From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

David Sloan, Jr. '38

Date of birth: April 3, 1914

Date of death: November 16, 1943

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


David was lost when USS Corvina (SS 226) was sunk on November 16, 1943 by a Japanese submarine. He was the boat's executive officer.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

A Williamsport High School football star, “Dave” graduated in 1933. Field, Forest and Stream (2); Student Council (2); Varsity Football - tackle (2, 3, 4); Class Basketball (2, 3, 4); Cherry and White magazine (3), Editor (4); Junior Executive Committee (3); Chemistry (3, 4). Dave is responsible for our much improved Cherry and White this year. He’s quite attracted by the gentler sex, and when it comes to football, he’s all there.

David was an usher at the wedding of Ensign Frank Curtis Lynch, Jr. (‘38,) to Rear Admiral Forde Anderson Todd’s daughter Emily in October 1940. Best man was Ensign Robert C. Giffen (‘38.) The other ushers were Lt. Greer Duncan (‘37,) and Ensigns Edward Conrad (’38) and Heber Player (‘38.) In December, his sister Elizabeth married, and she was given away by David.

His father was a Bradford County farm agent in the 1920s and 1930s. His mother was Irene.

Per the Daily Item, Sunbury, Pennsylvania, on March 17, 1943: David was home after serving 15 months on a submarine in the Pacific.

“He was on the craft which penetrated the Japanese blockade to remove President Manuel Quezon of the Philippines to safety and later took Francis B. Sayre, high commissioner of the islands thru the lines to Australia.

“His craft bagged 16 Jap ships, including the first one sunk in the present war and the crew, while on the offensive most of the time during a journey of 100,000 miles under water, was in real peril several times when depth charges were dropped in an attempt to sink it.”

Per the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, September 16, 1943: Ten Years Ago Today: David was home from Nevada where he worked on a ranch during the summer. He would return to Pennsylvania State College as a sophomore and make a bid for the football team. David played one year of varsity football at Penn State, so, he was only able to play two years of varsity with the Navy. In the fall of 1937, he had charge of the Navy team’s mascot, a goat.

His parents were listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Pennsylvania.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant David K. Sloan, Jr. (NSN: 81093), United States Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy from 8 December 1941 through September 1942. While serving on board the U.S.S. SWORDFISH (SS-193) during the first five war patrols of that Submarine, he rendered inestimable assistance in sinking eleven enemy vessels totaling 75,200 tons, and in damaging an additional ship of 6,500 tons. Further, during the second war patrol, he was of invaluable aid in the successful execution of two special missions to Corregidor Fortress, evacuating President Quezon and his official party to Panay, and bring the United States High Commissioner of the Philippines and his official party to Australia. Throughout enemy counterattacks in which a total of 95 depth charges and bombs were dropped, his courage was an inspiration to those serving under him, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: December 8, 1941 - September 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Division: U.S.S. Swordfish (SS-193)


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 New Mexico

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at this command:

LT Lance Massey '30 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)
LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

January 1939

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at this command:

LT Lance Massey '30 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)
LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

October 1939

Ensign, USS McCall

June 1940

Ensign, USS McCall

Others at this command:

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command:

April 1941

Ensign, USS Swordfish

Others at this command:

Memorial Hall Error

David is listed in all documentation as Jr.; Memorial Hall omits this on both the Class of 1938 panel and the killed in action scroll.

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 the alumni in Memorial Hall.