DONALD G. WILLIS, 1LT, USMC

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Donald Willis '24

Date of birth: February 24, 1901

Date of death: September 21, 1931

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1924 Lucky Bag:

1924 Willis LB.jpg

DONALD GOSS WILLIS

Sugar Hollow, Vermont

Place: Lightweight Alley.

Time: About 9 A.M. any morning.

"Hey, M.C.! Where's my mail!"

"Hey, M.C.! Where's that letter from Fort Worth?"

And then numerous heads bob out from closed portals and silence "Red" thus——

"Pipe down! Don't you know she has found the Ideal Man she told you she wanted? No more mail from her!"

Such a remark will floor the old "Owl" for he can never think of any come-back with which to squelch his tormentors after they have given him such a stunning blow. Sh!! He's in love, although we've wondered ever and anon how such a Beau Brummel like our "D. G." could still be in love with the same girl after three years.

Concerning athletics, we who know can tell you that "red" is the best conductor for long Round-Bay trips that the crew coaches have ever developed. He also plays football—Heywood Broun chose him for his All-American.

Wine never encountered such a man as "Red," one who takes the present as it comes, but always has a thought for the future.

Determination is second nature with him, and is so strong it is that we can but expect to see him attain no mean height on the ladder of success

Football Squad (4, 3, 2, 1); Crew Squad (4, 3, 2).

1924 Willis LB.jpg

DONALD GOSS WILLIS

Sugar Hollow, Vermont

Place: Lightweight Alley.

Time: About 9 A.M. any morning.

"Hey, M.C.! Where's my mail!"

"Hey, M.C.! Where's that letter from Fort Worth?"

And then numerous heads bob out from closed portals and silence "Red" thus——

"Pipe down! Don't you know she has found the Ideal Man she told you she wanted? No more mail from her!"

Such a remark will floor the old "Owl" for he can never think of any come-back with which to squelch his tormentors after they have given him such a stunning blow. Sh!! He's in love, although we've wondered ever and anon how such a Beau Brummel like our "D. G." could still be in love with the same girl after three years.

Concerning athletics, we who know can tell you that "red" is the best conductor for long Round-Bay trips that the crew coaches have ever developed. He also plays football—Heywood Broun chose him for his All-American.

Wine never encountered such a man as "Red," one who takes the present as it comes, but always has a thought for the future.

Determination is second nature with him, and is so strong it is that we can but expect to see him attain no mean height on the ladder of success

Football Squad (4, 3, 2, 1); Crew Squad (4, 3, 2).

Loss

Donald was lost on September 21, 1931 when the plane he was piloting crashed five miles off the coast of Point Loma, California, near San Diego. The other crewman aboard was also killed.

He is buried in Vermont. Donald was survived by his wife, Ida, and his mother.

Memorial Hall Error

Donald is not listed with his classmates in Memorial Hall. This omission was discovered by Mr. Tim Barbosa, who was researching alumni from the classes of 1921-1924.

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 1924
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

September 1924
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

November 1924
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

January 1925
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 1925
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
May 1925
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 1925
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

October 1925
2nd Lieutenant, Expeditionary Forces, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
January 1926
2nd Lieutenant, Expeditionary Forces, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
October 1926
2nd Lieutenant, Expeditionary Forces, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
January 1927
2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Forces, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
April 1927
2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Forces, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
October 1927
2nd Lieutenant, staff, Marine Base, San Diego, California
January 1928
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
April 1928
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
July 1928
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
October 1928
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
January 1929
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
April 1929
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
July 1929
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
October 1929
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
January 1930
2nd Lieutenant, Marine Barracks, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
April 1930
2nd Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia

Others at this command:
January 1931
1st Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
April 1931
1st Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
July 1931
1st Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, East Coast Expeditionary Force, Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
October 1931
1st Lieutenant, Aircraft Squadrons, West Coast Expeditionary Force, Naval Air Station San Diego, California


Class of 1924

William is one of 42 members of the Class of 1924 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.