Lucien Young : biography
Lucien Young (31 March 1852 – 2 October 1912) was an admiral of the United States Navy. His active-duty career included service in the Spanish–American War.
Given command of , Lieutenant Young placed that ship in commission and, during the Spanish–American War, took part in two engagements off Manzanillo, Cuba, and in the cutting of the cable between Cape Cruz and Manzanillo from late June 1898 to mid-August. Relieved of command of Hist in February 1899, Young received promotion to lieutenant commander on 3 March and became Captain of the Port of Havana on 22 August of the same year. In the spring of 1900, he became Commandant, Naval Station, Havana.
Early life and career
Young was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on 31 March 1852. He was appointed a midshipman on 21 June 1869 and served in the practice ships , , and before graduating from the United States Naval Academy on 31 May 1873.
Ordered to on 23 July 1873, Young, as a passed midshipman, was commended for extraordinary heroism when he saved the life of a seaman who had been knocked overboard.
Young was detached from Alaska at Lisbon, Portugal, and soon joined . Commissioned as ensign on 16 July 1874, he joined —on the North Atlantic Station—on 10 December of the following year.
Last years and legacy
Young's Navy personnel records reveal an instance of apparent anti-Semitism. Young failed to pay a small [$7] tailoring bill. The tailor, one Frank Copper of Vallejo, California, wrote to the Secretary of the Navy complaining after several years of non-payment. The SecNav forwarded the letter to Young for a response. In his written response Young wrote that he had made inquiry in "Vallejo as to who this man [Copper] was, and was informed he was a weak and cranky Jew and that he ran a small hat store in town; that upon two occasions his shop was burned down under suspicious circumstances." Young further went on, in response to the SecNav's request that his response be furnished to Copper wrote for "me now to furnish him with a compulsory copy of this official endorsement, as directed in the 1st endorsement, for him to flaunt about his Hebrew friends, would be to him an excellent advertisement, and a decided humiliation to me."
He died at New York, N.Y., on 2 October 1912.
- Simple Elements of Navigation (1898; second edition, 1898)
- The Real Hawaii (1899)
Young later was assigned to duty at the Mare Island Navy Yard and was there at the time of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and did much relief work. Ultimately he became Captain of the Yard there before becoming Commandant of the Naval Station, Pensacola, and of the 8th Naval District. His area of command was later extended to include the 7th Naval District. He was appointed Rear Admiral in 1910.
Wreck of the USS Huron
Subsequently ordered to , he served in that ship until her tragic grounding off Nags Head, N.C., on 24 November 1877.
The ship, en route to Cuban waters for survey duty, foundered shortly after 01:00 on the 24th. Ensign Young and an enlisted man—Seaman Antonio Williams—struggled ashore through the tumbling surf and gained the beach. Not receiving much assistance from an apparently apathetic group of bystanders, Young sent a horseman off at a gallop for a life-saving depot seven miles away while he, himself, although bruised and barefoot, walked four miles to yet another station, and, apparently finding it unmanned, broke in and got out mortar lines and powder for a Lyle gun. The sheriff of the locality then took Williams and Young to a point abreast the wreck. By the time they arrived, however, the 34 survivors had already reached shore.
For his indefatigable efforts, Young received a commendation from the Secretary of the Navy; was awarded a gold medal by act of Congress from the Life-Saving service of the United States; was made an honorary member of the Kentucky legislature; and received advancement to the rate of master.
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