DICK R. DOWNER, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Dick Downer '27

Date of birth: December 24, 1904

Date of death: July 29, 1932

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Dick was lost on July 29, 1932 when the seaplane he was piloting crashed near Del Mar, California. One other of his crew was also killed; three others were rescued.

He earned his wings as naval aviator #3678 on July 28, 1930 as a LTjg.

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 1928

Ensign, USS Denver

Others at this command: ENS William Myers '26.

April 1928

Ensign, USS Denver

Others at this command: ENS William Myers '26.

July 1928

Ensign, USS Denver

Others at this command: ENS William Myers '26.

October 1928

Ensign, USS Denver

Others at this command: ENS William Myers '26.

January 1929

Ensign, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg William Graham, Jr. '25, ENS Eugene Karpe '26, ENS Harold Sheehan '27, and ENS William Potts '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT George Cuddihy '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), LTjg Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), and LTjg Robert Larson '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B).

April 1929

Ensign, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg William Graham, Jr. '25, ENS Eugene Karpe '26, ENS Hilan Ebert '26, ENS Harold Sheehan '27, and ENS William Potts '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT George Cuddihy '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), LTjg Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), LTjg Robert Larson '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B), and LTjg Jack DeShazo '25 (Light Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B).

July 1929

Ensign, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15, LTjg William Graham, Jr. '25, ENS Hilan Ebert '26, ENS William Potts '27, and ENS John Yoho '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Robert Larson '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B) and LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B).

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LTjg Burton Doggett '24 (USS Lexington), LTjg Hilan Ebert '26 (USS Lexington), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS William Potts '27 (USS Lexington), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), and ENS Robert Haven '30 (USS Lexington).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LTjg Burton Doggett '24 (USS Lexington), LTjg Hilan Ebert '26 (USS Lexington), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), and ENS Robert Haven '30 (USS Lexington).

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Hilan Ebert '26 (USS Lexington), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), and ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington).

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg John Waldron '24 and ENS John Yoho '29.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), ENS Cleon Felton '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Edward Allen '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (USS Lexington), and ENS Walter Bailey '31 (USS Lexington).

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg John Waldron '24 and ENS John Yoho '29.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), ENS John Craig '30 (USS Lexington), ENS Cleon Felton '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Edward Allen '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (USS Lexington), and ENS Walter Bailey '31 (USS Lexington).

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg John Waldron '24 and ENS John Yoho '29.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), ENS John Craig '30 (USS Lexington), ENS Cleon Felton '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Edward Allen '31 (USS Lexington), ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (USS Lexington), and ENS Walter Bailey '31 (USS Lexington).

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LTjg John Waldron '24 and ENS John Yoho '29.

Others at or embarked at USS Lexington: LT Edwin Crouch '21 (USS Lexington), LT Henry Brandenburger '21 (USS Lexington), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (USS Lexington), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Baylies Clark '30 (USS Lexington), ENS John Craig '30 (USS Lexington), ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (USS Lexington), and ENS Walter Bailey '31 (USS Lexington).


Class of 1927

Dick is one of 43 members of the Class of 1927 on Virtual Memorial Hall.