ERNEST A. WEICHERT, LTJG, USN
Ernest Weichert '99
Date of birth: 1877
Date of death: April 13, 1904
Ernest Augustus Weichert was admitted to the Naval Academy from Connecticut on September 6, 1895.
From the 1899 Lucky Bag:
Ernest was lost on April 13, 1904 when the port 12" gun in the aft turret aboard Missouri (Battleship No. 11) flared backwards, ignited three propellant charges, and started a fire. Thirty-five others were also lost. He was stationed aboard the cruiser Cleveland but was aboard Missouri as a gun umpire.
He is buried in Connecticut.
Ernest's classmates erected a plaque in his honor in Memorial Hall.
Memorial Hall Error
The Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1905 and Ernest's headstone have his rank as Lieutenant (j.g.); Memorial Hall lists him as an Ensign.
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.
Naval Cadet, commanding officer, Mindoro
Naval Cadet, Newark
Ensign, returning from Asiatic Station