EDWIN W. HURST, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Edwin Hurst '32

Date of birth: October 16, 1910

Date of death: June 9, 1942

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1932 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Edwin was lost on June 9, 1942 when the B-17 he was aboard as a passenger "failed to gain altitude on takeoff from the airdrome at Whenuapai, Auckland, New Zealand for a flight to Laverton, Victoria, Australia during World War II. All eleven aboard died when the cargo of bombs detonated after the the plane had impacted the ground and caught fire."

He was officer in charge of a detachment of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2, part of what had been salvaged following the destruction of their ship, USS Lexington (CV 2), at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

His wife was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by at least one child (a son, Edwin K. Hurst, II, USNA Class of 1962). He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Biography

From Wikipedia:

His family moved to Sioux Falls, SD when he was quite young and had his schooling in that city, He graduated from Sioux Falls High School in 1928 and received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis,MD from which he graduated in 1932. In his First Class (Senior) year he was selected as the commander of the 2nd Company, one of only eight in the then-Regiment of Midshipmen.

After serving in USS Tennessee (BB 43) for two years, in 1934 he received orders to report to aviation flight training in Pensacola, FL. He earned his wings in 1935 and in that year he married the former Marian Jeannette Harris, also of Sioux Falls. He was then assigned to Scout Bombing Squadron 3 aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3). He was selected for the Naval Postgraduate School in 1939 and completed its course in Ordnance & Gunnery. In May 1941 he reported to Torpedo Squadron 2 aboard USS Lexington (CV-2) to assume the duties of executive officer.

He is mentioned a few times in TBD Devastator Units of the US Navy by Barrett Tillman.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Edwin William Hurst, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane and Executive Officer of Torpedo Squadron TWO (VT-2), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), in action against enemy Japanese forces during the Air Battle of the Coral Sea on 7 and 8 May 1942. In the face of tremendous anti-aircraft barrage and opposed by numerous fighters, Lieutenant Hurst pressed home two attacks on enemy aircraft carriers, one on 7 May and one on 8 May. With complete disregard for his own safety and expert conception of the task at hand, he scored hits within short range of his objectives, contributing to the destruction of one carrier and to damage and possible destruction of the other. His persistent determination and conscientious devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 307 (Oct 1942)
Action Date: May 7 & 8, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2)
Division: U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Edwin William Hurst, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism while participating in aerial flight, while serving as Pilot of an airplane in Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2), attached to the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-2), in action against enemy Japanese forces over enemy-controlled waters near Lae and Salamaua, New Guinea when on 10 March 1942, he flew one hundred and twenty-five miles over uncharted mountains and jungle to press home a successful torpedo attack against enemy ships, and, as a result of this attack, three enemy ships were sunk. His outstanding courage, daring airmanship and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 304 (July 1942)
Action Date: 10-Mar-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Torpedo Squadron 2 (VT-2)
Division: U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2)

Namesake

USS Hurst (DE 250) was named for Edwin; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

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 1932

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Willis Thomas '31, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Robert Goodgame, Jr. '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Skelly '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

January 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Willis Thomas '31, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Robert Goodgame, Jr. '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Skelly '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Charles Brindupke '32 and ENS Robert Goodgame, Jr. '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Skelly '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

July 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1933

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1934

Ensign, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Charles Brindupke '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Charles McDonald '24, LT Richard Moss '24, and LTjg Elmer Cooper '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Oliver White '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Charles McDonald '24, LT Richard Moss '24, and LTjg Elmer Cooper '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Loren Morris '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Richard Moss '24, LTjg Elmer Cooper '27, and LTjg Gerald Dyson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg John Collett '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Richard Moss '24 and LT Gerald Dyson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg John Collett '29 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Clarence Kasparek '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Richard Moss '24 and LT Gerald Dyson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg John Collett '29 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Clarence Kasparek '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LCDR Irving Wiltsie '21 and LT Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (USS Saratoga), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Riley '37 (USS Saratoga), and ENS William Mason, Jr. '37 (USS Saratoga).

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LCDR Irving Wiltsie '21 and LT Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (USS Saratoga), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Riley '37 (USS Saratoga), and ENS William Mason, Jr. '37 (USS Saratoga).

June 1940

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

November 1940

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

April 1941

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

Others at this command: LT Paul Burton '33 and LTjg Robert Robertson '34.


Class of 1932

Edwin is one of 52 members of the Class of 1932 on Virtual Memorial Hall.