ARTHUR B. YEATES, JR., LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Arthur Yeates, Jr. '38

Date of birth: March 20, 1915

Date of death: July 6, 1943

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Arthur's Purple Heart Medal

Arthur was lost when USS Helena (CL 50) was sunk on July 6, 1943 by multiple torpedoes in the Battle of Kula Gulf.

His parents were listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Virginia.

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Elmer Buerkle '25, John Mooney, Jr. '35, and Joseph Griffin '43 were also lost when Helena was sunk. Charles Cecil '16, the ship's commanding officer, survived only to be lost later in the war.

Memorial Hall Error

One listing — plus his memorial marker — have him as a LCDR, presumably because he was held in a missing status until August 10, 1945. Memorial Hall has LT.

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.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Honolulu

Others at this command: ENS Jack Crutchfield '36.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Honolulu

Others at this command: ENS Jack Crutchfield '36.

October 1939

Ensign, USS Dent

June 1940

Ensign, USS Dent

November 1940

Ensign, USS Dent

Others at this command: LT Paul Tobelman '26.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Dent

Others at this command: LT Paul Tobelman '26.


Class of 1938

Arthur is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.