ALEXANDER S. WADSWORTH, III, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Alexander Wadsworth, III '39

Date of birth: October 5, 1917

Date of death: June 14, 1944

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Alexander was lost when USS Golet (SS 361) was sunk, probably by Japanese surface forces on June 14, 1944. He was the boat's executive officer.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander Alexander Scammel Wadsworth, III (NSN: 0-82693), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against an armed enemy in his capacity as Torpedo and Gunnery Officer of the U.S.S. GRAYLING (SS-209) during the period 14 July 1942 to 25 April 1943. In this period he made FOUR War Patrols in his ship, which is credited with having sunk seven enemy ships totaling 34,957 tons and damaged four ships totaling 27,500 tons. During many of the attacks his ship was in constant danger of attack by enemy air and surface vessels. In six gun actions, some of which were opposed by enemy gunfire, he calmly and courageously directed the fire of the ship's gun battery which resulted in the sinking of five vessels ranging from one hundred to two thousand tons and damage with subsequent grounding of a sixth enemy ship of one thousand tons. At all times his heroic manner inspired confidence in every member of the crew. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 0384 (February 21, 1944)
Action Date: July 14, 1942 - April 25, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Torpedo and Gunnery Officer
Division: U.S.S. Grayling (SS-209)

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.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Vincennes

Others at this command: LT Cleaveland Miller '29, ENS Daniel Deckelman '37, ENS Samuel Hunter, Jr. '38, and ENS John Salvage '39.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, and LTjg Dewey Johnston '34.

November 1940

Ensign, USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, LTjg Dewey Johnston '34, and ENS James Belden, II '36.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Reuben James

Others at this command: LT Heywood Edwards '26, LT Samuel Dealey '30, LTjg Dewey Johnston '34, ENS James Belden, II '36, and ENS Craig Spowers '41.


Class of 1939

Alexander is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 on Virtual Memorial Hall.