He was born on March 10,1847 in Lima, his father the neogranadino doctor Francisco Carvajal and María de el Pilar Ambulódegui. He was studied in Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe High School.
Defined his vocation by the militia, at the age of 13 joined as a cadet of the Naval Academy. Later, in January 1863, he brilliantly finished his studies, gets his sword and offices of army second lieutenant, as well as Professor of the subjects of geography and history of Peru in the same school.
After pay exam and on the occasion of the conflict of Spain, went to the peruavian navy as ensign in the battery of spring in the Callao. In 1865, ascended to Lieutenant junior grade, is named Assistant of the Commander General, Rear Admiral Juan José Panizo and Talamantes, who flying his logo in the frigate "Amazon".
On June 24, 1865, it produces a uprising in the frigate "Amazon", in which perish Panizo and others heads. Carvajal refuses to abide by the revolution and returns to Callao in the frigate "Apurímac" and, upon the victory of the restorative revolution, led by Colonel Mariano Ignacio Prado, is put out of service.
On May 2, 1866, against the Spanish Squadron combat, arouses the patriotism of all Peruvians. Carvajal requested his reentry to active duty and served as a volunteer in "Tumbes" steam. From the cover of this ship contributes to the defeat of the square Spanish and to the consolidation of our independence.
In 1868, at the age of 21, he was promoted to Lieutenant and was appointed as captain of the port of Iquitos and Commander of the Naval third of Loreto. By their studies and explorations of the Amazonian rivers amounts in January 1870 to kind of graduated Lieutenant Commander. The following year, goes it again to the "Apurimac", on Board of which is on official of retail and executive Commander.
In 1872, is named Lieutenant Commander effective. On July 4, 1872, was Sub Director of the Naval Academy, and being Professor of it, was named to said charge by provision of Tomás Gutiérrez.
During 1876 and 1877 occupies the harbourmaster of the port of Chimbote, and then serves as first Assistant in the Captancy of Callao port. In 1877 is plays also as Deputy Director of the Navy Department in the Ministry of Ramo.
To the start the war with Chile, is the first Division Naval to the command of the captain's ship Miguel Grau. Carvajal was appointed, first, Secretary of it and then its head of State greater than aboard the "Huascar". With this ship made all the campaign maritime, was present in the bombing of Antofagasta, in the combat of Iquique, in the capture of the transport Chilean "Rimac", to which by order of the Rear Admiral Grau, led to Arica and finally in the glorious combat of Angamos, on October 8, 1879.
Half an hour after started the unequal battle between the weak monitor and powerful armoured Chileans, "Cochrane" grenade causes explosion in the control tower where the Rear Admiral Grau, killing him. During battle also perish the successive commanders of the "Huascar".
The war correspondent of the newspaper "El Mercurio" of Valparaíso, witness of the battle from one of the Chilean ships, describes the actions of Carvajal: "after the death of the Commander, the commander Melitón Carvajal, higher orders of the squadron passed to the tower to deliver the news to the second of the ship which was the captain of Corbeta Elías Aguirre to take command, when a grenade penetrated easily five inches of the Tower shield, collided with the right barrel trunnion breaking the compressor and the sobremunonera killing some men and blinding the captain Carvajal, who was taken without knowledge and led to the surgeon."
At the end of the battle, made prisoner was taken to Santiago, where two months later was exchanged. Returning to the homeland, he was Director of War and Navy in the Government of Lizardo Montero, and made several trips to Europe to acquire weapons and ships. Was promoted to the grade of Captain of ship in May 1885.
In 1890 presides over it delegation Peruvian that travel to Chile with the purpose of collecting them remains deadly of them heros of the war of the Pacific. He served on several occasions the portfolio of war and Navy; by resolution legislative of the Congress national on November 5, 1901 and taking in has their relevant merits, is you ascended to the high class of Rear Admiral of the armed national.
After monitoring the construction of cruise ships "Admiral Grau" and "Colonel Bolognesi", in 1907 commanded the trip from Europe to Callao, as Commander General of the Division Naval.
On December 31, 1913, its services to the Navy were fifty-two years and two months. Their campaigns and acts of weapons included combat on May 2, 1866, the naval campaign of the "Huascar" in the war with Chile and the battle of Iquique and Angamos. Contained in the ladder of activities until the date of your last rise on October 8 1927, to the high class of Vice-Admiral of the armed national.
After a long disease, the hero of memorable battles died on September 19, 1935 in Lima, at the age of 88 years. According to the ceremony, he was transferred to the Basilica del Rosario, Church of Santo Domingo, where were the solemn funeral ceremony which attended the President Óscar R. Benavides accompanied by his Cabinet. Their remains rest now in the Heros crypt.