From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Prince '12

Date of birth: February 13, 1889

Date of death: November 1, 1918

Age: 29

Naval Academy Register

John Coleman Prince was admitted to the Naval Academy from Connecticut on June 15, 1908 at age 19 years 4 months.

Lucky Bag

John Coleman Prince, "Jack," from Connecticut, is listed as "Unaccounted For."


John was lost on November 1, 1918 while leading a raid on the Western Front in France.

From The Day (New London, Connecticut):

Maj. John Coleman Prince, the son of a New London dentist, had a similar experience. He attended the Naval Academy for two years but joined the Army in 1911 and served in the cavalry expedition that hunted Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa.

In the closing days of the war, he found himself in the segregated 92nd Division of black troops and mostly white officers called the Buffalo Soldiers Division.

On Nov. 1, 1918, Prince led a raiding party over German lines in search of information. The party was fired on, and Prince was struck. He was captured and died two hours later.

Initially reported missing, he was confirmed killed in a telegram the war department sent to his parents two months later, after the joy of the armistice.

John is buried in France.


In the 1916 Army Register, he was a 2Lt. He began his service as a private and then corporal in Troop G, 11th Cavalry, from 10 February 1910 to 15 August 1912. He became a 2Lt in the 13th Cavalry on 16 August 1912. He transferred to the 7th Cavalry on 1 January 1914 and the 9th Cavalry on 15 November 1915.


The American Legion Post in New London, Connecticut, is named for John.

Class of 1912

John is one of 6 members of the Class of 1912 on Virtual Memorial Hall.