From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Douglas Gillette '42

Date of birth: September 10, 1918

Date of death: October 26, 1942

Age: 24

Lucky Bag

Douglas Wiley Gillette resigned on June 3, 1940 because he was “deficient in studies, second term’s work. Recommended to be dropped. Permitted to resign.”

The Class of 1942 graduated on December 19, 1941, less than two weeks after the United States entered World War II. The class had previously been scheduled to graduate in February 1942.


From Wikipedia:

Douglas Wiley Gillette was born September 10, 1918, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve on March 5, 1936. After serving at Norfolk, Va., in McDougal (DD-358), and after studying at the United States Naval Academy and Northwestern University, he was commissioned Ensign on September 12, 1941. Ordered to active duty in the aircraft carrier Hornet (CV-8) on November 17, 1941, he was appointed Lieutenant (j.g.) (temporary). He was killed in enemy action in the Battle of Santa Cruz Islands on October 26, 1942, while serving in Hornet.

USS Hornet (CV 8) was sunk in this battle with the loss of 140 of her officers and crew.

He has a memory marker in North Carolina. He was survived by his parents.


Destroyer escort 270 (DE 270) was named USS Gillette on February 23, 1943, in honor of Douglas. However, upon completion the ship was transferred immediately to the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Foley (K474). This ship was later returned to the US Navy and served as USS Foley (DE 270).

USS Gillette (DE 681) was commissioned in the US Navy on October 27, 1943; this ship was sponsored by Douglas's mother, Pearl.

Class of 1942

Douglas is one of 82 members of the Class of 1942 in Memorial Hall.