DONALD D. PATTERSON, LT, USN

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:


Loss

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.

Career

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.

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.

September 1937

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Cummins '35, ENS Arthur Gustafson '36, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, and ENS Raymond Moore '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Gordon Schecter '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

January 1938

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Arthur Gustafson '36, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, and ENS Raymond Moore '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Gordon Schecter '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

July 1938

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: LT Neville McDowell '24, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, ENS Conde Raguet '38, and ENS Roger Starks '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg James Murphy '31 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

January 1939

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: LT Neville McDowell '24, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, ENS Conde Raguet '38, and ENS Roger Starks '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Ralph Beacham '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3).

October 1939

Ensign, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LT Renwick Calderhead '27, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Huntley '31, LTjg Albert Major, Jr. '32, LTjg Daniel Gothie '32, LTjg George Bellinger '32, LTjg Martin Koivisto '32, LTjg John McCormack, Jr. '33, LTjg Archibald Stone, Jr. '34, LTjg Wendell Froling '34, LTjg Dewitt Harrell '35, LTjg Francis Maher, Jr. '35, 1LT James Crowther '35, LTjg Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, LTjg Frank Robinson '36, LTjg John Hunter '36, LTjg Ralph Embree '36, LTjg Walter Bayless '36, LTjg Webster Johnson '36, LTjg William Hulson '36, ENS Edward O'Hare '37, ENS Harold Shrider '37, ENS Howard Nester, Jr. '37, ENS James Mayes '37, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Patrick Hart '37, ENS Paul Riley '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, and ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR John Waldron '24 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT John Yoho '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), CAPT Paul Moret '30 (Training Squadron (VN) 3D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg George Ottinger '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg William Townsend '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).

June 1940

Ensign, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT Charles Ostrom '30, LT Lance Massey '30, LTjg Daniel Gothie '32, LTjg George Bellinger '32, LTjg Martin Koivisto '32, LTjg Charles Ware '34, 1LT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Francis Maher, Jr. '35, LTjg Jack Ferguson '35, LTjg Joel Davis, Jr. '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Frank Robinson '36, LTjg James Southerland, II '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, ENS Alexander Groves, II '37, ENS Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, ENS Harold Shrider '37, ENS Howard Nester, Jr. '37, ENS James Mayes '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, ENS John Boal '37, ENS Macdonald Thompson '37, ENS Paul Riley '37, 2LT Radford West '37, ENS Raymond Moore '37, ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Dorrance Radcliffe '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, and ENS William Brady '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT John Yoho '29 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 1D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg George Ottinger '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), LT William Townsend '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida), and LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Training Squadron (VN) 5D8, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida).

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Squadron (VS) 71, USS Wasp

Others at this command: LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27 and LTjg Dewitt Harrell '35.

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LT John Burke '28 (USS Wasp), LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 71), LTjg Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72), LTjg Webster Johnson '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 72), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Wasp), ENS William Cook '38 (USS Wasp), and ENS Lester Wall, Jr. '39 (USS Wasp).

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Squadron (VS) 71, USS Wasp

Others at this command: LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27, LT Baylies Clark '30, LTjg Dewitt Harrell '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, and ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38.

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LT John Burke '28 (USS Wasp), LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 72), LTjg Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72), LTjg Webster Johnson '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 72), ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Wasp), ENS William Cook '38 (USS Wasp), ENS Lester Wall, Jr. '39 (USS Wasp), and ENS John Nichols, Jr. '41 (USS Wasp).


Class of 1937

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