JOHN L. WELCH, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Welch '23

Date of birth: July 15, 1901

Date of death: January 10, 1945

Age: 43

Lucky Bag

From the 1923 Lucky Bag:


Loss

John was lost when the Japanese "Hell Ship" he was aboard, Enoura Maru, was bombed on January 9, 1945 while docked at Takao.

He had earlier survived the bombing of the Oryoku Maru on December 15 in Subic Bay.

John was on Corregidor when that island surrendered; before then he was serving on the submarine tender USS Canopus (AS 9) before that ship was scuttled on April 10, 1942. He was mentioned in Part III of a column on Canopus in the November 1948 issue of Shipmate; he was the senior member of the "Naval Battalion" when it became part of the Fourth Marine Regiment.

His wife was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by a daughter.

It's unclear how John was only a Lieutenant. Perhaps he left the service for a time? (He appears in the 1924 and 1928 Registers.)

(Note: Some listings have his date of death in December 1944; believe it more likely that he died in January.)

Prisoner of War Medal

From Hall of Valor:

Lieutenant John L. Welch (NSN: 0-58274), United States Navy, was captured by the Japanese after the fall of Corregidor, Philippine Islands, on 6 May 1942, and was held as a Prisoner of War until his death while still in captivity.

General Orders: NARA Database: Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created, 1942 - 1947
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant

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 1923

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

September 1923

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

November 1923

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

January 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

March 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

May 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15.

July 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15 and ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

September 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15 and ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

November 1924

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15 and ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

January 1925

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: LT Theodore Chandler '15 and ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

March 1925

Ensign, USS West Virginia

Others at this command: ENS Henry Batterton '23 and ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

May 1925

Ensign, under instruction, USS Chewink

Others at this command: LT Van Moore '19, LTjg Joseph Hubbard '21, LTjg Leonard Lyons, Jr. '21, ENS Frederic Foster '22, ENS Raymond Hansen '22, and ENS Donald Weller '23.

July 1925

Ensign, under instruction, USS Chewink

Others at this command: LTjg James Haselden, Jr. '20, ENS Frederic Foster '22, ENS Raymond Hansen '22, ENS Donald Weller '23, and ENS Edmund Egbert '23.

October 1925

Ensign, under instruction, USS Chewink

Others at this command: LTjg Raymond Hansen '22 and ENS Donald Weller '23.

January 1926

Ensign, USS S-46

October 1926

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

January 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

April 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

October 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

January 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

April 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

July 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-44

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-20

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-20

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-20

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-20

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS R-20

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Academy

Others at this command: CDR James Logan '10, LCDR Robert English '11, LCDR Warner Portz '15, LCDR Cassin Young '16, LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20, LT John Jones '21, LT Edward Metcalfe '22, LT John French '22, LTjg Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg William France '24, LTjg Fremont Wright '25, LTjg Richard Gingras '25, and ENS Claud Hughes '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: 1LT Charles Kail '23 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy), 1LT David Claude '24 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy), and 2LT Paul Moret '30 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Academy

Others at this command: CDR James Logan '10, LCDR Robert English '11, LCDR Cassin Young '16, LT Joseph Severyns, Jr. '20, LT John Jones '21, LT Edward Metcalfe '22, LT John French '22, LTjg Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, LTjg Hammond Dugan '24, LTjg William France '24, LTjg Fremont Wright '25, and LTjg Richard Gingras '25.

Others at or embarked at this command: 1LT Charles Kail '23 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy) and 1LT David Claude '24 (Marine Barracks, Naval Academy).

October 1932

Lieutenant, under instruction, University of California, Berkeley, California

Others at this command: LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

January 1933

Lieutenant, under instruction, University of California, Berkeley, California

Others at this command: LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

April 1933

Lieutenant, under instruction, University of California, Berkeley, California

Others at this command: LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

July 1933

Lieutenant, 12th Naval District

October 1933

Lieutenant, Receiving ship, San Francisco, California

April 1934

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

July 1934

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

October 1934

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

January 1935

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

April 1935

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

October 1935

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

January 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

April 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30.

July 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30.

January 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30.

April 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Lamberton

Others at this command: LTjg Lynne Quiggle '30.

September 1937

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Thomas Fraser '24 and LTjg Dudley Morton '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory), 2LT Robert Moore '36 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT Alben Robertson '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT James Bromeyer '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT Radford West '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), and 2LT Robert Ruge '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks).

January 1938

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Dudley Morton '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory), 2LT Alben Robertson '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT James Bromeyer '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT Radford West '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), and 2LT Robert Ruge '37 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks).

July 1938

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Dudley Morton '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: CDR Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory), LTjg Edward Allen '31 (Naval Aircraft Factory), 2LT Dorrance Radcliffe '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT Douglas Keeler '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT James Owens '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), and 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks).

January 1939

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Dudley Morton '30.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: CAPT Walter Webster '11 (Naval Aircraft Factory), LTjg Edward Allen '31 (Naval Aircraft Factory), ENS Louis Gulliver, Jr. '36 (Naval Finance and Supply School), 2LT Dorrance Radcliffe '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT Douglas Keeler '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), 2LT James Owens '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks), and 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38 (Marine Corps Schools, Marine Barracks).

October 1939

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines

Others at this command: LCDR Richard Baron '24.

June 1940

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines

Others at this command: LCDR George Brooke '21 and LCDR Richard Baron '24.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines: MAJ Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks).

November 1940

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines

Others at this command: LCDR Richard Baron '24 and LT Charles Weschler '32.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines: MAJ Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks).

April 1941

Lieutenant, Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines

Others at this command: LCDR Richard Baron '24, LT Charles Weschler '32, and LT Robert Gallagher '33.

Others at or embarked at Navy Yard, Cavite, Philippines: MAJ Stuart King '20 (Marine Barracks), 1LT Alben Robertson '37 (Marine Barracks), 2LT Willard Holdredge '39 (Marine Barracks), and 2LT William Hogaboom '39 (Marine Barracks).


Class of 1923

John is one of 25 members of the Class of 1923 on Virtual Memorial Hall.