EDWIN M. CROUCH, CAPT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edwin Crouch '21

Date of birth: February 2, 1900

Date of death: July 30, 1945

Age: 45

Lucky Bag

From the 1921 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Edwin was lost in USS Indianapolis (CA 35) when she was sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30, 1945. He was aboard as a passenger; he was a good friend of Indianapolis's captain, Charles McVay (USNA 1920). Edwin was staying in the Captain's inport cabin for the cruise; McVay was in the at-sea cabin, which was steps from the bridge.

His wife, Jean, was listed as next of kin. He has one memory marker in California and another in Nebraska.

Career

At the beginning of the war, Edwin was commanding officer of Destroyer Division 57, headquartered in the Philippines.

From a forum post:

  • Captain (temp. from 20 June 1942)
  • Commander (permanent from 8 Dec 1941)
  • Has Bronze Star medal
  • Born 2 February 1900
  • Date of entry into service 13 August 1917
  • Has completed postgraduate course in ordnance engineering (general)

Navy Directory (October 1, 1939) lists him as a Lt.Cdr. stationed at the Navy Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard

Wartime Service

As DESDIV 57:

The final decision wherein USS Whipple (DD 217) departed the area after rescuing a number of the survivors from Pecos (AO 6) and Langley (AV 3), but leaving behind approximately 2/3 of the intermingled survivors, including previously wounded men from Houston (CA 30), Marblehead (CL 12), and Stewart (DD 224), was of course that of her captain, Lt. Cmdr. Eugene Karpe. But aboard were three USN officers who outranked him, Commanders E. Paul Abernathy (Pecos), Robert McConnell (Langley), and Edwin M. Crouch (ComDesDiv 57), who was Karpe's boss. The men in the water were those commanded by Abernathy and McConnell, who must have been reluctant to leave the survivors behind. One must remember the danger the destroyer was in: she was already overloaded with survivors, Japanese aircraft were almost certain to return the next day to finish the job, and there was more than one submarine warning during the night of the rescue. Fairly or unfairly, however, in the eyes of many, Crouch took a hefty share of the blame for Whipple's failure to hang around on the following morning.

For the sake of completeness and in way of reminder, USS Pecos (AO 6) was sunk in the Indian Ocean at around 3:30 p.m., March 1, 1942, by attacking aircraft launched from all four of the IJN carriers that would be lost three months later at Midway. USS Whipple (DD 217) arrived on the scene at 7:15 p.m. and began rescuing survivors shortly thereafter. After at least two alerts of submarines close aboard, thereupon leaving the area and returning for a brief resumption of rescue operations, Whipple cleared the area permanently a few minutes after 10 p.m., same date. [Details from Dwight R. Messimer, Pawns of War, 1983]

Bronze Star

Unable to find a citation for the Bronze Star mentioned above.

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.

May 1923

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

July 1923

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

September 1923

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

November 1923

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

January 1924

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

March 1924

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

May 1924

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Ryland Tisdale '15.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

July 1924

Ensign, communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06.

Others at or embarked at USS California: LT Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS California) and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

September 1924

Ensign, communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06.

Others at or embarked at USS California: LT Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS California), ENS Burton Doggett '24 (USS California), and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

November 1924

Ensign, communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06.

Others at or embarked at USS California: LT Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS California), ENS Burton Doggett '24 (USS California), and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

January 1925

Ensign, communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at or embarked at USS California: LT Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS California), ENS Burton Doggett '24 (USS California), and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

March 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at or embarked at USS California: LT Ryland Tisdale '15 (USS California), ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23 (USS California), ENS Burton Doggett '24 (USS California), and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

May 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, Battle Fleet Staff, USS California

Others at or embarked at USS California: ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23 (USS California) and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 (USS California).

July 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 and ENS Richard Gingras '25.

October 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 and ENS Richard Gingras '25.

January 1926

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS California

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Ballinger '24 and ENS Richard Gingras '25.

October 1926

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Robert Smith

January 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Robert Smith

April 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Robert Smith

July 1929

Lieutenant, under instruction, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22.

October 1929

Lieutenant, under instruction, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22.

January 1930

Lieutenant, under instruction, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22.

April 1930

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22.

