HAROLD J. VON WELLER, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Harold Von Weller '33

Date of birth: December 29, 1909

Date of death: July 28, 1940

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1933 Lucky Bag:

Biography

1933 Von Weller 1.jpg

From the 1953 edition of the book "Double Three Roundup," published by the class of 1933:

Shortly after graduation Von was commissioned Ensign in the Naval Reserve, and on 19 June 1934, he was transferred to the regular Navy. He served a year in the MINNEAPOLIS, and then a short period in the GREER before being ordered to Pensacola for flight training. He was designated Naval Aviator on 16 June 1937, and in that same year he married Virginia Clifford Pace of Pensacola.

From 1937 to 1939 he had duty as a pilot first with Patrol Squadron 14 and then Patrol Squadron 52. In July 1940 he reported for duty as a flight instructor at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola. A few days thereafter, while instructing a student, he was involved in an airplane accident. He died on 26 July 1940 at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola.

Virginia and Von had no children. She has since married A. J. Connell and is now living at 7 N. Kensington Road, Asheville, North Carolina.

The other officer aboard was seriously injured.

Harold is buried in Florida.

Career

Harold began his career aboard USS Minneapolis (CA 36); he is listed as a member of that ship's wardroom in the 1934, 1935, and 1936 Navy Directories. In the 1937 Navy Directory he is listed as "under instruction" at NAS Pensacola, Florida. He earned his wings as naval aviator #5248 on June 16, 1937. (Note he is listed as "USN" and his name is spelled "VONWELLER".)

In the 1938 Navy Directory he is a LTjg and serving with Patrol Squadron (VP) 14. In the 1939 and 1940 Navy Directories he is listed with Patrol Squadron (VP) 52, based at Norfolk, VA.

Memorial Hall Error

Harold is listed in Memorial Hall as a ENS, USNR; he was a LTjg and not a member of the reserves when he was lost.

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 1934

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Twohy '29.

October 1934

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Twohy '29.

January 1935

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Twohy '29.

April 1935

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Twohy '29.

October 1935

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: ENS Norman Ostergren '35.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: ENS Norman Ostergren '35.

April 1936

Ensign, USS Minneapolis

Others at this command: ENS Norman Ostergren '35.

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 14

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 14

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 14

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 14, Norfolk, Virginia

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 52, Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LCDR Charles McDonald '24 and LTjg William Thorn '32.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Squadron (VP) 52, Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LCDR Charles McDonald '24.


Class of 1933

Harold is one of 38 members of the Class of 1933 on Virtual Memorial Hall.