MAX SILVERSTEIN, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Max Silverstein '32

Date of birth: February 15, 1911

Date of death: May 7, 1942

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1932 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Max was lost when USS Sims (DD 409) was sunk by Japanese dive bombers on May 7, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea. He was the ship's engineer and damage control officer.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Career

From Together We Served:

  • 1932-1935, USS Chester (CA-27)
  • 1935-1937, USS Chaumont (AP-5)
  • 1937-1939, USS Tattnall (DD-125)
  • 1939-1940, USS Seattle (CA-11)
  • 1940-1942, USS Sims (DD-409)

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Max Silverstein (NSN: 0-71595), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Engineer and Damage Control Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. SIMS (DD-409), which was lost during combat action in the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942. After having been rendered unconscious by concussion from the first bomb which hit the ship, Lieutenant Silverstein coolly resumed his duties, directing the securing of boilers, the jettisoning of torpedo weights to preserve stability and the preparations for repairs to save the vessel from sinking. Lieutenant Silverstein's gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)
Action Date: 7-May-42
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Engineer and Damage Control Officer
Division: U.S.S. Sims (DD-409)

Namesake

USS Silverstein (DE 534) was named for Max; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

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.

October 1932

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: ENS John Spiers '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S) and LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

January 1933

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: ENS John Spiers '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S) and LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

April 1933

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: ENS John Spiers '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Seymour Johnson '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S) and LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

July 1933

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS James Kyes '30, ENS John Spiers '32, and ENS Reginald Raymond '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

October 1933

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS James Kyes '30, ENS John Spiers '32, and ENS Reginald Raymond '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

April 1934

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS John Spiers '32, and ENS Reginald Raymond '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg John Collett '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

July 1934

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS John Spiers '32, ENS Reginald Raymond '33, and ENS Robert Isely '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Claud Hughes '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

October 1934

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS John Spiers '32, ENS Reginald Raymond '33, and ENS Robert Isely '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Claud Hughes '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

January 1935

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS John Spiers '32, ENS Albert Clark '33, ENS Reginald Raymond '33, and ENS Robert Isely '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Claud Hughes '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S) and LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

April 1935

Ensign, USS Chester

Others at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11, ENS Albert Clark '33, ENS Reginald Raymond '33, and ENS Robert Isely '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Claud Hughes '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S) and LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S).

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Chaumont

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Chaumont

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Chaumont

January 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Fox

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

April 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Fox

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

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Fox

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

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Fox

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

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Tattnall

Others at this command: ENS Richard Stephenson '35.

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Tattnall

Others at this command: LTjg Richard Stephenson '35.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Seattle

June 1940

Lieutenant, USS Seattle

November 1940

Lieutenant, engineering officer, USS Sims

Others at this command: LT Andrew Stewart '31.

April 1941

Lieutenant, engineering officer, USS Sims

Others at this command: LT Andrew Stewart '31 and ENS James McManus '41.


Class of 1932

Max is one of 52 members of the Class of 1932 on Virtual Memorial Hall.