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.

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 1925

Ensign, Navy Yard, Boston

October 1925

Ensign, USS Utah

Others at this command: CDR Isaac Kidd '06.

January 1926

Ensign, USS Utah

Others at this command: CDR Isaac Kidd '06.

October 1926

Ensign, USS Worden

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Fraser '24.

January 1927

Ensign, USS Worden

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Fraser '24.

April 1927

Ensign, USS Worden

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Fraser '24.

October 1927

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: ENS Andrew Harris '25, ENS Claude Haman '26, and ENS John Crane '26.

January 1928

Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20, LTjg William Hobby, Jr. '23, and ENS Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

April 1928

Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20, LTjg William Hobby, Jr. '23, and ENS Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

July 1928

Ensign, USS O-4

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS O-4

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS O-4

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS O-4

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS O-4

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Robert Johnson '24 (Submarine Division 2).

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-22

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-46

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-46

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-46

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS S-30

October 1935

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

January 1936

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

April 1936

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

July 1936

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

Others at this command: LTjg John Crane '26.

January 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

Others at this command: LTjg John Crane '26.

April 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-30

Others at this command: LTjg John Crane '26.

September 1937

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Smith '20, LTjg Thomas Marshall, Jr. '30, and LT Volckert Douw '30.

January 1938

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Smith '20, LT Francis Jordan '29, LTjg Thomas Marshall, Jr. '30, and LT Volckert Douw '30.

January 1939

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Spearfish

October 1939

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Spearfish

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Spearfish

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Spearfish

Others at this command: LT Howard Abbott '31.

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, staff, Submarines, Atlantic Fleet, USS Vixen

Others at this command: CDR Robert Smith '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Vixen: LTjg Henry Gearing, III '35 (USS Vixen).


Class of 1925

Charles is one of 30 members of the Class of 1925 on Virtual Memorial Hall.