JOHN A. COLLETT, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Collett '29

Date of birth: March 31, 1908

Date of death: October 26, 1942

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1929 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Omaha Daily Bee, January 18, 1914

John was lost on October 26, 1942 when his TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bomber was shot down at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. He was commanding officer of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 10, flying from USS Enterprise (CV 6); he had only taken command 10 days earlier.

He was briefly in command of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 3 in January 1942.

His mother was listed as next of kin.

Namesake

"This image is from a photo of VT-10 officers at Kaneohe Bay, Oahu"

USS Collett (DD 730) was named for John; the ship was sponsored by his mother. The commissioning commanding officer was his brother James.

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 1929

Ensign, USS Texas

Others at this command: LT Irving Wiltsie '21, ENS Joseph Flynn '27, ENS William Pye, Jr. '28, and ENS Edwin Martin '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Warren Graf '27 (United States Fleet).

October 1929

Ensign, USS Texas

Others at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19, LT Irving Wiltsie '21, ENS Joseph Flynn '27, and ENS Edwin Martin '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Warren Graf '27 (United States Fleet).

January 1930

Ensign, USS Texas

Others at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19, LT Irving Wiltsie '21, ENS Joseph Flynn '27, and ENS Edwin Martin '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Warren Graf '27 (United States Fleet).

April 1930

Ensign, USS Texas

Others at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19, LT Irving Wiltsie '21, and ENS Joseph Flynn '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Warren Graf '27 (United States Fleet).

October 1931

Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: LTjg Julian Jordan '25 (USS Chester), LTjg William Hank '25 (USS Chester), and ENS Ford Wallace '31 (USS Chester).

January 1932

Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: LTjg William Hank '25 (USS Chester) and ENS Ford Wallace '31 (USS Chester).

April 1932

Ensign, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: LTjg William Hank '25 (USS Chester) and ENS Ford Wallace '31 (USS Chester).

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester) and ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester).

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester) and ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester).

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester) and ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester).

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (USS Chester), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Chester), ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester), ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester), and ENS Reginald Raymond '33 (USS Chester).

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (USS Chester), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Chester), ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester), ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester), and ENS Reginald Raymond '33 (USS Chester).

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Chester

Others at or embarked at USS Chester: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (USS Chester), ENS John Spiers '32 (USS Chester), ENS Max Silverstein '32 (USS Chester), and ENS Reginald Raymond '33 (USS Chester).

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 and LTjg Finley Hall '29.

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 and LTjg Finley Hall '29.

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 and LTjg Finley Hall '29.

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 and LTjg Finley Hall '29.

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29.

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29.

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 1F, Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor

Others at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), tempo, Aircraft Squadrons, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 and LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Edward Blessman '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Edwin Hurst '32 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Clarence Kasparek '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B), LTjg Edwin Hurst '32 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), LCDR John Gillon '20 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT John Waldron '24 (USS Saratoga), LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LT Gerald Dyson '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LT Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT William Pye, Jr. '28 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Clarence Kasparek '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B), LTjg Edwin Hurst '32 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

September 1937

Lieutenant, Torpedo Squadron (VT) 5, USS Yorktown

Others at this command: LCDR James Craig '22.

Others at or embarked at USS Yorktown: LT William Ault '22 (USS Yorktown), LT Henry Dozier '27 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LTjg James Averill '27 (Fighting Squadron (VF) 5), LT Robert Winters '27 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LT Finley Hall '29 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LT Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), LTjg Robert Donaldson '34 (Scouting Squadron (VS) 5), ENS Hubert Harden '35 (USS Yorktown), ENS Milton Ricketts '35 (USS Yorktown), ENS Webster Johnson '36 (USS Yorktown), and ENS Bethel Otter '37 (USS Yorktown).

January 1938

Lieutenant, Aviation Unit, USS Savannah

Others at or embarked at USS Savannah: ENS Otto Kolb, Jr. '36 (USS Savannah).

July 1938

Lieutenant, Aviation Unit, USS Savannah

Others at or embarked at USS Savannah: ENS Otto Kolb, Jr. '36 (USS Savannah), ENS James Danforth '38 (USS Savannah), and ENS John Erickson '38 (USS Savannah).

January 1939

Lieutenant, Aviation Unit, USS Savannah

Others at or embarked at USS Savannah: ENS Otto Kolb, Jr. '36 (USS Savannah), ENS James Danforth '38 (USS Savannah), and ENS John Erickson '38 (USS Savannah).

October 1939

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 23, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

June 1940

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 23, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

November 1940

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 23, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii

April 1941

Lieutenant, Patrol Squadron (VP) 23, Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii


Class of 1929

John is one of 29 members of the Class of 1929 on Virtual Memorial Hall.