Jameson Duquesne "J.D." MacLeod was born June 30, 1888 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Antoinette Duquesne. His father, Liam MacLeod, was not around for the birth because Antoinette's family were scandalized that their daughter would get pregnant by someone of Liam's standing in society. They had the pull and influence to cause something very permanent to happen to Liam so he left town soon after her pregnancy become known. J.D. grew up the scion of an Old Money Southern Gothic family and eventually he grew curious about his father and began to ask questions. When J.D. was 15 his mother finally sat him down and explained who his father was and what had happened to explain his absence.
J.D. assumed his father had just disappeared but when he was about ready to graduate High School, he and his family received word that he had secured an appointment to the US Naval Academy at Annapolis. J.D.'s school time was good but hardly the accomplished kind that got appointments to military academies. Little did J.D. or his family know that Liam had been keeping tabs on his son and had pulled the strings necessary to get him a place in that year's class.
J.D. entered the Naval Academy in the fall of 1906. His plebe year was very hard on him but eventually he began to understand how to navigate the highly disciplinec world of a new Naval officer. Like most midshipmen J.D. showed aptitude and skill in some areas but not as much in others. Eventually J.D. graduated in the Summer of 1910. In the words of one of his instructors at the Academy: "Mr. MacLeod will either distinguish himself and be highly decorated or will be court martialled and thrown out of the Navy...the only luck he can count on is the timing of which event will be first."
Ensign MacLeod was assigned to River Gunboat training in Hawaii for a few months before being sent on to serve with the River Gunboat Squadron performing various duties in the Phillipines. There J.D. learned quickly about life in the Gunboats. Their missions of patrolling the inland and coastal waterways of the Philippine Islands soon showed him that even without a real war, you can still get just as dead in combat. Between bandits, pirates, and even trouble caused by oither countries, the small rivers of the islands could be just as dangerous as any massive fleet battle. J.D. showed great skill as a gunner and leader of boarding parties as well as in leading men to repel boarders during the various skirmishes his Gunboat took part in. He received multiple commendations which tended to offset the times he showed a lack of officer discipline when no action was at hand. After the cessation of hostilities for the First World War, now Lieutenant MacLeod's Gunboat resumed his patrol duties. In early 1919, Lt. MacLeod was injured during a heavy skirmish with coastal pirates. A pirate blade sliced him badly and he had to be evacuated to a hospital in Hawaii. While recovering on leave in Hawaii J.D. was informed that his wound would preclude his continuing Gunboat service and he would be relegated to desk or staff duty. Lt. MacLeod decided that that would not be the life he wished to have in the Navy and resigned his commission.
J.D. had a pretty good amount of money saved from his time in the Navy. He really had no idea what he would do after the service and bounced from job to job in Hawaii.