JOHN O. R. COLL, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Coll '27

Date of birth: September 30, 1902

Date of death: January 21, 1943

Age: 40

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:


Loss

John was lost on January 21, 1943, when the aircraft he was aboard crashed near Ukiah, California while enroute from Pearl Harbor to San Francisco. The flying boat, a Pan Am Clipper, was being operated by Pan Am employees but was a contracted Navy flight, and all ten passengers were Navy officers.

He was the gunnery and torpedo officer on the staff of Commander, Submarines Pacific.

He was survived by his wife; they are buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Legion of Merit

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Commander John O. R. Coll, United States Navy, was awarded the Legion of Merit (Posthumously) for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as gunnery and Torpedo Officer on the staff of Commander Submarines Pacific from the outbreak of hostilities in 1941 to January 1943.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 355 (October 1946)
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander

Related Articles

Robert English '11, Donald Godwin '11, Robert Smith '20, John Crane '26, Francis Black '26, William Myers '26, and George Stone '31 were also lost in the crash of Pan Am Flight 1104. Eight of the ten passengers were Naval Academy graduates.

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 1928

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LCDR Warner Portz '15.

April 1928

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LCDR Warner Portz '15.

July 1928

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LCDR Warner Portz '15.

October 1928

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LCDR Warner Portz '15.

January 1929

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LCDR Warner Portz '15.

April 1929

Ensign, USS Simpson

Others at this command: ENS John Reybold '26.

July 1929

Ensign, USS Simpson

Others at this command: ENS John Reybold '26.

October 1929

Ensign, USS Simpson

Others at this command: LTjg John Reybold '26.

January 1930

Ensign, USS Pittsburgh

April 1930

Ensign, USS Pittsburgh

October 1930

Ensign, USS Pittsburgh

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Pittsburgh

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Receiving Ship, New York

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LTjg Hilan Ebert '26.

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LTjg Hilan Ebert '26.

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-11

Others at this command: LT Edward Metcalfe '22.

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-28

January 1937

Lieutenant, USS S-28

April 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-28

September 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-28

January 1938

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-28

Others at this command: LTjg Edward Blakely '34.

July 1938

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-26

Others at this command: LTjg Fred Connaway '32.

January 1939

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS S-26

Others at this command: LTjg Fred Connaway '32.

June 1940

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Robert English '11, CDR Samuel Moore '13, CDR Theodore Chandler '15, CDR Robert Smith, Jr. '19, CDR Horatio Sickel, IV '20, and LT Herbert Coleman '32.

November 1940

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CAPT Robert English '11, CAPT Samuel Moore '13, CDR Theodore Chandler '15, CDR Robert Smith, Jr. '19, CDR Horatio Sickel, IV '20, and LT Herbert Coleman '32.

April 1941

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Sculpin


Class of 1927

John is one of 43 members of the Class of 1927 on Virtual Memorial Hall.