September 9: George Partridge Colvocoresses (1932)

George P. Colvocoresses led a distinguished military career, rising to the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. He served under then-Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War and was Commandant of Cadets at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. GPC’s father was George Musalas Colvocoresses, who was born in Scio, in the Grecian Archipelago in 1816, but was kidnapped with his mother and two sisters and ransomed by the Turks in the Greek War for Independence. The elder Colvocoresses was shipped to the United States, where he was adopted and raised by Norwich University (VT) founder Captain Alden Partridge in the early days of that institution. At the time, Norwich was known as “The American Scientific, Literary and Military Academy.” The subject of this entry was named for his father (George) and for his father’s benefactor (Partridge).

GPC was born at Norwich, Vermont and was a cadet at the University, class of 1866, but left that institution at the close of his freshman year and served in the U.S. Navy as captain’s clerk on two ships during the Civil War. Subsequently he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, and was graduated in 1869. In passing through the successive grades of the Navy, his sea service of more than twenty-two years extended to every quarter of the world and comprised all the duties of a sea officer afloat. During various tours of shore duty, he was employed at the Hydrographic Office, Naval War Records Office, War College and commanded the Naval Station at Key West. He retired in 1907, at his own request, after forty-five years of service. While stationed in Washington in the 1870’s, Colvocoresses was confirmed at Epiphany in 1875 and his youngest son, Harold, was baptized at the church in 1880.

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