RYLAND D. TISDALE, CDR, USN (RET.)

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Ryland Tisdale '15

Date of birth: November 15, 1894

Date of death: May 6, 1942

Age: 47

Lucky Bag

From the 1915 Lucky Bag:

Loss

From the 1915 Lucky Bag

From Corregidor.com:

Commander Ryland D. Tisdale … began the war at Cavite and then transferred to Corregidor, but several accounts state that he escaped to Mindanao and was killed on May 23, 1942 at Tamparan in Lanao Province while fighting Moros who were collaborating with the Japanese.

Ryland was "planning and engineering officer" for the 16th Naval District, Cavite Navy Yard, Philippines, according to the Navy Directory of 1941.

His wife, Elizabeth, was listed as next of kin. He was also survived by his mother, brother, and two sisters.

Career

From Wikipedia:

Tisdale was trained at the Naval Ordnance Proving Ground (now the Naval Ordnance Station) located in Charles County, Maryland, about 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. He was appointed a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy on July 7, 1911 and graduated on June 5, 1915. Between his commissioning and the entry of the United States into World War I, Ens. Tisdale served in USS Virginia and USS Nevada.

On June 5, 1917, less than two months after the declaration of war, Tisdale reported on board USAT Antilles, apparently for duty with an armed-guard gun crew assigned to that chartered Army transport. He served in that ship until she was torpedoed off Brest, France, on October 17.

Tisdale subsequently received a special letter of commendation from the Secretary of the Navy for displaying ". . . coolness and courage in command of the forward guns, . . ." and for not leaving his post ". . . until he was forced to dive from the bridge of the sinking vessel." Tisdale also assisted other Antilles survivors onto life rafts. He was picked up by either Alcedo or Corsair and taken into Brest. On October 23, he took passage on Bridge for Great Britain, where he reported for duty to the senior United States Navy officer present. After temporary duty on Seattle, he returned to the United States on December 12.

In late January 1918, Tisdale took a three-week course of instruction at the Fuel Oil Testing Plant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From there, he went to Bath, Maine, for duty in connection with the outfitting and commissioning of USS Wickes. When she was placed in commission on July 31, Lt. Tisdale became her engineering officer. From Wickes, he went to USS Lamberton as executive officer and in December 1919 moved to USS Hogan where he held the same post.

Tisdale's tour of duty in Hogan ended on June 11, 1920 when he reported to the Naval Academy for post graduate studies in engineering. A year later, he checked in at the New York Navy Yard for practical instruction during the summer, before entering Columbia University on September 28 for further course work which lasted until the early summer of 1922, when he moved to the General Electric Co. in Schenectady, New York, until the end of July. Tisdale rounded out his scholastic efforts late that summer with six weeks of study at the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co., at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Tisdale returned to sea duty in the fall of 1922. On October 16, he reported to USS Argonne in Philadelphia and, on November 8, transferred to USS California. He served in that battleship until April 1925, when he went ashore once more, this time to a billet in the Bureau of Engineering. In 1927, he completed his tour in Washington and returned to sea as executive officer of USS Bridge. On September 25, 1928, he reported for duty at Shanghai, China.

Five days later, he assumed his first command, the Asiatic Fleet destroyer Stewart. That command lasted 13 months. He was detached on October 31, 1929 and, after a month with the 16th Naval District, Lt. Comdr. Tisdale took over his second command, Palos, and began patrolling the upper reaches of the Yangtze in that gunboat. During this tour of duty, Lt. Comdr. Tisdale earned the Navy Cross. Late in July 1930, he and his ship were in the vicinity of Changsha when that city was attacked, taken, looted, and lost by Chinese communists. Tisdale and his crew assisted in the evacuation of Americans and other foreigners. He also led his crew and ship past the city for two firing passes as a show of force to discourage looting of the foreign concessions. The citation states, in part, that, ". . . the loss of American and other foreign property was limited by his timely action."

