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…
The cemetery is located in the bay of Port Mahon
The Dock at the Cemetery (which is the only way to gain access)
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 Croft, USS Delaware, died 7 May 1829.
Joseph Cooper, died 18 January 1870.
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.
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 –.
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