WALTER P. NOCK, JR., ENS, USN

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: November 23, 1919
Date of death: August 9, 1942
Age: 22

Lucky Bag

1943 Nock LB.jpg

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:

WALTER PURNELL NOCK, JR.

Salisbury, Maryland From the Eastern Shore, where the sun is always shining, came Walt. Having previously attended V.P.I., he came to the academy intent on a Naval career. Walt managed the football team two years, playing one himself, and was also an active member of the Boat Club. During the winter months he bowled, slept, and dragged enough to keep him in debt most of the time. Walt was discouraged to see the Matapeake ferry leave its slip every day, but he finally became reconciled and has become a swell wife and friend. His determination and desire to learn carried him through the darkest days here at the academy just as they will in the future.

The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.

Loss

Walter was lost when USS Astoria (CA 34) was sunk during the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942 with the loss of 234 of her officers and crew.

From Find A Grave:

Walter served as a Ensign, USS Astoria (CA-34), U.S. Navy during World War II.

He resided in Salisbury, Wicomico County, Maryland prior to the war.

Walter was declared "Missing In Action" when the Astoria was sunk during the Battle of Savo Island during the war. He was awarded a Purple Heart.

Walter graduated from the US Naval Academy with the class of 1943, which graduated in June of 1942, because of WWII. He was the first of his class to be lost at sea.

Service # 0-165396

He has a memory marker in Delaware.

From The Morning News from Wilmington, Delaware, on March 8, 1943:

Ensign Walter P. Nock, Jr, "died as bravely as he fought" and "his body lies with the Astoria in the waters the Coral Sea," the Navy's story the Coral Sea battle declares. The young Ensign, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter P. Nock, Salisbury, graduated from the Naval Academy last year and made a transcontinental dash to a Pacific port. He joined the Astoria at sea from a transport when the fleet stopped to transfer mail at sea. That was on Aug. 5. On Aug. 9 he was killed in the sinking of the Astoria. Capt William G. Greenman, now on leave in the United States, wrote Mr. Nock his condolences and quoted an extract of his report to the Bureau of Naval Personnel on Ensign Nock's conduct during the battle as follows: "At the time the action began, he immediately realized the chances… [missing a part of the text] … responsibility of maintaining an alert watch for such attack; meanwhile encouraging the gun crew in his charge, and keeping ready for immediate action against any enemy targets within range. "While thus engaged. Ensign Nock was mortally wounded by the explosion of a 5-inch enemy shell near him, and he died soon there after. "Up until the time of his death, the conduct of Ensign Nock was most exemplary and in keeping with the highest traditions of the naval service. He performed his duties with utter disregard of Injury to himself and he died as bravely as he fought "Ensign Nock's body lies with the Astoria In the waters of the Coral Sea, about five miles southeast of the Savo Island, in the Solomons group."

His father is the only person listed as next of kin.

Related Articles

Herbert Carroll, Jr. ’34 was also lost aboard USS Astoria (CA 34).


Class Navigation

Class of 1943
Walter is one of 77 members of the Class of 1943 in Memorial Hall.
Arthur Diirck '43 >>