Many streets, buildings, and institutions in Rhode Island are named to honor the Narragansett Bay area’s rich naval heritage. This regular feature to the museum’s blog provides a brief look at the people, places, and events behind the names.
Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce (1827-1917) Founder of the Naval War College
|Rear Admiral S.B. Luce, c.1888|
Luce's crowning achievement was the founding of the Naval War College in 1884. As founding president, he envisioned the school as the highest level of professional military education and a "place of original research on all questions relating to war and to statesmanship connected to war, or the prevention of war." Luce retired in 1889 but continued to teach at the college and remained active in naval affairs until his passing in Newport on July 28, 1917.
The navy has named three ships in his honor: USS Luce (Destroyer #99, later DM-4), 1918-1936; USS Luce (DD-522), 1943-1945; and USS Luce (DLG-7, later DDG-38), 1961-1995. Appropriately, the Naval War College and the United States Naval Academy have halls named after Luce as well.
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Street Sign Image by Christina Anderson
Luce Image, courtesy of the Naval History and Heritage Command