DONALD F. STILLMAN, ENS, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Stillman '29

Date of birth: January 16, 1907

Date of death: May 29, 1932

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1929 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Donald was lost on May 29, 1932 when he disappeared from USS Peary (DD 226) in the South China Sea while enroute from Manila to Chefoo, China. He was the engineering officer. According to "naval authorities," "there was no storm which could have caused him to be washed overboard."

His date of death is recorded in the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1933 and the Register of Alumni with no details.

Career

Donald began his career aboard USS Idaho (BB 24). In the 1931 Navy Directory he is listed as "ens. dest squad 5. Asiatic Fleet, (USS Black Hawk) for assign". In the in the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1932 (January 1, 1932) he is listed as serving aboard USS Pillsbury (DD 227); in the April 1, 1932 "Navy Directory" he was aboard USS Peary (DD 226).

Other

From the Wisconsin Veteran's Museum:

Donald Stillman - WVM Mss 1736
Assorted photographs and a photocopied newspaper clipping pertaining to the Navy service of Donald Stillman, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, resident who disappeared from the destroyer U.S.S. Peary in the South China Sea in 1932. The photocopy is of a newspaper article from the Milwaukee Journal a few weeks after Stillman disappeared from the Perry. Photographs include two portraits of Stillman in civilian clothing, one portrait of Stillman wearing a Naval Academy uniform, and a photograph of Stillman in a full Navy uniform and standing on the deck of a ship.

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 1929

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Egbert Roth '29 and ENS Mathias Wyatt '29.

October 1929

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Egbert Roth '29 and ENS Mathias Wyatt '29.

January 1930

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Egbert Roth '29 and ENS Mathias Wyatt '29.

April 1930

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS Egbert Roth '29 and ENS Mathias Wyatt '29.

October 1930

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS William Pennewill '29, ENS John Burgess '30, and ENS Lynne Quiggle '30.

January 1931

Ensign, USS Idaho

Others at this command: ENS John Burgess '30 and ENS Lynne Quiggle '30.

April 1931

Ensign, for assignment, Destroyer Squadron 5

Others at this command: LTjg Douglas Fox '26.

July 1931

Ensign, for assignment, Destroyer Squadron 5

October 1931

Ensign, for assignment, Destroyer Squadron 5

January 1932

Ensign, USS Pillsbury

Others at this command: LTjg Harry Hicks '27.

April 1932

Ensign, USS Peary


Class of 1929

Donald is one of 29 members of the Class of 1929 on Virtual Memorial Hall.