MELVIN E. RADCLIFFE, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Melvin Radcliffe '35

Date of birth: October 10, 1912

Date of death: May 7, 1942

Age: 29

Lucky Bag

From the 1935 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Melvin 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 Gunnery Officer.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

(Note some newspaper articles cite him as a LCDR; there are no official sources with this rank.)

Related Articles

His brother, Dorrance Radcliffe '38, was killed in action in Korea.

Memorial Hall Error

His name is incorrectly spelled ("Radcliff") on the killed in action panel at the front of Memorial Hall.

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 1935

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Keats Montross '35.

January 1936

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Keats Montross '35.

April 1936

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: ENS Keats Montross '35.

July 1936

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: LTjg Thomas Oberrender, Jr. '27, ENS Keats Montross '35, ENS Jack Moore '36, and ENS Joseph Crook '36.

January 1937

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: LT Thomas Oberrender, Jr. '27, ENS Keats Montross '35, ENS Jack Moore '36, and ENS Joseph Crook '36.

April 1937

Ensign, USS Nevada

Others at this command: LT Thomas Oberrender, Jr. '27, ENS Jack Moore '36, and ENS Joseph Crook '36.

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Nevada

Others at this command: LTjg David Stephan '33, ENS John Patty, Jr. '37, and ENS Richard Hughes '37.

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Nevada

Others at this command: LTjg David Stephan '33 and ENS Richard Hughes '37.

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Hughes

Others at this command: ENS Charles Reimann '38.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Hughes

Others at this command: ENS Charles Reimann '38.

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Hughes

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Hughes

Others at this command: ENS Claire Poole '41.


Class of 1935

Melvin is one of 56 members of the Class of 1935 on Virtual Memorial Hall.