October 1930

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Burton Doggett '24, LTjg Hilan Ebert '26, ENS William Potts '27, ENS Baylies Clark '30, and ENS Robert Haven '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B).

January 1931

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Burton Doggett '24, LTjg Hilan Ebert '26, ENS Baylies Clark '30, and ENS Robert Haven '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B).

April 1931

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Hilan Ebert '26, LTjg Harold Richards '27, and ENS Baylies Clark '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), and ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B).

July 1931

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, LTjg Harold Richards '27, ENS Baylies Clark '30, ENS Cleon Felton '31, ENS Edward Allen '31, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, and ENS Walter Bailey '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), and ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

October 1931

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, LTjg Harold Richards '27, ENS Baylies Clark '30, ENS John Craig '30, ENS Cleon Felton '31, ENS Edward Allen '31, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, and ENS Walter Bailey '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), and ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

January 1932

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, ENS Baylies Clark '30, ENS John Craig '30, ENS Cleon Felton '31, ENS Edward Allen '31, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, and ENS Walter Bailey '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), and ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

April 1932

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, ENS Baylies Clark '30, ENS John Craig '30, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, and ENS Walter Bailey '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B), LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), and ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

October 1932

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, ENS Walter Bailey '31, ENS Albert Major, Jr. '32, ENS Daniel Gothie '32, ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32, and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Henry Mullinnix '16 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5S), ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), and ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S).

January 1933

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, ENS Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31, ENS Walter Bailey '31, ENS Albert Major, Jr. '32, ENS Daniel Gothie '32, ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32, and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Henry Mullinnix '16 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5S), ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S), and ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S).

April 1933

Lieutenant, USS Lexington

Others at this command: CDR Henry Cecil '10, LT Henry Brandenburger '21, LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27, ENS Walter Bailey '31, ENS Albert Major, Jr. '32, ENS Daniel Gothie '32, ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32, and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

July 1933

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LTjg Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit) and 1LT Edward Trumble '25 (Marine Barracks).

October 1933

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LTjg Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit).

April 1934

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LTjg John Blue '25.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit).

July 1934

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit), LTjg William Hank '25 (Naval Gun Factory), LTjg Howard Gilmore '26 (Naval Gun Factory), and LTjg Sidney Smith '26 (Naval Gun Factory).

October 1934

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit), LTjg Howard Gilmore '26 (Naval Gun Factory), and LTjg Sidney Smith '26 (Naval Gun Factory).

January 1935

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT John Hollowell, Jr. '22.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: LT Raymond Hansen '22 (Experimental Diving Unit), LTjg Howard Gilmore '26 (Naval Gun Factory), and LTjg Sidney Smith '26 (Naval Gun Factory).

April 1935

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

October 1935

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LTjg Sidney Smith '26.

January 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LTjg Sidney Smith '26.

April 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LTjg Sidney Smith '26.

July 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LTjg Sidney Smith '26.

January 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LT Sidney Smith '26.

April 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Dale

Others at this command: LT Sidney Smith '26.

September 1937

Lieutenant Commander, USS Arizona

Others at this command: ENS Raymond Vogel, Jr. '36, ENS John Cheney '37, and ENS Shields Goodman '37.

January 1938

Lieutenant Commander, USS Arizona

Others at this command: ENS Raymond Vogel, Jr. '36, ENS John Cheney '37, and ENS Shields Goodman '37.

July 1938

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Gun Factory, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Spring '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: CAPT Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks) and 2LT James Bromeyer '37 (Marine Barracks).

January 1939

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Gun Factory, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Arthur Spring '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: CAPT Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks) and 2LT James Bromeyer '37 (Marine Barracks).

October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Gun Factory, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.: MAJ Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks) and LT Victor Gaulin '30 (Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.).

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Edsall

Others at this command: LT Joshua Nix '30, LTjg Phillip Wild, Jr. '36, LTjg Richard Meyers '36, and ENS Ray Snodgrass '37.

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Edsall

Others at this command: LT Joshua Nix '30, LTjg Phillip Wild, Jr. '36, LTjg Richard Meyers '36, and ENS Ray Snodgrass '37.


Class of 1921

Edwin is one of 32 members of the Class of 1921 on Virtual Memorial Hall.