From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
William Uhler '68

Date of birth: February 11, 1846

Date of death: January 24, 1870

Age: 23

Naval Academy Register

William Edward Uhler was admitted to the Naval Academy from Pennsylvania on July 27, 1864 at age 17 years 6 months.


Photograph from the collection of the Nimitz Library at the US Naval Academy.

William was lost on January 24, 1870 when USS Oneida was sunk following a collision with a British merchant steamer while departing Yokohama harbor, Japan. One hundred twenty-four other officers and men were also lost.

A detailed account of the event is available here.

He has a memory marker in Pennsylvania.

From researcher Kathy Franz: "William Uhler's father Edward worked as a cashier in the Lebanon National Bank. William was appointed by the influence of the Hon. Meyer Strouse."


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 27 July, 1864. Graduated 2 June, 1868. Ensign, 19 April, 1869. Lost in Oneida, 24 January, 1870.


From the Marysville Daily Appeal, 24 March 1870, via the records of the US Naval Academy Alumni Association:

The Officers of the Oneida. Below we give sketches of some of the officers who perished in the ill-fated Oneida:

MIDSHIPMAN W.E. UHLER wat appointed from Pennsylvania in July, 1864, and held a high and honorable position in hit class. He was a fine young officer.

Related Articles

Edward Williams '53, William Stewart '61, John Phelan '66, Charles Brown '67, James Cowie '67, Charles Copp '68, James Hull '68, George Bower '68, and George Adams '68 were also lost aboard Oneida.

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.

July 1868
Midshipman, waiting orders
January 1869
Midshipman, Asiatic Squadron

Class of 1868

William is one of 11 members of the Class of 1868 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of alumni in Memorial Hall.