Arturo Prat

Arturo Prat

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Arturo Prat

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Agustín Arturo Prat Chacón (April 3, 1848, near Ninhue, Chile – May 21, 1879, Iquique, Peru was a Chilean navy officer. He was killed shortly after boarding the Peruvian armored monitor Huáscar at the Naval Battle of Iquique after the ship under his command, the Esmeralda, was rammed by the Peruvian monitor. Prat, as captain of the Esmeralda, was the first to board the Huáscar.

Before his death, Prat had taken part in several major naval engagements, including battles at Papudo (a coastal city north of Valparaiso) (1865), and at the Battle of Abtao (1866), at the islet of Abtao across from Chiloé Island. Following his death, his name became a rallying cry for Chilean forces, and Arturo Prat has since been considered a national hero.

Prat's name is commemorated on numerous plazas (squares), streets, buildings and other structures in Chile. His name has been commemorated by four of Chile's major warships, including a USS Brooklyn class cruiser in the 1950s, a British County class destroyer from 1983 to 2006, and most recently a Dutch Jacob van Heemskerck class frigate transferred to Chile as Capitan Prat in 2006. One of Chile's Antarctic research facilities, Arturo Prat Station, and the Chilean Naval Academy, Escuela Naval Arturo Prat is named after him. His portrait also appears on the 10,000 Chilean peso bill.

Early life

Prat, the fourth (and only surviving) son of Agustín Prat del Barril and Rosario Chacón Barrios, was born at the San Agustín de Puñual...
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