FRANCIS X. MAHER, JR., LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Francis Maher, Jr. '35

Date of birth: August 4, 1913

Date of death: February 1, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Francis was lost when his TBD-1 ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea following a strike against Jaluit Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Though the listing of his loss is as a member of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 4, that squadron was stationed aboard USS Ranger (CV 4) which was operating in thet Atlantic Ocean throughout this period. Francis was a member of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5, flying from USS Yorktown (CV 5).

From a blog post:

As soon as he hit the deck he reported two planes out of gas and down on the water 20 miles astern, with pilots and crewmen breaking out their rubber rafts. They must have been Francis X. Maher and Jack Moore of Torpedo Five.

A destroyer and an observation scout seaplane were sent back to pick them up. Lieutenant Worthington, pilot of the seaplane, located the spot and reported that he was circling. He was never heard from again. On the way back, the destroyer was bombed by a Kawanishi four-engine flying boat, which missed by many yards. But when it arrived at the spot where the pilots were down, the destroyer found only wreckage. It is believed that Worthington either landed on the water or was shot down by the Kawanishi... and that the Japanese had strafed the men on the rubber life rafts.

Francis' father was listed as next of kin.


Class of 1935

Francis is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 in Memorial Hall.