JOHN F. GILLON, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Gillon '20

Date of birth: September 21, 1896

Date of death: May 7, 1937

Age: 40

Lucky Bag

From the 1920 Lucky Bag:

Loss

John was lost on May 7, 1937, when his aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff from USS Saratoga (CV 2). He was the commanding officer of Scouting Squadron (VS) 2B.

He was survived by his wife, Eileen, and two daughters, Marie and Nancy.

From Marie's obituary:

Her father, John Francis Gillon, was a graduate of the US Naval Academy and had a distinguished military career as a pilot in the US Navy. Her mother Eileen, sister Nancy, and she moved often, mostly in the east and west coasts of the United States, to be where Lt. Commander Gillon was stationed.

In 1937, her father died when the airplane he was flying off the USS Saratoga crashed into the ocean during military maneuvers. Eileen, Nancy, and Marie then moved to the family home in Rhode Island, and after one year drove back across the country to reside in Point Loma, San Diego.

Marie was a member of the WAVES during WWII; she included it on her headstone sixty years later.

Memorial Hall Error

Memorial Hall has his rank as CDR; all references found (and his headstone) are LCDR.

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 1920

Ensign, USS Rhode Island

Others at this command: LT Oscar Erickson '16 and LT Roger Armstrong '18.

January 1921

Ensign, staff, Destroyer Force, Pacific Fleet

Others at this command: LCDR Lewis Hancock, Jr. '10.

January 1922

Ensign, USS LaVallette

May 1923

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS T-2

July 1923

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

Others at this command: LT Jack Richardson '19.

September 1923

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

November 1923

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

January 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

March 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

May 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-15

July 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-15

September 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

November 1924

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-15

January 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-15

March 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-17

May 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-17

July 1925

Lieutenant (j.g.), Receiving Ship, San Francisco

Others at this command: LTjg Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20.

October 1926

Lieutenant, staff, Aircraft Squadrons, Scouting Fleet, USS Wright

Others at this command: LTjg William Davis '22.

January 1927

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1

Others at this command: LT Oscar Erickson '16, LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20, LTjg James Carney '21, LTjg George Lehman '23, and LTjg Joseph Rooney '23.

April 1927

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 1

Others at this command: LT LaRue Lawbaugh '20, LTjg George Lehman '23, and LTjg Joseph Rooney '23.

October 1927

Lieutenant, Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 9S

Others at this command: LTjg James McDonough '24.

January 1928

Lieutenant, Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 9S

Others at this command: LTjg Hallsted Hopping '24, LTjg James McDonough '24, and LTjg John Waldron '24.

April 1928

Lieutenant, Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 9S

Others at this command: LTjg Hallsted Hopping '24, LTjg James McDonough '24, and LTjg John Waldron '24.

April 1930

Lieutenant, Naval Academy

Others at this command: LCDR James Logan '10, LCDR Norman Scott '11, LCDR Robert English '11, LCDR Cassin Young '16, LT Joseph Hubbard '21, LT Edward Metcalfe '22, LTjg John French '22, LT William Ault '22, and LTjg John Cromwell '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: 1LT Charles Kail '23 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy).

October 1930

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (USS Marblehead).

January 1931

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (USS Marblehead).

April 1931

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (USS Marblehead).

July 1931

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: LT Raymond Tuttle '22 (USS Marblehead) and ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (USS Marblehead).

October 1931

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: LT Raymond Tuttle '22 (USS Marblehead) and ENS Thomas Marshall, Jr. '30 (USS Marblehead).

January 1932

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: LT Raymond Tuttle '22 (USS Marblehead) and ENS Thomas Marshall, Jr. '30 (USS Marblehead).

April 1932

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 5S, USS Marblehead

Others at or embarked at USS Marblehead: LT Raymond Tuttle '22 (USS Marblehead).

October 1932

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg Everett Abdill '24, LTjg Richard Baron '24, and LTjg Adolph Hede '25.

January 1933

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg Everett Abdill '24, LTjg Richard Baron '24, and LTjg Adolph Hede '25.

April 1933

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg Everett Abdill '24, LTjg Richard Baron '24, LTjg Adolph Hede '25, and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

July 1933

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg Richard Baron '24, LTjg Adolph Hede '25, and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

October 1933

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, LTjg Richard Baron '24, and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

April 1934

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06, CDR Norman Scott '11, and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

July 1934

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06 and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

October 1934

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06 and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

January 1935

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Isaac Kidd '06 and LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

April 1935

Lieutenant, Bureau of Navigation, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: LTjg Mannert Abele '26.

October 1935

Lieutenant, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27, LTjg Oliver White '30, and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Ralph Smith '26 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), LTjg Thomas Ashworth, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Albert Gates, Jr. '32 (USS Saratoga), ENS Paul Burton '33 (USS Saratoga), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

January 1936

Lieutenant Commander, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27, LTjg Oliver White '30, and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), 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), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

April 1936

Lieutenant Commander, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Loren Morris '27 and LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Arnold Isbell '21 (Aircraft Squadrons), LT Charles McDonald '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LT Richard Moss '24 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Elmer Cooper '27 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 2B), LTjg Harold Richards '27 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Ford Wallace '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg James Murphy '31 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 2B), 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), ENS Wendell Froling '34 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Maurice Fitzgerald '35 (USS Saratoga).

July 1936

Lieutenant Commander, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Edward Blessman '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: 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 Finley Hall '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg John Collett '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), LTjg Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Aircraft Squadrons), 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 Commander, commanding officer, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), 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 John Collett '29 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 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 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 Commander, commanding officer, Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: LCDR Dixie Kiefer '19 (Aircraft Squadrons), 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 John Collett '29 (Torpedo Plane Squadron (VT) 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 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).


Class of 1920

John is one of 27 members of the Class of 1920 on Virtual Memorial Hall.