CHARLES F. WEDDERBURN, LTJG, USN
Charles Wedderburn '15
Date of birth: October 2, 1892
Date of death: November 19, 1917
From the 1915 Lucky Bag:
Charles Foster Wedderburn was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 2, 1892, but grew up in Washington, D.C. Appointed a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy on July 7, 1911, he graduated and received his commission on June 5, 1915. Ensign Wedderburn served in the cruiser Brooklyn (CA-3) from graduation to the end of 1915. In December 1915, he transferred to the destroyer Chauncey (DD-3) assigned to the Asiatic Fleet and based at Cavite in the Philippines. He was promoted to lieutenant (j.g.) on July 1, 1917; and, a month later, his ship departed Cavite with orders to the coast of France. Based at St. Nazaire, his ship escorted convoys in the eastern Atlantic. While on such a mission about 110 miles west of Gibraltar, Chauncey was involved in a fatal collision with the British merchantman, SS Rose, on the night of November 18–19. The destroyer sank at approximately 3:17 a.m. on the 19th taking Wedderburn and 20 of his comrades to their deaths.
He has a memory marker in the Brookwood American Military Cemetery, England.
USS Wedderburn (DD 684) was named for Charles; the ship was sponsored by "Mrs. Gertrude F. Wedderburn." (Unclear his relation to this woman.)
Memorial Hall Error
Charles is listed on the killed in action panel at the front of Memorial Hall. His loss is more accurately characterized as operational, though, as there were no enemy forces in the area.