CLAY A. MITCHELL, JR., LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Clay Mitchell, Jr. '41

Date of birth: July 2, 1918

Date of death: August 4, 1950

Age: 32

Lucky Bag

From the 1941 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Clay was lost on August 4, 1950 when the plane he was piloting collided with another over the Atlantic near Pensacola, Florida. The other pilot was rescued.

He has a memorial marker in Missouri; he was survived by his parents and possibly his wife. (As of 1945 he was married; he was reported as visiting his in-laws.)

Other

He was acting commanding officer of Attack Squadron (VA) 15 for a week just prior to his loss.

In September 1949 he was injured in an auto accident that killed the other driver.

His middle name was Alexander.

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.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Somers

Others at this command: ENS Frank Kolb, Jr. '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Randolph Boyer '27 (Destroyer Squadron 2).


Class of 1941

Clay is one of 60 members of the Class of 1941 on Virtual Memorial Hall.