EDWARD F. O'BRIEN, JR., LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edward O'Brien, Jr. '40

Date of birth: February 23, 1917

Date of death: October 3, 1944

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Ed was lost when USS Seawolf (SS 197) was probably sunk by friendly fire from USS Richard M. Rowell off Morotai on October 3, 1944.

His wife was 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 Edward Francis O'Brien, Jr. (NSN: 0-85074), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while serving as Torpedo Data Computer Operator, attached to the U.S.S. BANG, during the FIRST War Patrol of that Submarine against enemy Japanese forces in the Pacific Area from 29 March to 14 May 1944. Courageous in the face of grave peril, Lieutenant O'Brien rendered invaluable service by his efficiency in operating the torpedo data computer, thereby assisting his Commanding Officer in conducting aggressive attacks against heavily escorted enemy convoys which resulted in the sinking of a substantial amount of Japanese shipping. By his outstanding technical skill and unwavering devotion to duty, Lieutenant O'Brien also assisted his ship in employing successful evasive tactics and his gallant conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Pacific Fleet Board Awards: Serial 75 (July 16, 1945)
Action Date: March 29 - May 14, 1944
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Torpedo Data Computer Operator
Division: U.S.S. Bang (SS-385)

Bronze Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Bronze Star Medal (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Francis O'Brien, Jr. (NSN: 0-85074), United States Navy, for heroic service on board the U.S.S. THRESHER (SS-200) during action against enemy Japanese forces. On the THIRD, FOURTH, FIFTH, SIXTH and SEVENTH War Patrols when the THRESHER was subjected to twenty attacks in which a total of 160 bombs and depth charges were dropped, Lieutenant Commander O'Brien manned his battle station with outstanding professional skill. Through prompt action and efficient direction, he was responsible for the immediate repair or minimization of all damage sustained, thereby rendering invaluable service to his Commanding Officer by maintaining his vessel in effective fighting condition. The exemplary conduct and valiant devotion to duty displayed by Lieutenant Commander O'Brien under extremely hazardous circumstances were an inspiration to his associates and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 8432 (June 30, 1945 (Navy and Marine Corps Medal Recalled and Replaced by BSM)
Action Date: World War II
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Division: U.S.S. Thresher (SS-200)

Memorial Hall Error

Memorial Hall lists him as a LT, but multiple other sources have him as a LCDR.

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 California

Others at this command: LT J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28, ENS Hugh Rimmer '37, ENS Charles Stapler '39, ENS Montrose McCormick '39, ENS Benjamin Hall '40, and ENS Thomas McGrath '40.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Conde Raguet '38 (Battle Force).

November 1940

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Frederick Purdy '33, ENS Charles Stapler '39, ENS Benjamin Hall '40, and ENS Thomas McGrath '40.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Conde Raguet '38 (Battle Force).

April 1941

Ensign, USS Cassin


Class of 1940

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