Henry Thomas Mayo was the commander of the US Atlantic Fleet from 1916 until the end of World War I. He is historically associated with the Tampico Incident of 1914 (which eventually led to Victoriano Huerta's fall from power in Mexico).
Mayo was born in Burlington, Vermont in 1856. He was admitted to the US Naval Academy, and graduated in 1876. In his early career he served on the hydrographic ship Bennington during the Spanish-American War, and assisted in performing the initial surveys of Pearl Harbor. Beginning in 1913 he commanded divisions of the Atlantic Fleet, and became commander of the entire Fleet in 1916 (being promoted to Vice Admiral). In August of 1917 he travelled to London to confer on Allied naval cooperation, and advocated anti-submarine convoys, as well as an anti-submarine minefield in the North Atlantic. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding operation of the US Fleet during the war.
After the war, Admiral Mayo served on the General Board of the US Navy, where he was known for advocating the construction of smaller, more versatile warships. He was promoted to full Admiral and retired in 1930.
Admiral Mayo's name was honored when the destroyer USS Mayo (DD-422) was launched in 1940.
- US Navy Historical Center