JAMES S. TYLER, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

James Tyler '34

Date of birth: August 7, 1912

Date of death: December 15, 1940

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1934 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From Gen Disasters:

Navy Officer Killed in Plane Crash in Sound As Wife Looks On; Machinist Believed Dead

NEW ROCHELLE, N. Y., Dec. 15 — While flying over Long Island Sound this afternoon, in view of the wife and father-in-law of the pilot, a Navy training plane crashed into the water, killing Lieutenant James Stanley Tyler and probably a passenger, Pasquale Siclari, a naval machinist, of 5703 Avenue M, Brooklyn.

The body of Lieutenant Tyler, who was 28 years old, was recovered immediately, but it was believed that the machinist's body was pinned in the wreckage at the bottom of the Sound. A tug from the Navy Yard at Brooklyn was on its way here tonight to raise the plane and search for Siclari's body. At first it was thought that Lieutenant Tyler was alone in the machine, but officials at Floyd Bennett Field said Siclari was with him when the plane took off from there. Lieutenant Tyler, who was stationed at Floyd Bennett Field, was the husband of Mrs. Harriett Frances Davis Tyler, daughter of Supreme Court Justice Lee Parsons Davis, with whom the couple made their home.

The Navy biplane fell into the water at about 4 o'clock after going into a spin from an altitude of 150 feet, according to Patrolman Thomas Fieldhouse and Fireman William Sullivan, who were cruising in a New Rochelle police boat and were 1,000 feet away from the spot where the plane fell. They said the motor stalled.

Fieldhouse and Sullivan said the machine had been stunting and they had watched it for several minutes before it made a sudden downward swoop and then went into the spin. The police boat retrieved Lieutenant Tyler's body within three minutes after the ship disappeared. His unpacked parachute was floating on the surface and the body was not far below it. Except for a few pieces of canvas and wood, no part of the plane remained afloat. Fieldhouse and Sullivan placed a buoy to mark the place.

The plane fell a quarter of a mile off Premium Point and a half a mile from the Davis home at 114 Sutton Manor. Mrs. Tyler and Justice Davis saw the plane falling but did not see it crash into the water because their vision of the water was hidden.

Dec. 16, 1940 edition of "The New York Times"

In the June 1, 1940 Navy Directory he is listed as stationed at the Naval Reserve Air Base, New York (Brooklyn). In the October 1, 1939 Navy Directory he is listed as a member of USS Brooklyn (CL 40)'s aviation unit.

Unable to find a burial location.

It appears that James and his wife had a daughter, Thayer.

Career & Name Change

In the July 1935 Navy Directory he is listed as an Ensign aboard USS Arizona (BB 39) with the surname "Nutt"; in the July 1936 Navy Directory his name has changed to Tyler. In the July 1937 Navy Directory he is listed as a LTJG at NAS Pensacola, Florida, under instruction. In July 1938 Navy Directory he is a LTJG in Scouting Squadron (VS) 6; in the October 1939 Navy Directory he is a LTJG in VCS squadron aboard USS Brooklyn (CL 40), probably Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 8. (Per Richard Leonard, naval aviation historian.) In the July 1940 Navy Directory he is listed as a LTJG at NRAB New York.


Class of 1934

James is one of 41 members of the Class of 1934 in Memorial Hall.