Captain Worth G. Ross was born at Cleveland, OH on 19 April 1854 and was appointed a cadet on 4 January 1877. He was a member of the School of Instruction’s first graduating class. During the Spanish-American War he served as executive officer of the cutter Woodbury. He also served on board USS Harvard. During this time he participated in the battle of Santiago de Cuba on 3 July 1898. For this he received a bronze medal from Congress. He was later promoted to Captain on 3 June 1902.
He was appointed Captain-Commandant on 25 April 1905. Ross’ greatest contribution as Captain-Commandant concerned the Revenue Cutter Service School of Instruction. Throughout his tenure he sought funds to establish a permanent location for the school and to improve the curriculum. The training ship Chase had been decommissioned and the school was moved to Curtis Bay, MD. The facilities, however, were too small. Though Ross could not secure the funds, Congress did authorize the transfer of the abandoned Fort Trumbull, CT from the Army to the Revenue Cutter Service. In September 1910 fifty cadets and their instructors set up the School of Instruction at Fort Trumbull. With this acquisition of land the school grew and eventually became the present-day US Coast Guard Academy. Succeeded by Ellswoth P. Betholf, Ross retired from active service on 30 April 1911 and later died at his home in New Bedford, MA on 24 March 1916.