FRANCIS L. BLACK, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Francis Black '26

Date of birth: May 10, 1903

Date of death: January 21, 1943

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

From the 1926 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Francis was lost on January 21, 1943, when the aircraft he was aboard crashed near Ukiah, California while enroute from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. The flying boat, a Pan Am Clipper, was being operated by Pan Am employees but was a contracted Navy flight, and all ten passengers were Navy officers.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Unable to determine which command he was assigned at the time of his loss. In the 1941 Navy Directory he was "aero officer Patrol Wing 2 Pearl Harbor." Several newspaper articles reporting his death state he was attached to the staff of the commander in chief of the Pacific Fleet.

Career

He was promoted to Commander in December 1942.

Related Articles

Robert English '11, Donald Godwin '11, Robert Smith '20, John Crane '26, William Myers '26, John Coll '27, and George Stone '31 were also lost in the crash of Pan Am Flight 1104. Eight of the ten passengers were Naval Academy graduates.

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 1926

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: ENS Joseph Johnson '24, ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26, and ENS Ralph Smith '26.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1).

January 1927

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: ENS Joseph Johnson '24, ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26, and ENS Ralph Smith '26.

April 1927

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: ENS Joseph Johnson '24, ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26, and ENS Ralph Smith '26.

October 1927

Ensign, USS Ramapo

Others at this command: ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26.

January 1928

Ensign, USS Ramapo

Others at this command: ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26.

April 1928

Ensign, USS Ramapo

Others at this command: ENS John Gotjen, Jr. '26.

July 1928

Ensign, USS Ramapo

October 1928

Ensign, USS Ramapo

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Marcus

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Marcus

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09.

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09 and LTjg Warren Graf '27.

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09 and LTjg Warren Graf '27.

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09 and LTjg Warren Graf '27.

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Talbot

Others at this command: LTjg Warren Graf '27.

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Seymour Owens '31, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Seymour Owens '31, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Howard Healy '22, LTjg Henry Dozier '27, ENS Robert Germany, Jr. '30, ENS Seymour Owens '31, ENS Francis Douglass '32, and ENS James Kemper '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (US Fleet).

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Charles Weschler '32 and ENS Robert Gallagher '33.

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Charles Weschler '32 and ENS Robert Gallagher '33.

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Charles Weschler '32 and ENS Robert Gallagher '33.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), aerological officer, Scouting Force, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS James Clark '35 (USS Indianapolis), ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35 (USS Indianapolis), and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36 (USS Indianapolis).

January 1937

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Scouting Force, USS Indianapolis

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS James Clark '35 (USS Indianapolis), ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35 (USS Indianapolis), ENS August Weinel '36 (USS Indianapolis), and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36 (USS Indianapolis).

April 1937

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Scouting Force, USS Indianapolis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Sharp '35.

Others at or embarked at USS Indianapolis: ENS James Clark '35 (USS Indianapolis), ENS John Mooney, Jr. '35 (USS Indianapolis), ENS August Weinel '36 (USS Indianapolis), and ENS Richard Bull, Jr. '36 (USS Indianapolis).

September 1937

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Scouting Force, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (Cruiser Division 5), ENS James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5), and ENS Joseph Evans '36 (USS Chicago).

January 1938

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Scouting Force, USS Chicago

Others at or embarked at USS Chicago: CDR Daniel Callaghan '11 (Cruiser Division 5), ENS James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5), ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Division 5), and ENS Joseph Evans '36 (USS Chicago).

July 1938

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Charles McDonald '24, LT Seymour Johnson '27, and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

January 1939

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Charles McDonald '24, LT Seymour Johnson '27, and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

October 1939

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Naval Air Station Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LT Seymour Johnson '27 and LTjg Graham Bright '35.

June 1940

Lieutenant, aerological officer, Patrol Wing 2, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, aerological officer, Patrol Wing 2, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, aerological officer, Patrol Wing 2, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii


Class of 1926

Francis is one of 36 members of the Class of 1926 on Virtual Memorial Hall.