DONALD S. SCHEU, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Donald Scheu '40

Date of birth: April 30, 1918

Date of death: January 5, 1944

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Don was lost when USS Scorpion (SS 278) was sunk sometime after January 5, 1944.

His parents were listed as next of kin.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Donald S. Scheu (NSN: 0-85047), United States Navy, for gallantry in action while serving as Gunnery Officer aboard a United States Submarine during war patrols in enemy-controlled waters during World War II. Lieutenant Scheu performed his duties courageously and with expert skill, thereby contributing to the sinking or damaging of many thousands of tons of enemy shipping.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 329 (August 1944)
Rank: Lieutenant

He was also apparently awarded the Bronze Star medal; unable to find this citation.

Wartime Service

It's possible to get a sense of some of Donald's experiences from his signature as Officer of the Deck in Scorpion's deck log.

Memorial Hall Error

Memorial Hall lists him as a LT, but multiple other sources have him as a LCDR. On Eternal Patrol states "Donald was posthmously promoted to Lieutenant Commander on October 17, 1944."

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.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Yorktown

Others at this command: LTjg Stuart Stephens '34, LTjg Milton Ricketts '35, ENS John Black '38, and ENS Andrew Gardner '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg John Curtis '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), LTjg Samuel Adams '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg Thomas Cummins '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), and LTjg Jack Moore '36 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5).

November 1940

Ensign, USS Yorktown

Others at this command: LTjg Stuart Stephens '34, LTjg Milton Ricketts '35, and ENS Andrew Gardner '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg John Curtis '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), LTjg Samuel Adams '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg Thomas Cummins '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg Frank Robinson '36 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5), LTjg Jack Moore '36 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5), LTjg James Southerland, II '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), ENS John Black '38 (Carrier Division 2), and ENS Keene Hammond '38 (Carrier Division 2).

April 1941

Ensign, USS Yorktown

Others at this command: LTjg Stuart Stephens '34, LTjg Milton Ricketts '35, and ENS Andrew Gardner '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Ware '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LTjg John Powers '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg John Curtis '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), LTjg Samuel Adams '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 5), LTjg Jack Moore '36 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5), LTjg James Southerland, II '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), ENS John Black '38 (Carrier Division 2), and ENS Keene Hammond '38 (Carrier Division 2).


Class of 1940

Donald is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.