EDWARD M. PRICE, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Edward Price '39

Date of birth: June 20, 1916

Date of death: May 8, 1942

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:

1939 Price LB.jpg

EDWARD MAX PRICE

Charleston, West Virginia

Max, Eddy, Shorty

Whether she did happen to be a forty or not, our pal Maxie from West Virginia retorts on Sunday mornings after a hop "She might not be a forty, but she sho' can dance." His drags are usually quite a bit above the line, though. Academics are fruit to him, and with a cheery smile he's willing to lend a helping hand or two to the fellow who doesn't get this stuff. Instead of boning at night, we find him rooting around in all sorts of peculiar books. Before water polo was discontinued, Maxie used to try to commit suicide, but now he's content with kicking the soccer ball around. He's an all around fellow and a sea daddy to the plebes.

Water Polo 4; Battalion Soccer 3, 2, 1; Company Rifle 4, 3, 2; Company Pistol 4, 3, 2; Manager Baseball 4; Lucky Bag 1; Language Club; Boat Club; Reception Committee 3, 2, 1; Star 4; 1 Stripe.

1939 Price LB.jpg

EDWARD MAX PRICE

Charleston, West Virginia

Max, Eddy, Shorty

Whether she did happen to be a forty or not, our pal Maxie from West Virginia retorts on Sunday mornings after a hop "She might not be a forty, but she sho' can dance." His drags are usually quite a bit above the line, though. Academics are fruit to him, and with a cheery smile he's willing to lend a helping hand or two to the fellow who doesn't get this stuff. Instead of boning at night, we find him rooting around in all sorts of peculiar books. Before water polo was discontinued, Maxie used to try to commit suicide, but now he's content with kicking the soccer ball around. He's an all around fellow and a sea daddy to the plebes.

Water Polo 4; Battalion Soccer 3, 2, 1; Company Rifle 4, 3, 2; Company Pistol 4, 3, 2; Manager Baseball 4; Lucky Bag 1; Language Club; Boat Club; Reception Committee 3, 2, 1; Star 4; 1 Stripe.

Loss

Edward was lost when USS Lexington (CV 2) was attacked by Japanese aircraft on May 8, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

Other Information

From researcher Kathy Franz:

Edward was born in Richmond, Virginia, to John and Elizabeth (Sutphin) Price. They had married in 1911.

In the 1929 Hargrave Military Academy yearbook, Edward was in his freshman year. "Another mountaineer is 'Shorty' Price. He is our star student and we feel confident that he will get the scholarship medal this year." In 1931-32, he was editor of the Musketeer, a weekly publication of the academy.

In 1930, his widowed mother was a nurse for the Pendleton family in Princeton. His mother became Mrs. Ray P. Reynolds of Princeton. He was an attorney. They later divorced, and he died in 1948.

From The Raleigh Register, Beckley, West Virginia, June 5, 1932

Among graduates of the Hargrave Military School, Chatham, Va., this year, was one Edward Price, now looking forward to a sixteenth birthday that will occur toward the end of this June. In the final exercises the school authorities pinned all the medals on his uniformed chest that they could find room for and then in some despair placed the remainder in a plush-lined box for him to carry home to his mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Reynolds. …

Hearken to a recital of the honors that went to Second Lieutenant Edward Price:

  1. Valedictorian of the class of 1932.
  2. Medal for scholarship – given the cadet whose average for the year is higher than that of any other cadet.
  3. Spelling medal. Hargrave is so old-fashioned that it offers a medal to the student who takes first place in a competitive spelling examination.
  4. Medal for marksmanship established as a member of the academy's rifle team.
  5. Medal for "best attitude" toward studies, activities, etc.


As we said, Col. Aubrey Hayden Camden, president of this institution, placed as many medals as he could on the Price chest and handed him the others in a box. Then in cleaning up miscellaneous odds and ends it was found that Edward had won a scholarship to the University of Richmond, which entitles him to free tuition there the first year, with the stipulation that if he maintains his high record the scholarship will be extended to the second, then to the third and fourth years through the same procedure.

At Concord College in 1933, he was named associate editor of the Concordian. In March 1934, he was elected chairman of the college's first Chemistry Club, and in October 1934, he was elected president of the junior class.

He was nominated to the Naval Academy by Representative Joe L. Smith.

His mother was listed as next of kin.

Remembrances

From Gold Star Family:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Coral Sea: Lt. Edward Max Price

Lieutenant Edward Max Price, of Princeton and Charleston, was killed on the U.S.S. Lexington in the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942. Lieutenant Price was officer in charge of weapons in the after control station of the Lexington. He was responsible for the training and action of the automatic gun crews, and when in battle he directed the aim for his gunners.

On the second day of the Coral Sea Battle, the Japanese were coming at the Lexington from all directions. The dive bombers zoomed close. Their deadly missiles fell all about the marked ship. The men were too busy to think of dodging them. Their minds were on their jobs. Their young officer’s attention was focused on the job he had to do- fight off the Japanese planes. A bomb whistled close- then exploded. A fragment struck Lieutenant Price. He died giving the command "Keep firing!" And the gun crew did.

Although the Lexington sank later that day, those surviving shipmates remembered the young lieutenant and his orders. William Harbour, a shipmate, who was directly under him in the ammunition handling room when the bomb exploded, told the most complete story of his gallant death. Mr. Harbour, later released from the Navy to become an aviation cadet in the Army Air Corps, said further: "My first three Japanese planes will be offered as a token to the memory of Lieutenant Edward Max Price."

He attended Lincoln Grade School in Charleston; Hargrave Military Academy (Class of 1932) in Chatham, Virginia; Concord State College, Athens, West Virginia; and the United States Naval Academy with the highest scholastic record in the class. He was valedictorian, and received medals for scholarship and marksmanship on the rifle team, and an award for being the most outstanding senior of the year. His high record was maintained at the Naval Academy where he ranked twenty-sixth in a class of 550. On graduation from the Academy he was assigned to the Lexington as an ensign. In the line of duty, his superiors rated him as a "splendid" officer.

Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet, commended the young officer in a citation for bravery: "He contributed immeasurably to the destruction wrought on the attacking aircraft by skillfully directing the fire of his batteries. He perished at his battle station carrying out his duties in the best tradition of the Naval Service." Tim Rizzuto

Namesake

USS Price (DE 332) was named for Edward.

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.

October 1939
Ensign, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2)
LTjg Burden Hastings '33 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 2)
LTjg Richard McGowan '35 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LTjg Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
June 1940
Ensign, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Clair Miller '29 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LT Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2)
LTjg Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
LTjg John Hunter '36 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
November 1940
Ensign, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Clair Miller '29 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LT Baylies Clark '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LT Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2)
LTjg Robert Isely '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LTjg Joel Davis, Jr. '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 2)
LTjg Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
LTjg John Hunter '36 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
LTjg Raymond Moore '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LTjg Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
April 1941
Ensign, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Donald Lovelace '28 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
LT Weldon Hamilton '28 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 2)
LT Clair Miller '29 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LT Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2)
LTjg Joel Davis, Jr. '35 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 2)
LTjg John Hunter '36 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
LTjg Raymond Moore '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
LTjg Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2)
ENS Leonard Thornhill '38 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2)
ENS Harry Bass '38 (Bombing Squadron (VB) 2)


Class of 1939

Edward is one of 78 members of the Class of 1939 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.