MURDOCK, Jos., RADM Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary Designator/NEC
111X-Unrestricted Line Officer - qualified in Surface Warfare
Last Rating/NEC Group
Officer
Last Duty Station
1918-1919, NAVYARD/NAVAL SHIPYARD (NSY)/Portsmouth, NH
Service Years
1870 - 1913
Rear Admiral Upper Half Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Connecticut
Connecticut
Year of Birth
1851
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Hartford
Last Address
Manchester, New Hampshire age 80.

Date of Passing
Mar 20, 1931
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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COMMANDING OFFICER
USS RHODE ISLAND BB-17
"AMERICA'S GREAT WHITE FLEET"

Joseph Ballard Murdock, (sometimes listed as Murdoch) was Captain of the USS Rhode Island, a prominent ship of “Great White Fleet”. He entered the navy as midshipman from the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts July 26, 1866, and graduated in June 1870. He was born February 13, 1851, and was due for age retirement in 1913. He became an ensign in 1871 and was assigned to the Portsmouth Navy Yard in 1873. The next year was spent in the USS Monongahela, cruising in the South Atlantic; and in 1874 he went to the USS Lancaster. For five years, beginning 1875, he was connected with the Coast Survey. In 1879 he went with the training squadron in the USS Constitution. Becoming a lieutenant in March, 1880, he shortly after returned to the Naval Academy for several years teaching physics, and was in 1884 given special duty at Philadelphia for nearly a year. For a year from December, 1885, he was on the USS Dolphin; then at the Torpedo Station for several years; and in 1888 he was ordered to Pensacola, on the North Atlantic Station, for several months, going from there to the Asiatic Station in the USS Omaha, for three years. Upon is return fro the Orient in 1891 he was ordered to special duty in Europe, and immediately after that he was assigned to electrical duty at the New York Navy Yard. He was executive officer of the U.S.S. Panther during the Spanish-American War. In April, 1906, he was made a member of the Naval examining and retiring boards. Captain Murdock was placed in command of the USS Rhode Island as part of President Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, 1907-1909. He then returned to New York, Naval District 3 as Rear Admiral, November 20, 1909, and Commendant of the Navy Yard, 1909-1910. Rear Admiral Murdock flew his flag on the battleship Minnesota (BB-22) as Commander, Battleship Division 3, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in 1910 until April 1911. In 1911 untll July 1912 he commanded the Asiatic Fleet and won distinction during the Chinese Revolution of 1911. He retired, by operation of law, February 13, 1913 after 43 years of service. For a year, during WWI he returned to duty as president of the general court martial at Portsmouth, from May 2, 1918 to May 1, 1919.

Joseph Murdock entered New Hampshire politics and served as Chairman of the House Committee on National Affairs, and a member of the Appropriations and Forestry Committees/Commission from 1921-1927. His memberships included the American Philosophical Society, the Franklin Institute, Union Club of Boston, Army and Navy Club of Washington, the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the Colonial Wars. He died March 20, 1931, in Manchester, New Hampshire.
 
   
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America's (Great White) Fleet - Captain Murdock

Souvenir of the Visit of America's Fleet 1908. Captain Murdock was commander of the USS Rhode Island, BB-17.
Note the US and Australian flags, this example was printed for the stop in Sydney Australia.






REGISTER OF MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY OF COLONIAL WARS
SERVICE IN THE ARMY OR NAVY OF THE UNITED STATES DURING THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR
RECORD OF THE PATRIOTIC WORK DONE BY THE SOCIETY PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE
GENERAL COUNCIL NEW YORK 1899
RHODE ISLAND SOCIETY
Joseph Ballard Murdock, Lieutenant, U.S.N., U.S.S. Panther

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  Background material, Joseph B. Murdock, RADM retired.
   
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Last Updated:
Feb 8, 2010
   
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THE GRANITE MONTHLY
1921
NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE MAGAZINE
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE
HARLAN C. PEARSON, Publisher

Joseph B. Murdock (occasionally listed as Murdoch)
Rear Admiral U.S.N. (Retired).

Joseph B. Murdock, Rear Admiral, U. S. N. (retired), Representative from the town of Hill, was born in Hartford, Conn., February 13, 1851, son of Rev. John N. and Martha (Ballard) Murdoch, was educated in the public schools of Boston and Cambridge, Mass., and at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., from which he graduated in 1870. He was in active service as an officer in the U.S. Navy for 43 years, until retired by operation of law, at the age of 62, February 13, 1913. During this time he spent some years in Coast Survey duty and as instructor at the Academy, but most of the time in active sea service. He was promoted Commander in 1901, Captain in 1906, and Rear Admiral in 1909. He was executive officer of the U.S.S. Panther during the Spanish American War, Commander of the Rhode Island in the cruise of the fleet around the world in 1907-9, and Commandant of the New York Navy Yard, 1909-10, Commander of the 2nd division of the Atlantic fleet, 1910-11, and Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific fleet, 1911-12. For a year, during the late war, he returned to duty as president of the general court martial at Portsmouth, from May 2, 1918 to May 1, 1919.

Admiral Murdoch is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the Franklin Institute, Union Club of Boston, Army and Navy Club of Washington, the Sons of the Revolution and the Society of the Colonial Wars, and is the author of various papers and monographs on naval and scientific subjects. He has had a summer home in the town of Hill, and been a legal resident there since 1884, and has resided there permanently since his retirement in 1913. He is a Republican in politics, and is now serving in his first political office. He is Chairman of the House Committee on National Affairs, and a member of the Appropriations and Forestry Committees, making him, necessarily, a decidedly active member, while his interest extends to all questions of public importance.

He married, June 26, 1879, Anne Dillingham of Philadelphia, Pa.

   
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