From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edward Ericcson '16

Date of birth: July 21, 1892

Date of death: October 26, 1922

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1916 Lucky Bag:


From the 1916 Lucky Bag

From Find A Grave:

Lieutenants E. L. Ericsson and R. F. Armstrong Fall At Hampton Roads

NORFOLK, Virginia, October 26, 1922 – Lieutenants E. L. Ericsson and R. F. Armstrong were instantly killed this afternoon when a JN-4 training plane fell 800 feet at the Hampton Roads Naval Air Station.

The two naval officers had gone for a test flight. Suddenly their plane dropped almost vertically from a height of 800 feet. The first persons to reach the scene of the accident found both officers dead.

At the Naval Air Station it was said that both officers had been there about eighteen months, most of the time on duty with the torpedo training squadron. An inquiry into the cause of the accident was ordered.

At the Navy Department, Lieutenant Ericsson's home address was given as West Hampton Beach, New York, while Lieutenant Armstrong, who was formerly from New Rochelle, New York, was said to have lately changed his residence to Norfolk.

From Army-Navy-Air Force Register and Defense Times:

Lieutenant Edward L. Ericsson and Lieutenant Roger F. Armstrong, U. S. Navy, were killed instantly in a nose dive of the machine in which they were flying near No. 1 hangar at Hampton Roads operating base Thursday afternoon. Both were regarded as skillful flyers, and the details of the exact cause of the accident are lacking as our account closed.

Lieutenant Ericsson commanded the squadron of seaplanes which attacked the fleet in the recent maneuvers and was scheduled to command a squadron to fly over Norfolk the following day in celebration of Navy Day.

Edward is buried in New York. He was survived by a brother, Hampton M. Ericsson '24 (who passed away in December 1968, per the March 1969 issue of Shipmate).


He authored a piece for the Proceedings of the US Naval Institute that was published posthumously: "Maneuvering Aircraft In Formation."

Memorial Hall Error

Edward's name is spelled "Ericcson" in Memorial Hall; it should be spelled "Ericsson".

Related Articles

Roger Armstrong '18 was also lost in this crash.

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.

January 1917

Ensign, USS Texas

March 1918

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Texas

January 1919

Lieutenant, USS Texas

January 1920

Lieutenant, USS Texas

Others at this command:

January 1921

Lieutenant, Naval aviation training detachment, Arcadia, Florida

Others at this command:

January 1922

Lieutenant, Atlantic Fleet Torpedo Plane Division

Class of 1916

Edward is one of 16 members of the Class of 1916 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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