From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Patterson '37

Date of birth: April 23, 1913

Date of death: January 14, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:


Donald was lost when his SB2U-2 Vindicator dive bomber crashed off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia on January 14, 1942. He was a member of Scouting Squadron (VS) 71, operating from USS Wasp (CV 7).

His wife was listed as next of kin. Donald has a memory marker in Iowa.


Donald reported to NAS Pensacola for flight training on June 30, 1939 as an Ensign. He was promoted to LTJG on June 3, 1940; on June 20, 1940 he was designated naval aviator #6504. On January 3, 1942 he was promoted to LT. (Information from Richard Leonard, naval aviation historian.)

Memorial Hall Error?

Frank is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this—which appears to be incidental to a combat flight—has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Class of 1937

Donald is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.