FAULKNER GOLDTHWAITE, MIDN, USN
Faulkner Goldthwaite '07
Date of birth: December 24, 1882
Date of death: July 15, 1907
From the 1907 Lucky Bag:
Faulkner was lost on July 15, 1907 when the aft turret of USS Georgia (Battleship No. 15) exploded during target practice near Cape Cod.
From researcher Kathy Franz:
Faulkner’s given name was Lee Washington Goldthwaite. His mother’s maiden name was Willie Evelyn Faulkner. His father George had been a cotton broker in Troy, Alabama. His uncle was the Honorable Alfred Goldthwaite, a state senator from New Orleans, and his grandfather was Judge Henry Goldthwaite who was once Supreme Court Judge in Alabama. Extended family in Kentucky, Alabama and elsewhere were shocked at Faulkner’s death.
Additional information from the Hopkinsville Kentuckian: He was an athlete and involved in the various phases of life in the Academy outside of scholastic work. He was a member of the Academy baseball nine, and played in left field on the regulars for three continuous seasons. He was one of the most reliable men both in fielding and batting which the Academy ever had. He was a football player and captained his class team. He was also a Cadet Lieutenant, in command of the Third Company, the company which won the honor of carrying the flag for general efficiency throughout the year.
Faulkner was a member of the Baptist church, and the Rev. M. A. Jenkens held services at the grave. Beautiful wreaths bearing the colors of Japan and a card of the Japanese Admiral Yamamoto were on his coffin as well as wreaths from the naval department and officers of the Georgia. The regimental officers of the Third Kentucky National Guard and the soldiers of Company D. followed the remains to the grave to the beat of muffled drums. Wrapped in the stars and stripes and the union jack, the casket was buried at Riverside Cemetery.
He is buried in Massachusetts.
A plaque in Memorial Hall in honor of Faulkner and the nine other officers and men lost was erected by "their shipmates on the Georgia and sympathizing friends on the U.S.S. New Jersey."
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.