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.

Francis' father was listed as next of kin.

Raid on the Marshall Islands

Aircraft lost from Yorktown during the raid, via Matt Robbins '04. Note times are in Greenwich mean time.
Louisville's after action report, via Matt Robbins '04. Note times are in Greenwich mean time.
Louisville's after action report, via Matt Robbins '04. Note times are in Greenwich mean time.

On February 1, 1942, Task Force 17, led by VADM William Halsey, Jr. (USNA '04) struck Jaluit, Mili, and Makin (Butaritari) islands. The Task Force was centered on USS Yorktown (CV 5), with USS Louisville (CA 28) among her escorts.

George Bellinger '32, Francis Maher, Jr. '35, and Jack Moore '36 were all flying from Yorktown and were all lost that day. George Bellinger's plane simply "failed to return;" he had last been seen in the vicinity of Jaluit as the leader of a bombing section. Jack Moore's plane also "failed to return;" no other information was given in the after-action report. Francis Maher may have been the pilot of the plane observed in the water approximately 20 miles astern of the carrier, presumably having crashed due to a lack of fuel. The crew were seen getting into rubber rafts, but "a destroyer was immediately sent back but failed to make contact."

A fourth graduate, Edward Worthington '34, was lost when his float plane, launched from Louisville, went missing and was possibly shot down by a Japanese patrol bomber.

Separately, Task Force 8 was raiding other islands in the group. Hallsted Hopping '24, commanding officer of Scouting Squadron (VS) 6, flying from USS Enterprise (CV 6). His aircraft was shot down by a Japanese fighter and he (and his gunner) were both killed.


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 1935

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Stuart Stephens '34.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Memphis

April 1936

Ensign, USS Memphis

July 1936

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Shriver '35.

January 1937

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Shriver '35 and ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36.

April 1937

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Shriver '35 and ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36.

September 1937

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Shriver '35, ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36, and ENS John Boal '37.

January 1938

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Shriver '35, ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36, and ENS John Boal '37.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS John Boal '37, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, and ENS John Kelley '38.

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS John Boal '37, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, and ENS John Kelley '38.

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Jack Ferguson '35, LTjg John Ennis '35, and LTjg Howard Nester, Jr. '37.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR William Hank '25 (USS Saratoga), LT William Sisko '31 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), LTjg Raymond Vogel, Jr. '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg Edward O'Hare '37 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg Harold Shrider '37 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), LTjg Macdonald Thompson '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3), LTjg Patrick Hart '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3), and ENS Norman White '39 (USS Saratoga).

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), Bombing Squadron (VB) 3, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Jack Ferguson '35, LTjg Howard Nester, Jr. '37, and ENS Osborne Wiseman '38.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR William Hank '25 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Victor Gadrow '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg Edward O'Hare '37 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), LTjg Harold Shrider '37 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), LTjg Macdonald Thompson '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3), LTjg Patrick Hart '37 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3), ENS Curtis Howard '38 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3), ENS Howard Clark '38 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), ENS Marion Dufilho '38 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 3), ENS William Brady '38 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 3), and ENS Norman White '39 (USS Saratoga).


Class of 1935

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