RICHARD K. MASON, JR., LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Mason, Jr. '40

Date of birth: September 23, 1916

Date of death: November 8, 1944

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


1940 Mason, R LB 1.jpg

Loss

Arky was lost when USS Growler (SS 215) was sunk by Japanese surface vessels on November 8, 1944 in the South China Sea.

His wife was listed as next of kin. His memorial is at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Richard Keeble Mason, Jr. (NSN: 0-85184), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action as Assistant Approach Officer of the U.S.S. GROWLER (SS_215), during the TENTH War Patrol of that Submarine in enemy controlled waters from 11 August 1944 to 26 September 1944. His cool leadership in coordinating the fire control data during the Growler's attacks which resulted in the sinking of three enemy destroyers, two merchant ships and in the damaging of two more merchant ships, showed great courage and ability. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander 7th Fleet: Serial 0585 (February 8, 1944)
Action Date: August 11 - September 26, 1944

Career

After graduating Richard served as an ensign aboard the USS Pennsylvania. It is unclear if he was still assigned to Pennsylvania on December 7, 1941, when the ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor. With the war and hastened promotions, Richard was promoted to the temporary rank of Lt(jg) on May 14, 1942 and LT on October 1, 1942.

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.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: LCDR Robert Smith '20, LTjg George Lambert '35, ENS Daniel Arnold '40, ENS David Wilson '40, and ENS Harold Goranson '40.

November 1940

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: CDR Robert Smith '20, ENS Daniel Arnold '40, ENS David Wilson '40, and ENS Harold Goranson '40.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Pennsylvania

Others at this command: ENS Daniel Arnold '40, ENS David Wilson '40, and ENS Harold Goranson '40.


Class of 1940

Richard is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.