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.)


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:


Others at or embarked at this command:

ENS Gordon Schecter '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

January 1938

Ensign, USS Idaho


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

ENS Gordon Schecter '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

July 1938

Ensign, USS Idaho


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg James Murphy '31 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

January 1939

Ensign, USS Idaho


Others at this command:


Others at or embarked at this command:

LTjg Ralph Beacham '35 (Observation Squadron (VO) 3)

November 1940

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


Others at this command:


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)
ENS Lester Wall, Jr. '39 (USS Wasp)

April 1941

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


Others at this command:


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)


Class of 1937

Donald is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 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.