(1849–1926) U.S. naval officer. Born in Washington, D.C., Richard Wainwright graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1868. He had a series of routine assignments highlighted by a year as chief of the office of naval intelligence, before joining the battleship Maine as executive officer in 1897. He directed recovery efforts for that ship after it was blown up in Havana Harbor the next year, and received command of the converted yacht Gloucester in Admiral William T. Sampson's squadron. During the sea battle off Santiago during the Spanish-American War (1898), Wainwright won recognition by sinking two enemy destroyers and rescuing the Spanish commander from his burning flagship. Afterwards the Gloucester led the ships bearing Gen. Nelson A. Miles and his troops to take Puerto Rico. Wainwright became superintendent of the Naval Academy in 1900, and later was given a number of fleet divisional commands. He retired as a rear admiral in 1911.
From The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Warfare and Defence.