From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David McDermut '47

Date of birth: March 24, 1824

Date of death: April 18, 1863

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.


David was lost on April 18, 1862, when he was shot while leading a reconnaissance party ashore at Sabine Pass, Texas. He was the commanding officer of USS Cayuga (1861).

He was born in, and appointed to the Naval Academy from, New York. He is also buried in New York.

He is listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 8 November, 1841. Passed Midshipman, 10 August, 1847. Master, 1 March, 1855. Lieutenant, 14 September, 1855. Lieutenant Commander, 16 July, 1862. Killed in action 18 April, 1863.

From Find A Grave:

During the Civil War, he served in Potomac and Marion before assuming command of Cayuga on December 2, 1862.


USS McDermut (DD 262) and USS McDermut (DD 677) were named for David; the latter ship was sponsored by Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, widow of the 28th President of the United States.

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.

January 1842

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command: MIDN George Hare '47, MIDN Horace Crabb '47, MIDN Sylvanus Bliss '47, and MIDN William Bridge '47.

January 1844

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command: MIDN George Hare '47, MIDN Horace Crabb '47, MIDN Sylvanus Bliss '47, and MIDN William Bridge '47.

January 1846

Midshipman, Sloop Vincennes

January 1847

Midshipman, Sloop Vincennes

January 1848

Midshipman, Columbus, 74

January 1849

Passed Midshipman, leave of absence

January 1850

resigned, November 26, 1849

January 1855

Passed Midshipman, Frigate Independence

Others at this command: Master William Nelson '46 and PASSED MIDN Washington Totten '53.

January 1856

Lieutenant, Frigate Independence

January 1857

Lieutenant, Frigate Independence

January 1858

Lieutenant, leave of absence

January 1860

Lieutenant, Store Ship Relief

September 1861

Lieutenant, Sloop Marion

Others at this command: Acting MIDN John Anderson '63.

January 1863

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Gunboat Cayuga

Class of 1847

David is one of 31 members of the Class of 1847 on Virtual Memorial Hall.