Who said “Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead” and Where did Jorge Farragut come from?

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” is one of the best-known battle cries in American history. It was uttered by a Hispanic American of Minorcan descent: U.S. naval officer David Farragut (1801-1870).

His Spanish father, Jorge Farragut, immigrated from Minorca in 1772 and fought in the Revolutionary War. David exclaimed his famous line in 1864, during the Civil War battle of Mobile Bay.

By “torpedoes” he meant not the modern underwater missiles but underwater mines planted in the path of his fleet. Farragut won the battle. For his heroism, he was made the first admiral of the United States.

The Farraguts belonged to a long line of Hispanic Americans who fought for their country.

More than 300,000 Mexican Americans served in World War II. Seventeen won the Medal of Honor, five of them posthumously.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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