From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Ernest Wood, Jr. '38

Date of birth: January 31, 1916

Date of death: June 19, 1944

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Ernest was lost on June 19, 1944 when his F6F-3 Hellcat was shot down west of Guam. He was flying with Fighting Squadron (VF) 27 as the commander of the air group aboard USS Princeton (CVL 23)

His wife, Evelyn, was listed as next of kin. She continued to live in Annapolis until her death in 2009. Ernest has a memory marker in Annapolis, Maryland.


From naval aviation historian Richard Leonard via email on February 9, 2018:

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 3/10/1941
  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 8199, 7/22/1941
  • VF-41 USS Ranger (CV-4), 12/7/1941
  • Date of rank LT from 1 Jul 1942 USN Register, 6/15/1942
  • VF-27 (6th CO) NAAS Watsonville, 12/26/1943
  • Date of rank LCDR from 1 Jul 1944 USN Register, 3/1/1944
  • CVLG-27 (3d CAG) / VF-27 (6th CO) NAS Kahului, 4/26/1944
  • CVLG-27 (3d CAG) / VF-27 (6th CO) USS Princeton (CVL-23) PH DFC KIA BNR, 6/19/1944

The Class of 1938 tenth anniversary “Little Luck Bag” wistfully records “. . . Woodie should be here to play the piano.”

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 Commander Ernest W. Wood, Jr. (NSN: 0-129880), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as commander of an air group attached to the U.S.S. PRINCETON (CVL-23), in action in the Marianas Islands from 11 to 19 June 1944. Lieutenant Commander Wood led his group on numerous strikes against enemy airfields and installations in support of our ground forces. He destroyed parked aircraft and severely damaged military positions, later carrying out hazardous reconnaissance flights at low altitudes to determine the damage inflicted on these raids.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 333 (December 1944)
Action Date: June 11 - 19, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Division: U.S.S. Princeton (CVL-23)

Class of 1938

Ernest is one of 71 members of the Class of 1938 on Virtual Memorial Hall.