From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Frederick Wheelock '46

Date of birth: unknown

Date of death: April 11, 1848

Age: unknown

Lucky Bag

The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.


William died by suicide on April 11, 1848, while aboard the Brig Porpoise, of the African Squadron. (Information from a letter from his commanding officer, LT Alex Gordon, dated April 15, 1848.)

He was born in Virginia but was appointed from, and was a resident of, New York.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 10 March, 1840. Passed Midshipman, 11 July, 1846. Died 11 April, 1848.

From "Letters to the Secretary of the Navy":

From Acting Midshipman Y. Philipse Wheelock, USS CONSTITUTION, 1 Nov 1841: On passage from USS MARION on the Brazil Station, wishes to withdraw his resignation. [Annotated that it has not yet reached the Department.]

There are no other "Wheelock"s on record during this period; suspect the "Y" first initial above is a typo. On November 2, 1841 Captain Daniel Turner (of Constitution) "Reports having permitted Acting Midshipman Wheelock to return home after so short a time because the young man convinced him he was not fitted for the service and wished to be allowed to resign."

In November 1841 F.P. Wheelock is listed as a midshipman aboard the frigate Constitution; this ship had just returned from Brazil to Hampton Roads, Virginia. He had joined the ship on station at some point earlier that year.

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.

January 1842

Midshipman, Sloop Ontario

January 1844

Midshipman, Frigate Potomac

January 1847

resigned, December 16, 1846

January 1848

Passed Midshipman, waiting orders


A special thank you to Kathy Franz, a historian who located Horatio's cause of death.

Class of 1846

Frederick is one of 13 members of the Class of 1846 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.