RICHARD M. SWENSSON, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Swensson '39

Date of birth: July 4, 1916

Date of death: April 29, 1944

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Unable to find exact details, but Richard was lost when his TBF-1 Avenger crashed on April 29, 1944 near Truk. He was a member of Torpedo Squadron (VT) 24, operating from USS Belleau Wood (CVL 24).

His wife was listed as next of kin. His brother also survived him.

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 1939

Ensign, USS Savannah

Others at this command: ENS John Erickson '38 and ENS Daniel Wallace, Jr. '39.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Savannah

Others at this command: ENS John Erickson '38 and ENS William Burgan '40.

November 1940

Ensign, USS Savannah

Others at this command: ENS William Burgan '40.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Savannah

Others at this command: ENS William Burgan '40, ENS John Kirwin '41, and ENS Russel Willson, Jr. '41.


Class of 1939

Richard is one of 77 members of the Class of 1939 on Virtual Memorial Hall.