ODDLE W. ANDERSON, LTJG, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Oddle Anderson '27

Date of birth: January 11, 1904

Date of death: October 27, 1930

Age: 26

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Oddle died on October 27, 1930 of injuries sustained in an aircraft crash the previous day. The scout plane he was piloting crashed immediately after catapulting from USS Idaho (BB 42); another man aboard was also lost. Oddle was the senior aviator aboard and the ship's wrestling coach. His wife was aboard with many other family and friends for the Navy Day celebration.

He began his career in USS Pennsylvania (BB 38); the Navy Directories of both 1928 and 1929 list him aboard that ship. He earned his wings as naval aviator #3564 on December 21, 1929. The 1930 Navy Directory lists him as a member of Observation Squadron (VO) 4B, aboard USS Idaho (BB 42).

He had completed high school in three years. He was survived by his wife, mother, two brothers; Oddle was promoted posthumously to Lieutenant.

He is buried in Maine.

Remembrances

The commanding officer wrote to his mother:

Oddle had always seemed to be an extremely careful and conscientious pilot, and this accident cannot be attributed to any carelessness or lack of judgement on his part. It is one of those things which might happen to the best of aviators at any time. It is one of the events that have occurred so frequently, and which seems essential to the development of aviation; so that aviators of the future will be able to fly in safety. Dying as he did, Oddle's was a hero's death, and his end came as the supreme sacrifice made for his country and his navy, just as much as though he had been shot down by the enemy.

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 Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Francis Bridget '21, ENS Carlton Hutchins '26, ENS John Eldridge, Jr. '27, ENS Julian Greer '27, and ENS Loren Morris '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

April 1928

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Francis Bridget '21, ENS John Eldridge, Jr. '27, ENS Julian Greer '27, and ENS Loren Morris '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

July 1928

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Robert Fleming '17, ENS John Eldridge, Jr. '27, and ENS Julian Greer '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

October 1928

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LT Robert Fleming '17, ENS John Eldridge, Jr. '27, and ENS Julian Greer '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

January 1929

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: ENS John Eldridge, Jr. '27.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Paul Thompson '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

April 1930

Ensign, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B, USS Pennsylvania

October 1930

Ensign, Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B, USS Pennsylvania

Others at or embarked at USS Pennsylvania: LT Howard Healy '22 (USS Pennsylvania).


Class of 1927

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