JAMES J. MCROBERTS, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James McRoberts '27

Date of birth: September 14, 1903

Date of death: December 23, 1941

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:


Loss

James was lost on December 23, 1941 when his aircraft crashed off the coast of Cape Henry, Virginia. He was the commanding officer of Fighting Squadron (VF) 41.

There is no one listed as next of kin.

He was commanding officer of USS Thrush (AM 18) from July 1939 to June 1941. He earned his wings as naval aviator #3594 on January 4, 1930 as an Ensign. Earlier tours included Patrol Squadron (VP) 12F aboard USS Langley (CV 2) in 1937 and NAS Norfolk in 1935.

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 1928

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Horatio Sickel, IV '20 and ENS Ralph Hickox '27.

April 1928

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Horatio Sickel, IV '20 and ENS Ralph Hickox '27.

July 1928

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Horatio Sickel, IV '20.

October 1928

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Horatio Sickel, IV '20.

January 1929

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Robert Fleming '17.

April 1929

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Robert Fleming '17.

April 1930

Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20.

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: LTjg John Blue '25 (USS Salt Lake City).

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: ENS Ward Bronson '31 (USS Salt Lake City), ENS James Reilly '32 (USS Salt Lake City), and ENS John Tennent, III '32 (USS Salt Lake City).

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: ENS Ward Bronson '31 (USS Salt Lake City), ENS James Reilly '32 (USS Salt Lake City), and ENS John Tennent, III '32 (USS Salt Lake City).

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 10S, USS Salt Lake City

Others at or embarked at USS Salt Lake City: ENS Ward Bronson '31 (USS Salt Lake City) and ENS James Reilly '32 (USS Salt Lake City).

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20, LT William Ault '22, LT William Davis '22, LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27, and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20, LT William Ault '22, LT William Davis '22, LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27, and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20, LT William Ault '22, and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT William Ault '22 and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT William Ault '22 and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT William Ault '22 and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LT William Ault '22 and LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B, USS Ranger

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 and LTjg Alden Irons '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Ranger: LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger), LT Hallsted Hopping '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B), LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B), LTjg William Sisko '31 (USS Ranger), LTjg William Freshour '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 5B), ENS Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger), and ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger).

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B, USS Ranger

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 and LTjg Alden Irons '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Ranger: LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger), LT Hallsted Hopping '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B), LT James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT Walter Dey '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Baylies Clark '30 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B), LTjg William Sisko '31 (USS Ranger), LTjg William Freshour '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 5B), ENS William Widhelm '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger), and ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger).

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B, USS Ranger

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 and LTjg Alden Irons '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Ranger: LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger), LT Hallsted Hopping '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B), LT James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LT Walter Dey '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Baylies Clark '30 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B), LTjg William Freshour '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 5B), LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger), and ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger).

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 3B, USS Ranger

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Ranger: LT Robert Bedilion '22 (USS Ranger), LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Donald Lovelace '28 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B), LTjg Albert Gray '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Leo Crane '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Lorenz Forbes '31 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 3B), LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1B), LTjg Robert Strickler '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg William Widhelm '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS Earle Schneider '33 (USS Ranger), ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Ranger), and ENS John Daub, Jr. '36 (USS Ranger).

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Naval Academy

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, LT John French '22, LT William Hobby, Jr. '23, LT Richard Baron '24, LT Richard Gingras '25, LT Eugene Lindsey '27, LT Ralph Hickox '27, LT William Potts '27, LTjg John Bole, Jr. '28, LT John Pierce '28, LT William Millican '28, LTjg Egbert Roth '29, LTjg John Bermingham '29, LTjg Roderick Rooney '29, LTjg Alfred Grove '30, and LTjg Volckert Douw '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR James Logan '10 (Post Graduate School, Naval Academy), 1LT Thomas Jordan '26 (Receiving Ship), 1LT John Heil '28 (Receiving Ship), and LTjg Victor Gaulin '30 (Training Plane Squadron (VN) 8D5, Naval Academy).

September 1937

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 12

Others at this command: LTjg Robert Mackert '31.

January 1938

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 12

Others at this command: LTjg Robert Mackert '31.

July 1938

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 12, San Diego, California

Others at this command: LTjg Robert Mackert '31.

January 1939

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 12, San Diego, California

Others at this command: LTjg Robert Mackert '31.

October 1939

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 51, Norfolk, Virginia

Others at this command: LCDR Stephen Cooke '21.

June 1940

Lieutenant, USS Thrush

November 1940

Lieutenant, USS Thrush

April 1941

Lieutenant, USS Thrush


Class of 1927

James is one of 43 members of the Class of 1927 on Virtual Memorial Hall.