From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Howard Peeples '20

Date of birth: July 6, 1897

Date of death: October 1, 1922

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1920 Lucky Bag:


From Find A Grave:

HOWARD PEEPLES, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Peeples of Shawneetown, was accidentally lost at sea on October 1, according to a message received by his father from the Naval department. The young man was an ensign in the U.S.N. and was on the destroyer Patoka. [ed: USS Patoka (AO 9) was a fleet oiler.]

The message reported that the boy is supposed to have fallen overboard during a trip to Shanghai and his disappearance was not noticed until several hours later. An unsuccessful search was made to recover his body.

The boy was visiting home folks last fall and is well known in this city. He left the states in June on the destroyer Paul Jones for an extended cruise and his last letter stated that he had traveled over 12,000 miles.

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 1920

Ensign, USS Minnesota

Others at this command:

January 1921

Ensign, USS Minnesota

Others at this command:

January 1922

Ensign, USS Cummings

Class of 1920

Howard is one of 28 members of the Class of 1920 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.