure that all of us will be looking forward to listen to his speech.

As we celebrate Christmas, please remember to give thanks to all the men and women of our armed forces and very especially to those who may not be able to celebrate with family and friends.

Along with the Board of Directors, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!


Carlos Suárez

November Dinner – Benjamin G. Ziff, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy

Dear Navy League member/friend,

Our next dinner meeting takes place on Thursday November 21st at 8pm in the Intercontinental Hotel.
We are delighted to welcome to our podium Sr. D. Benjamin G. Ziff, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, Madrid. He will speak on “US Strategic View”

More details are in the flyer which is here: November 2019 NL dinner announcement
All people wishing to attend should RSVP by Monday November 18th to
Looking forward to seeing you there!!