DAVID G. NICKERSON, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
David Nickerson '38

Date of birth: February 16, 1917

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:

1938 Nickerson LB.jpg

DAVID GORDON NICKERSON

Benicia, California

Nick, Blotz

What is it that causes so many good Army brats to forsake their parent service for the Navy? Our Blotz was even born at West Point, yet fell away and joined the Navy. However, we feel maybe he was inspired in his choice. As a protagonist of the theory of the conservation of energy, Blotz has astonished all hands with his ability to land good marks with such a minute output. Outside of being the faithful keeper of a diary and an untiring compiler of statistics, Dave manages to keep himself clear of most forms of unnecessary mental toil. Only intermittently annoyed by the sub, weak, and extra-duty squads, he devotes most of his attention in the afternoons to a highly complicated forms of touch football. Among his classmates, Blotz has gained the reputation of being a non-reg supporter of the system, a genuine savoir, and a sterling shipmate.

Track 4, Rifle Team 2, 1; Reception Committee 2, 1; M.P.O.

1938 Nickerson LB.jpg

DAVID GORDON NICKERSON

Benicia, California

Nick, Blotz

What is it that causes so many good Army brats to forsake their parent service for the Navy? Our Blotz was even born at West Point, yet fell away and joined the Navy. However, we feel maybe he was inspired in his choice. As a protagonist of the theory of the conservation of energy, Blotz has astonished all hands with his ability to land good marks with such a minute output. Outside of being the faithful keeper of a diary and an untiring compiler of statistics, Dave manages to keep himself clear of most forms of unnecessary mental toil. Only intermittently annoyed by the sub, weak, and extra-duty squads, he devotes most of his attention in the afternoons to a highly complicated forms of touch football. Among his classmates, Blotz has gained the reputation of being a non-reg supporter of the system, a genuine savoir, and a sterling shipmate.

Track 4, Rifle Team 2, 1; Reception Committee 2, 1; M.P.O.

Loss

David was lost when USS Cushing (DD 376) was sunk early on the morning of November 13, 1942 during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

David was born in West Point, New York. His parents were Army Major Lewis A. Nickerson and wife Bertha. The family also lived in Massachusetts and Washington, D. C. His mother died in 1931.

In July 1933, his family went from Brooklyn to Benicia, California: stepmother Frieda age 40, Donald 19, David 16, Richard 12 and Fred 4.

In 1934 Donald went to West Point and David to the Naval Academy. Their father was stationed at the Benicia Arsenal. David was first appointed by Congressman Frank H. Buck to the academy, but then Senator William G. McAdoo appointed him. Thus, another man Carlos A. Rovetta was appointed to the academy.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018: "Nickerson was my father’s roommate all four years at the academy."

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 1938
Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command:
January 1939
Ensign, USS West Virginia

October 1939
Ensign, USS Cushing
June 1940
Ensign, USS Cushing

Others at this command:
November 1940
Ensign, USS Cushing

Others at this command:
April 1941
Ensign, USS Cushing

Others at this command:


Class of 1938

David is one of 72 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.