ROBERT T. SYMES, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Symes '27

Date of birth: December 20, 1902

Date of death: November 30, 1936

Age: 33

Lucky Bag

From the 1927 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Robert was lost on November 30, 1936 when the airplane he was piloting crashed near La Jolla, California. He and his crewman, also lost killed, were members of Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B.

He earned his wings as naval aviator #3661 on July 1, 1930.

Robert is buried in New York; he was survived by his father, and a son Robert Jr.

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 Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24 and ENS Hugh Black '26.

April 1928

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

July 1928

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

October 1928

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

January 1929

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

April 1929

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

July 1929

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: LTjg Neville McDowell '24.

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Thomas Fisher '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Dixie Kiefer '19 (USS Saratoga), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LT William Sample '19 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Creighton Lankford '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), LTjg Carlton Hutchins '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Warren Graf '27 (USS Saratoga), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Charles Hart '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS Dudley Morton '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), and ENS John Craig '30 (USS Saratoga).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Thomas Fisher '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Dixie Kiefer '19 (USS Saratoga), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LT William Sample '19 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Creighton Lankford '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), LTjg Carlton Hutchins '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Warren Graf '27 (USS Saratoga), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Charles Hart '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS Dudley Morton '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), and ENS John Craig '30 (USS Saratoga).

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27 and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Thomas Fisher '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Dixie Kiefer '19 (USS Saratoga), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LT William Sample '19 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Creighton Lankford '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), LTjg Carlton Hutchins '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Charles Signer '26 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Warren Graf '27 (USS Saratoga), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), and ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga).

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Thomas Fisher '18 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg John Eldridge, Jr. '27 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Leo Crane '31 (USS Saratoga).

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Edwin Conway '20, LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27, and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LCDR Oscar Erickson '16 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 2B), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS Byron Newell '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Leo Crane '31 (USS Saratoga).

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Edwin Conway '20, LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27, and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Claude Haman '26 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS Byron Newell '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Leo Crane '31 (USS Saratoga).

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Torpedo and Bombing Plane Squadron (VT) 2B, USS Saratoga

Others at this command: LT Edwin Conway '20, LTjg Renwick Calderhead '27, and ENS Weldon Hamilton '28.

Others at or embarked at USS Saratoga: CDR Melville Brown '10 (USS Saratoga), LT Van Moore '19 (USS Saratoga), LTjg Walter Leach, Jr. '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), LTjg Julian Greer '27 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS Jacob Britt '29 (USS Saratoga), ENS Lloyd Greenamyer '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS Mathias Wyatt '29 (Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Force), ENS William Oliver '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 6B), ENS William Arthur '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B), ENS Byron Newell '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Kyes '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS James Clarkson '30 (USS Saratoga), ENS George Stone '31 (USS Saratoga), and ENS Leo Crane '31 (USS Saratoga).

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

Others at this command: LT John Jones '21.

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Patrol Plane Squadron (VP) 5S, Naval Air Station Coco Solo, Canal Zone

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at this command: ENS Alfred Tucker, III '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (USS Northampton), ENS Damon Cummings '31 (USS Northampton), 2LT Cleo Keen '32 (USS Northampton), and ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (USS Northampton).

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at this command: LTjg Alfred Tucker, III '31.

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (USS Northampton), LTjg Damon Cummings '31 (USS Northampton), and ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (USS Northampton).

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: LTjg Alfred Grove '30 (USS Northampton), LTjg Damon Cummings '31 (USS Northampton), and ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (USS Northampton).

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34 (USS Northampton).

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at this command: ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34.

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: ENS Thomas Sharp '35 (USS Northampton).

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at this command: ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34.

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: ENS Thomas Sharp '35 (USS Northampton).

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 9S, USS Northampton

Others at this command: ENS Thompson Guthrie, Jr. '34.

Others at or embarked at USS Northampton: ENS Thomas Sharp '35 (USS Northampton).

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 1B, USS Langley

Others at this command: LTjg J. C. Riggs, Jr. '28 and LTjg William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at USS Langley: LT Stephen Cooke '21 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B), LT Walter Dey '24 (USS Langley), and LTjg Clarence Kasparek '32 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 4B).


Class of 1927

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