JOHN W. HAYS, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Jack Hays '36

Date of birth: January 17, 1914

Date of death: March 3, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1936 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Jack was lost when USS Asheville (PG 21) was sunk by Japanese surface forces on March 3, 1942. There was only one known survivor of the sinking.

John has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

His mother was listed as next of kin.

Memorial Hall Error

John renamed himself from "Jack W. Hays" to "John Wythe Hays" sometime in the first half of 1938; all official listings after July 1938 have "John Wythe." (His date of birth is a match, as is his date of entry from the Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps of 1944, which still carried him in a missing status.) Memorial Hall has Jack W. on the class list and the killed in action panel.

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 1936

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: CDR Joseph Murphy '09, LT George Brooke '21, ENS Edwin Denby, Jr. '35, and ENS Forrest Simoneau '36.

January 1937

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: CDR Joseph Murphy '09, LT George Brooke '21, ENS Edwin Denby, Jr. '35, and ENS Forrest Simoneau '36.

April 1937

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: CDR Joseph Murphy '09, LT George Brooke '21, ENS Edwin Denby, Jr. '35, and ENS Forrest Simoneau '36.

September 1937

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS Forrest Simoneau '36 and ENS Fred Newell, Jr. '37.

January 1938

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS Forrest Simoneau '36 and ENS Fred Newell, Jr. '37.

July 1938

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LCDR Paul Slawson '20, LT Julian Jordan '25, ENS Forrest Simoneau '36, and ENS Fred Newell, Jr. '37.

January 1939

Ensign, USS Davis

Others at this command: LTjg John Little, III '35.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kane

Others at this command: LTjg Porter Maxwell '36.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS John D. Ford

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS John D. Ford

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Asheville

Others at this command: LT Jacob Britt '29 and LT Lion Miles '31.


Class of 1936

Jack is one of 39 members of the Class of 1936 on Virtual Memorial Hall.