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David Conner David Conner

Commodore David Conner

Commodore David Conner was born in 1792 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and began a long career as a naval officer at age 17. In the War of 1812, Conner proved to be an able leader while serving aboard the U.S.S. Hornet and was decorated for valor. He served for the next three decades at various foreign and domestic posts, including commands in the Mediterranean and Atlantic oceans, and on important naval boards in the United States.

When the U.S.-Mexican War erupted in 1846, Conner commanded the U.S. Home Squadron that included all naval vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. When General Zachary Taylor moved his army into Texas, and then on to the Rio Grande, Conner supported him with logistics and communications.

Conner led two unsuccessful expeditions against the main Mexican naval base at Alvarado later in the year, but did succeed in bottling up a large portion of the enemy fleet, rendering it strategically useless. Connerís crowning achievement, however, was the landing at Vera Cruz of more than 8,500 men for General Winfield Scottís 1847 invasion of central Mexico.

Conner passed command of the Home Squadron to Commodore Mathew C. Perry later that year, and returned to the United States. He assumed command of the Philadelphia Naval Yard and served in that post until his death in 1856.