Lt. Comdr. Tisdale's next assignment took him to the Georgia School of Technology for a two-year tour of duty with the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment located there. From there, he went back to the Asiatic Fleet to join the staff of the Commander, Destroyer Squadron 5. He served in that capacity from January 19 to November 11, 1935 when he became Captain of the Yard at Olongapo in the Philippines. Tisdale was placed on the retired list on June 30, 1936, with the rank of commander.

In 1940, the United States began preparing for the contingency of war. Comdr. Tisdale returned to the colors in July and served for a brief period in the Bureau of Ships at Washington, D.C. In October, he was relieved of duty; however, within another month, he was back on active duty.

On January 14, 1941, Tisdale reported for duty at the Cavite Navy Yard near Manila in the Philippines. He served in the defense of those islands after the Japanese invasion on December 8, 1941. After the surrender at Corregidor in May 1942, Tisdale continued to resist the enemy on Mindanao. On May 23, 1942, he was killed at Tamparan in Lanao Province during action with Moros—who had collaborated with the Japanese. Comdr. Tisdale was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in the Philippines. The citation states:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Commander (Retired) Ryland D. Tisdale (NSN: 0-8990), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in the Philippine Islands during World War II. Commander Tisdale was offered passage on the last plane to leave Corregidor when it was apparent that surrender was inevitable. Commander Tisdale refused and offered his place in the plane to Mr. Kuder who also refused. Commander Tisdale was quoted as saying that he preferred to remain and see the thing through. Mr. Kuder stated that on Thursday, April 30, 1942, the fighting in the area around Damsalan was very heavy, and that Commander Tisdale banded together a small group of officers and enlisted men, including some civilians, and threw in with Lieutenant Colonel Vesy of the Philippine Army to make a last stand against the Japanese.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Ryland D. Tisdale (NSN: 0-8990), United States Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. PALOS, in handling a difficult situation in Changsha, Hunan, China between 16 July and 31 July 1930, when that city was attacked and looted by a well-organized Communist band. Through the excellent leadership, good judgment and skill of Lieutenant Commander Tisdale, all Americans and most of the foreigners were successfully evacuated and the loss of American and other foreign property was limited by his timely action.

General Orders: Bureau of Navigation Bulletin 169 (December 19, 1931)
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Palos

Namesake

USS Tisdale (DE 33) was named for Ryland; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

Memorial Hall Error?

He was retired; should this be reflected in Memorial Hall?

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 1916

Ensign, USS Virginia

Others at this command: LT John Wilcox, Jr. '05 and LTjg Luther Welsh '09.

March 1918

Lieutenant, engineering officer, USS Wickes

January 1919

Lieutenant, engineering officer, USS Wickes

January 1920

Lieutenant, USS Hogan

January 1922

Lieutenant, under instruction, Columbia University, New York, New York

Others at this command: LT Warner Portz '15.

May 1923

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

July 1923

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

September 1923

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

November 1923

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

January 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

March 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

May 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff).

July 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Ballinger '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff) and ENS Edwin Crouch '21 (Battle Fleet Staff).

September 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Burton Doggett '24 and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff) and ENS Edwin Crouch '21 (Battle Fleet Staff).

November 1924

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Burton Doggett '24 and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Fred Perkins '06 (Battle Fleet Staff) and ENS Edwin Crouch '21 (Battle Fleet Staff).

January 1925

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Burton Doggett '24 and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Edwin Crouch '21 (Battle Fleet Staff).

March 1925

Lieutenant, USS California

Others at this command: ENS Louis Drexler, Jr. '23, ENS Burton Doggett '24, and ENS Herbert Ballinger '24.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Edwin Crouch '21 (Battle Fleet Staff).

May 1925

Lieutenant, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

July 1925

Lieutenant, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

October 1925

Lieutenant, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

January 1926

Lieutenant, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

October 1926

Lieutenant Commander, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

January 1927

Lieutenant Commander, Bureau of Engineering, Washington, D.C.

