ALEXANDER GROVES, II, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Alexander Groves, II '37

Date of birth: September 12, 1915

Date of death: August 2, 1940

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From Find A Grave:

from Doris Neel Groves on January 30, 1945:

"Following a short leave (after graduation from USNA) he was assigned to duty on the U.S.S. Marblehead in Asiatic waters until March 1940. During this period he was awarded a citation for Intelligence reports and one for bravery by the Commander in Chief, Admiral Yarnell. "On the night of September 26, 1938, noting what appeared to be one of the Chinese occupants of the capsized sampan, you — with disregard for own safety, dived into the foul waters of the Whangpoo River — in effort to safe a life. The Commander in Chief commends you," etc.

In April 1940, Lieut. Alexander Groves II transferred to Pensacola, Florida School of Aviation, where he was making fine progress until August 2nd; while leading a formation his plane went out of control and crashed. His broken body rests in the family lot in Graceland Cemetery, Webster City, Iowa.

He was promoted to LTJG on June 3, 1940. According to information from Richard Leonard, naval aviation historian, the crash was near Corry Field, FL.

Memorial Hall Error

In the Lucky Bag and on his gravestone Alexander is listed as "II"; in Memorial Hall this suffix is omitted.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

September 1937

Ensign, USS Marblehead

Others at this command: ENS Greer Duncan, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg William Sisko '31 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 2).

January 1938

Ensign, USS Marblehead

Others at this command: ENS Greer Duncan, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg William Sisko '31 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 2).

July 1938

Ensign, USS Marblehead

Others at this command: ENS Greer Duncan, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg William Sisko '31 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 2).

January 1939

Ensign, USS Marblehead

Others at this command: ENS Greer Duncan, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg William Sisko '31 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 2).

October 1939

Ensign, USS Marblehead

Others at this command: LT Raymond Mayo '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT William Sisko '31 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 2).

June 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT Charles Ostrom '30, LT Lance Massey '30, LTjg Daniel Gothie '32, LTjg George Bellinger '32, LTjg Martin Koivisto '32, LTjg Charles Ware '34, 1LT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Francis Maher, Jr. '35, LTjg Jack Ferguson '35, LTjg Joel Davis, Jr. '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Frank Robinson '36, LTjg James Southerland, II '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, ENS Donald Patterson '37, ENS Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, ENS Harold Shrider '37, ENS Howard Nester, Jr. '37, ENS James Mayes '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, ENS John Boal '37, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Paul Riley '37, 2LT Radford West '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Dorrance Radcliffe '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, and ENS William Brady '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT John Yoho '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg George Ottinger '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT William Townsend '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).


Class of 1937

Alexander is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.