DAVID K. CLAUDE, LTCOL, USMC
David Claude '24
Date of birth: March 2, 1903
Date of death: November 22, 1943
David Kerr Claude was admitted to the Naval Academy from Illinois on August 4, 1920 at age 17 years 5 months.
He resigned on February 16, 1923.
On the "Parted Links" page:
D. K. CLAUDE, Maryland
Dave likes the "Gyrene" life he is leading in San Domingo, but he's a damn good fellow for the Navy to send into the Marine Corps.
David was killed in action against the Japanese on November 22, 1943 during the Battle of Tarawa. He was temporarily attached to the 2nd Marine Division as a Senior Observer; he was the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines, which was training in California at the time. He took command of the Battalion in January 1943 and was referenced as "everyone's favorite Battalion commander" in this history.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Colonel David Kerr Claude (MCSN: 0-3963), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as military observer attached to the SECOND Marine Division during action against enemy Japanese forces on Tarawa, Gilbert Islands, November 20-22, 1943. Constantly subjected to a devastating barrage of enemy rifle and machine gun fire while proceeding to the beach in a landing boat, Lieutenant Colonel Claude sighted a number of seriously wounded men in danger of drowning. Unhesitatingly exposing himself to the direct line of hostile fire, he valiantly plunged into the treacherous waters, repeatedly swimming distances of from 30 to 75 yards in order to bring the man back to his own boat from which they were transferred to other craft for medical attention. Finally gaining the beachhead after successfully completing his perilous act, Lieutenant Colonel Claude gathered information vital to subsequent operations before he was killed by enemy fire while proceeding on an important mission to a forward command post. His splendid initiative, great personal valor and unrelenting devotion to duty in the face of grave peril directly contributed to the saving of many lives and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: CITATION:
Service: Marine Corps
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Division: 2d Marine Division
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.
CAPT Ronald Boone '20 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia)
CAPT Ralph Forsyth '22 (Fleet Marine Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia)
David is one of 42 members of the Class of 1924 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.