April 1927

Lieutenant Commander, USS Lexington

Others at this command: CDR Theodore Ellyson '05.

October 1927

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Bridge

January 1928

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Bridge

Others at this command: ENS James Averill '27.

April 1928

Lieutenant Commander, executive officer, USS Bridge

Others at this command: ENS James Averill '27.

July 1928

Lieutenant Commander, 16th Naval District

Others at this command: LTjg William Hobby, Jr. '23.

October 1928

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Stewart

January 1929

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Stewart

April 1929

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Stewart

July 1929

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Stewart

October 1929

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Stewart

January 1930

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Palos and USS Monocacy

April 1930

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Palos and USS Monocacy

October 1930

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Palos

January 1931

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Palos

April 1931

Lieutenant Commander, Inspector of Naval Materiel, New York

July 1931

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

October 1931

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

January 1932

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

April 1932

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

October 1932

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

January 1933

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

April 1933

Lieutenant Commander, ROTC instructor, Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia

July 1933

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Lexington

Others at this command: ENS Daniel Gothie '32, ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32, and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), ENS John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

October 1933

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Lexington

Others at this command: ENS Daniel Gothie '32, ENS John Fairbanks, Jr. '32, and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Charles Ostrom '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and ENS Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

April 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Lexington

Others at this command: ENS Daniel Gothie '32 and ENS William Thorn '32.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Henry Twohy '29 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg John Yoho '29 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), ENS Edwin Kelly '30 (Torpedo Squadron (VT) 1B), ENS Lance Massey '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), and LTjg Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

July 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT James Carney '21, LTjg Lance Massey '30, ENS Daniel Gothie '32, and ENS Edward Worthington '34.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR William Sample '19 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Walter Dey '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Edwin Kelly '30 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), and LTjg Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

October 1934

Lieutenant Commander, engineering officer, USS Lexington

Others at this command: LT James Carney '21, LTjg Lance Massey '30, ENS Daniel Gothie '32, and ENS Edward Worthington '34.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR William Sample '19 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg James McDonough '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Walter Dey '24 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Arthur Farrell '25 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), LTjg Baylies Clark '30 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Edwin Kelly '30 (Bombing Plane Squadron (VB) 1B), LTjg Victor Gaulin '30 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B), LTjg Eugene Lytle, Jr. '31 (Fighting Plane Squadron (VF) 5B), and ENS Philip Ashworth '31 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 3B).

January 1935

Lieutenant Commander, for assignment, 16th Naval District

Others at this command: ENS Charles Brindupke '32.

April 1935

Lieutenant Commander, staff, Destroyer Squadron 5, USS Black Hawk

Others at this command: ENS Robert Fair '33.

October 1935

Lieutenant Commander, staff, Destroyer Squadron 5, USS Black Hawk

Others at this command: LTjg Earl Olsen '26.

January 1936

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Naval Station Olongapo, Philippines

Others at or embarked at this command: 1LT Chandler Johnson '29 (Marine Barracks, Naval Station Olongapo, Philippines).

April 1936

Lieutenant Commander, home without orders

July 1936

retired as LCDR June 30, 1936

September 1937

CDR, retired

January 1938

CDR, retired

July 1938

CDR, retired, living in Los Angeles, California

January 1939

CDR, retired, living in Los Angeles, California

October 1939

CDR, retired, living in Los Angeles, California

June 1940

CDR, retired, living in Los Angeles, California

November 1940

CDR, retired, living in Los Angeles, California

April 1941

Commander, retired on active list, 16th Naval District

Others at this command: LCDR Morris Spriggs '15, CDR Warner Portz '15, LT Robert Johnson '24, and ENS Nelson Allen '39.


Class of 1915

Ryland is one of 18 members of the Class of 1915 on Virtual Memorial Hall.