From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Glenn Dunagan '33

Date of birth: June 25, 1909

Date of death: April 10, 1939

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1933 Lucky Bag:


From Fold3:

While engaged in authorized and required flight in connection with gunnery work, SBU-1 airplane crashed, exploded and burned, at about 10.07 a.m., 10 April 1939, near Del Mar, Calif.:

  • Lieut, (jg) Glenn Lewis Dunagan, U.S.N.
  • Lieut, (jg) Thompson Clyde Guthrie, Jr., U.S.N.

The two were members of Scouting Squadron (VS) 2. Glenn had only recently earned his wings as a qualified naval aviator on December 22, 1938.


From researcher Kathy Franz:

Glenn was born in Alamosa, Colorado. His father Frank was in real estate, and his mother Luretta was a teacher and a deputy school superintendent. In 1910 the family including brother Finley and sister Evelyn lived in Mosca near the Great Sand Dunes National Park. In 1915 they moved to Deming, New Mexico, where his father became a livestock salesman.

In February 1922, Glenn starred as “The Ogre” in the Camp Fire Girl presentation of “Marry the Prince.” His mother was elected Superintendent of the Luna County Schools in 1924. He graduated from Deming High School in 1925. Upon graduation, he donated to the library a complete set of Makers of American History in 18 volumes, Makers of History in 30 volumes, and five volumes of Rollin’s Ancient History. In 1928 he donated a copy of Lindberg’s book “We” to the library.

After high school, Glenn was firing for the Santa Fe Railroad at San Marcial. He was then sent to Hurley for the fourth tramp run to Santa Rita. He later moved to Pueblo, Colorado, and then attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 1929 Senator Bronson M. Cutting appointed Glenn to the Naval Academy.

Glenn graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933 and was then sent to Germany as a language student for two years. Following four years of service at sea, he completed aviation training at Pensacola.

In 1937 Glenn authored the article “Submarine History Makes Movie,” which appeared in an issue of the publication Our Navy.

In 1938 Glenn survived a crash at Pensacola. A member of Squadron One, he was on a training flight when his motor acted up. He landed in the bay, and the fuel line caught fire. Glenn jumped overboard with his parachute still on and was rescued by a crash boat from the station.

Glenn was survived by his wife Carmen, whom he married in 1934, his daughter born in 1935, and son Glenn Jr., born on November 28, 1936.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Glenn graduated on June 1, 1933 with his classmates, but he was not commissioned until August 29, 1935, when he was "Appointed in accordance with act of Aug. 29, 1935" (from Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1936).

Related Articles

Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 was also lost in this crash.

Memorial Hall Error

Glenn is not listed with his classmates in Memorial Hall. He was identified through the diligent efforts of Leslie Poche, a volunteer who combed through Shipmate issues to find operational losses not accounted for in Memorial Hall.

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 1936

Ensign, USS Cincinnati

Others at this command:

April 1936

Ensign, USS Cincinnati

Others at this command:

January 1937

Ensign, USS Cincinnati

Others at this command:

April 1937

Ensign, USS Cincinnati

Others at this command:

September 1937

Ensign, USS Cincinnati

Others at this command:

Class of 1933

Harold is one of 38 members of the Class of 1933 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.