CHARLES E. TOLMAN, JR., LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Charles Tolman, Jr. '25

Date of birth: June 25, 1903

Date of death: February 1, 1943

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

From the 1925 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From Find A Grave:

Commander Tolman became the commanding officer of USS De Haven (DD-469) upon her commissioning on 21 September 1942. The destroyer steamed to the South Pacific in November 1942 and supported operations in the Solomon Islands. On the afternoon of 1 February 1943, while escorting landing craft, De Haven was attacked by six Japanese dive bombers. Fighting off the attackers, the destroyer downed three enemy planes before a bomb struck her navigating bridge, stopped her, and killed Tolman. Two more hits and a near miss doomed De Haven, which sank within two minutes. Tolman was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his valiant leadership.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Career

From navsource:

Charles E."Spike" Tolman was born on 25 June 1903 in Concord, Mass. and entered the United States Naval Academy in the summer of 1921 and graduated on 4 June 1925. After serving in battleship Utah (BB-31), he was transferred to Warden (DD-288) in 1926. Tolman then completed training courses at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, R.I., and at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn. He served in submarines O-4 in 1928 and S-22 from 1929 to 1932 when he returned to the Naval Academy for two years. Tolman served in submarine S--46 in 1934 and commanded S-30 from April 1935 to May 1937. He was attached to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations for 17 months before assuming command of Spearfish (SS-190) on 7 October 1939. In January 1941, Tolman joined the staff of Commander, Submarines, Atlantic Fleet.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Charles Edward Tolman (NSN: 0-59559), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. DeHAVEN (DD-469), during operations in the Solomon Islands in January and February 1943. Commander Tolman operated his ship as group leader during the bombardment of enemy-held plantations on New Georgia Island and was directly responsible for demolition of important buildings and large fires and explosions in adjacent munitions dumps. On 1 February 1943, when eight Japanese dive bombers viciously attacked his ship and dropped a bomb on the navigating bridge, Commander Tolman courageously carried on until two internal explosions destroyed the DeHAVEN. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 320 (November 1943)

Namesake

USS Tolman (DM 28) was named for Charles; the ship was sponsored by his widow, Helen.


Class of 1925

Charles is one of 29 members of the Class of 1925 in Memorial Hall.