ROYAL R. INGERSOLL, II, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Royal Ingersoll, II '34

Date of birth: December 17, 1913

Date of death: June 4, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1934 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Roy was killed at his battle station by machine gun fire from a crippled fighter plane (an F4F Wildcat) from the USS Yorktown (CV-5) during its emergency landing on board the Hornet. Its wounded pilot was either unable to, or failed to, cut off its guns. Four enlisted men on board the Hornet were also killed, and 20 more sailors were wounded in this accident.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Career

Roy was born in Manila, Philippines, the son of Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll and the grandson of Rear Admiral Royal R. Ingersoll. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1934, Ingersoll served on the battleship USS California (BB 44), on the destroyer USS Cassin (DD 372), and other warships during 1934-41. He reported on board the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV 8) during her fitting-out period in 1941. Roy served on Hornet during the critical early months of the War in the Pacific, including on the famous Doolittle Raid on Tokyo in April 1942, the Hornet's maiden combat voyage.

Ingersoll continued to serve on board Hornet during the Battle of Midway.

Namesake

In 1942, the destroyer USS Ingersoll (DD-652) was named in honor of both Roy and his grandfather, Rear Admiral Royal R. Ingersoll.

Memorial Hall Error

Memorial Hall omits the suffix "II" from Royal's name; all official references (Navy Directories, US Naval Academy Registers, etc) have this.

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 California

Others at this command: LT Norman Ives '20, ENS John McMahon '34, ENS Robert Brinker '34, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS David Taylor, Jr. '35, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS John Ennis '35, ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, and ENS Ralph Beacham '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15 (Battle Force) and LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

January 1936

Ensign, USS California

Others at this command: LT Norman Ives '20, ENS John McMahon '34, ENS Robert Brinker '34, ENS Thomas Hine '34, ENS David Taylor, Jr. '35, ENS Dewitt Harrell '35, ENS Henry Gearing, III '35, ENS John Ennis '35, ENS Mark Eslick, Jr. '35, and ENS Ralph Beacham '35.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Francis Maile, Jr. '15 (Battle Force), LTjg Eugene Davis '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B), and ENS Frederick Purdy '33 (Battle Force).

July 1936

Ensign, USS Cassin

January 1937

Ensign, USS Cassin

April 1937

Ensign, USS Cassin

September 1937

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cassin

January 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cassin

July 1938

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cassin

January 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cassin

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Raleigh

Others at this command: LCDR William France '24.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Raleigh

Others at this command: LCDR William France '24.

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Raleigh

Others at this command: LCDR William France '24.

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Raleigh

Others at this command: LCDR William France '24.


Class of 1934

Royal is one of 41 members of the Class of 1934 on Virtual Memorial Hall.