HARRY A. BRANDENBURGER, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Henry Brandenburger '21

Date of birth: May 1, 1898

Date of death: May 21, 1935

Age: 37

Lucky Bag

From the 1921 Lucky Bag:

1921 Brandenburger LB.jpg

Harry Alfred Brandenburger

Belleville, Illinois

"Brandy"

NOBODY ever heard of Belleville until Brandy came among us, but if the place produces any more like him, it's all right. His unfailing good humor and generosity won the friendship and respect of all with whom he came in contact.

Brandy's athletic career has been confined to hard and consistent work on the football squad. He has not been numbered among the stars but has contributed his share toward Navy victories. Academically, he thinks himself wooden, but he found himself in the savvy half at the end of Youngster year in spite of his gloomy prophecies to the contrary.

As a fusser, he isn't there; the Red Mikes can boast of no member more devoted to their principles than Brandy. His idea of a good time is a movie and a bag of peanuts.

But in spite of all this Brandy will be a good man to go to sea with.

"Say Brandy, dragging tonight?"

"No, I ain't no great hand with the wimmen."

Two Stripes; Expert Rifleman; Football Squad.


The Class of 1921 was the last of the wartime-accelerated classes. "1921A" was graduated on June 3, 1920; the second half, "1921B", was graduated on June 2, 1921. Henry was graduated with 1921A.

1921 Brandenburger LB.jpg

Harry Alfred Brandenburger

Belleville, Illinois

"Brandy"

NOBODY ever heard of Belleville until Brandy came among us, but if the place produces any more like him, it's all right. His unfailing good humor and generosity won the friendship and respect of all with whom he came in contact.

Brandy's athletic career has been confined to hard and consistent work on the football squad. He has not been numbered among the stars but has contributed his share toward Navy victories. Academically, he thinks himself wooden, but he found himself in the savvy half at the end of Youngster year in spite of his gloomy prophecies to the contrary.

As a fusser, he isn't there; the Red Mikes can boast of no member more devoted to their principles than Brandy. His idea of a good time is a movie and a bag of peanuts.

But in spite of all this Brandy will be a good man to go to sea with.

"Say Brandy, dragging tonight?"

"No, I ain't no great hand with the wimmen."

Two Stripes; Expert Rifleman; Football Squad.


The Class of 1921 was the last of the wartime-accelerated classes. "1921A" was graduated on June 3, 1920; the second half, "1921B", was graduated on June 2, 1921. Henry was graduated with 1921A.

Loss

From Find A Grave:

Lt. (Junior Grade) H. A. Brandenburger, USN, was designated Naval Aviator #3256 in 1926. Graduated U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1921 (graduating in 1920 due to the World War).

LT Brandenburger, along with his entire crew of six, died when their seaplane crashed near Midway Is. in the Pacific during fleet exercises.

Despite a massive search effort by the U.S. Fleet, no bodies were ever recovered.

He was the executive officer of Patrol Squadron (VP) 6F, based in Pearl Harbor.

Harry has one memory marker in California and another in Illinois. He was survived by his wife, Jane Ferguson of California, and their adopted son, Charles, 14 years old, whom they had adopted only the week before. Harry was also survived by his parents and three brothers.

His name was on a plaque in Dahlgren Hall at the Naval Academy until sometime in late 1977 or early 1978, according to his great-nephew.

Family

From his great-nephew via email on June 10, 2020:

It is my understanding that his brother Oscar, my grandfather, born in 1900, was a skilled gymnast, obtained a degree in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois School of Mines (then known as University of Illinois Rolla), built infrastructure in Florida before World War II (he was civil construction manager of a bridge crossing the St. Johns River between Green Cove Springs and Orangedale, south of Jacksonville, which serviced the former Lee Navy Airfield. Lee Navy Airfield was the center of Navy A4 Avenger anti-submarine warfare against Uboats in the South Atlantic during World War II), and then building landing fields and related infrastructure during World War II. One top secret mission included building aircraft guidance beacons for an airstrip in the Caribbean. Because of the heavy infiltration of the South Atlantic with German U-Boats, he moved the equipment and materials needed for the project by wooden-hulled sailboats from the U. S. east coast to the building site, to avoid detection by U-boat.

Related Articles

Charles Skelly '27 was also lost in this crash.

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 1921
Ensign, USS Mississippi

January 1922
Ensign, USS Barker
May 1923
Ensign, USS Abarenda
July 1923
Ensign, USS Abarenda
September 1923
Ensign, USS New Mexico

November 1923
Ensign, USS New Mexico

January 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

March 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

May 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

July 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

September 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

November 1924
Ensign, USS New Mexico

January 1925
Ensign, USS New Mexico

March 1925
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

May 1925
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command:
October 1926
Lieutenant (j.g.), Observation Plane Squadron 2, USS Idaho

January 1927
Lieutenant (j.g.), Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2, USS Langley

Others at this command:

Others at or embarked at USS Langley:
LT Frederick Buse '20 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6)
LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet)
LTjg George Covell '22 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1)
LTjg Matthias Marple, Jr. '23 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1)
April 1927
Lieutenant (j.g.), Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2, USS Langley

Others at or embarked at USS Langley:
LTjg James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1)
LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet)
LTjg George Covell '22 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1)
October 1927
Lieutenant, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B, USS New Mexico

Others at or embarked at USS New Mexico:
LT Festus Foster '19 (USS New Mexico)
January 1928
Lieutenant, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B, USS New Mexico

Others at or embarked at USS New Mexico:
LT Festus Foster '19 (USS New Mexico)
ENS Gerald Dyson '27 (USS New Mexico)
April 1928
Lieutenant, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B, USS New Mexico

Others at or embarked at USS New Mexico:
LT Festus Foster '19 (USS New Mexico)
ENS Gerald Dyson '27 (USS New Mexico)
July 1928
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
October 1928
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
January 1929
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
April 1929
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
July 1929
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
October 1929
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
January 1930
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
April 1930
Lieutenant, Naval Air Station San Diego, California
October 1930
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
January 1931
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
April 1931
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B)
LT Francis Bridget '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Eugene Lindsey '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
July 1931
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B)
LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Weldon Hamilton '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
October 1931
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B)
LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
January 1932
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B)
LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
April 1932
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT James Carney '21 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 2B)
LTjg John Waldron '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Dick Downer '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg Robert Winters '27 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 (Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
October 1932
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LCDR Henry Mullinnix '16 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S)
LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5S)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S)
ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S)
January 1933
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LCDR Henry Mullinnix '16 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT William Sample '19 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT John Jones '21 (Aircraft Squadrons)
LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S)
LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5S)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S)
ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S)
ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3S)
April 1933
Lieutenant, USS Lexington


Others at or embarked at this command:
LT William Ault '22 (Torpedo and Bombing Squadron (VT) 1S)
LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B)
ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B)
ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B)
July 1933
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

October 1933
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

April 1934
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

July 1934
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

October 1934
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

January 1935
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

April 1935
Lieutenant, Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 6F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor



Class of 1921

Henry is one of 32 members of the Class of 1921 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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