From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Zenor '11

Date of birth: July 20, 1887

Date of death: December 20, 1917

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1911 Lucky Bag:


From Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice:

John A.L. Zenor was born in Clay City, Indiana on July 20, 1887. As well as living in Indiana, he also lived in Illinois, and graduated from high school in Saguache, a small rural/agricultural community in the San Luis Valley in Colorado.

Zenor attended one year at Colorado University before enrolling at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Zenor competed in baseball and football at Annapolis, as well as being a member of the crew team.

He graduated in 1911, and later served as commander of the USS Monterey, a double-turreted monitor built in the 1880s. He then transferred to the USS Brooklyn (ACR-3), a cruiser that served as flagship for the Commander-in-Chief of the Asiatic Fleet.

In October 1917, Zenor married the daughter of C.F. McWilliams, formerly the eastern representative of the Great Northern Steamship Company and later connected with the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (OSK) Line, based in Yokohama, Japan. The Zenors were a popular couple in and around Manila, where the Brooklyn was based.

On December 20, 1917, Lieutenant Zenor was supervising the loading of coal at Manila. A piece of hoisting apparatus gave way, and Lt. Zenor leapt for safety, falling through a hatch and fracturing his skull. He was rushed to Canacao Naval Hospital where he died shortly after arrival.

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 1912

Midshipman, Idaho

Others at this command:

January 1913

Ensign, Idaho

Others at this command:

January 1914

Ensign, Albany

January 1915

Ensign, USS Chattanooga

January 1916

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Orleans

January 1917

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Brooklyn

Class of 1911

John is one of 15 members of the Class of 1911 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.