FRANK D. CASE, JR., LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Frank Case, Jr. '38

Date of birth: October 6, 1914

Date of death: February 23, 1942

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1938 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Frank was lost when his F4F-4 Wildcat suffered engine failure in the North Atlantic while operating from USS Wasp (CV 7) on February 23, 1942. He was a member of Fighting Squadron (VF) 71.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

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

  • NAS Pensacola attached for HTA flight training, 7/29/1940
  • NAS Pensacola designated NA # 7004, 1/2/1941
  • Date of rank LTJG from 1 Jul 1941 USN Register, 6/2/1941
  • VF-71 USS Wasp (CV-7) KIFA take off, BNR, 2/23/1942

Memorial Hall Error?

Frank is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this—which appears to be incidental to a combat flight—has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

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.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Clair Miller '29, LTjg John Speer '32, ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37, and ENS John Woodruff '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT John Duke '26 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2), LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2), LTjg Robert Goodgame, Jr. '32 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2), LTjg Burden Hastings '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2), LTjg George Klinsmann '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2), and LTjg Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2).

January 1939

Ensign, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT Clair Miller '29, LTjg John Speer '32, ENS Thomas Edwards, Jr. '37, and ENS John Woodruff '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Charles Crommelin '31 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 2), LTjg Burden Hastings '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2), LTjg George Klinsmann '33 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2), LTjg Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 2), and LTjg Richard McGowan '35 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 2).

October 1939

Ensign, USS Manley

June 1940

Ensign, USS Manley

November 1940

Ensign, under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, CAPT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg John Boal '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS Jep Jonson '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, ENS William Tate, Jr. '38, and ENS William Lamberson '38.

April 1941

Ensign, Scouting Squadron (VS) 71, USS Wasp

Others at this command: LT John Eldridge, Jr. '27, LT Baylies Clark '30, LTjg Dewitt Harrell '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, and LTjg Donald Patterson '37.

Others at or embarked at USS Wasp: LCDR Rogers Elliott '22 (USS Wasp), LT John Burke '28 (USS Wasp), LTjg James Fitzpatrick, Jr. '35 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 72), LTjg Mark Eslick, Jr. '35 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72), LTjg Webster Johnson '36 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 72), ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 72), ENS John Smith '38 (USS Wasp), ENS William Cook '38 (USS Wasp), ENS Lester Wall, Jr. '39 (USS Wasp), and ENS John Nichols, Jr. '41 (USS Wasp).


Class of 1938

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