WILLIAM F. CALLAWAY, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Callaway '11

Date of birth: November 7, 1889

Date of death: December 17, 1927

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1911 Lucky Bag:

Loss

1911 Callaway 1.jpg
William (on left) while in command of submarine USS G-4, 1917.

William was lost on December 17, 1927 when USS S-4 (SS 109) sank immediately following a collision with USCG Paulding (CG 17) near Cape Code, Massachusetts. He was aboard as an observer of the Bureau of Construction and Repair.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

From researcher Kathy Franz:

In the 1900 census, William was 10 years old, his father Jerry was the Sheriff, his mother was Mollie, and his brothers were Cleveland and James. Right after their names in the census came the names of 12 prisoners including one woman. Their address was right across from the City Hall just off the main courthouse square in Clinton, Missouri. William married Dorothy Jane Brown on September 9, 1916, in Manhattan, and in 1920, they lived in Honolulu.

William had visited his father shortly before the disaster which took his life. From the Henry County Democrat, Dec. 29, 1927, his father said, “When Jack was home on his furlough in September, we talked much of the perilous service he was in and he made it clear that he did not fear death. ‘I am likely to go at any moment,’ he said to me, ‘but when my time shall come, whether it be on land or in the sea, I shall be ready, for I regard death as supreme moment of a man’s life.”

In the House of Representatives, Congressman C. C. Dickinson spoke about William. “Mr. Speaker and gentlemen of the House may well halt public business for a moment to express a word of sympathy in the submarine disaster which has recently occurred off the coast of Massachusetts, when forty-odd splendid men went down, when the submarine S-4 was struck by a Coast Guard vessel, which sent it to the bottom of the sea.

Our sympathy goes out to each and every one of them, and my excuse for rising this morning is to refer particularly to one man, Lieut. Commander William Franklin Callaway, a man of high character and of great service – an inspection officer who had gone there to inspect this vessel and was confined there with the other officers in the room where the officers are located, and which, perhaps, was flooded. While six men in the torpedo room are now said to be alive, the probabilities are that the officers are not alive.

Lieut. Commander William Franklin Callaway came from my home town. His family were my next door neighbors. I know intimately all his relatives. He was appointed to Annapolis 20 years ago by my distinguished predecessor, David De Armond, and after graduation served continuously in the naval service, 10 years in the submarine service. His record is notable.”

Congressman Dickinson had recently appointed William’s younger step-brother Peyton Parks Callaway (Class of 1931) to the Naval Academy.


Related Articles

Roy Jones '16, Joseph McGinley '21, Graham Fitch '23, and Donald Weller '23 were also lost when S-4 sank.

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 1912

Midshipman, Ohio

January 1913

Ensign, Ohio


Others at this command:

January 1914

Ensign, Ohio


Others at this command:

January 1915

Ensign, USS Leonidas


Others at this command:

January 1916

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Ozark

January 1917

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS G-4

March 1918

Lieutenant, USS R-19

January 1919

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS R-19

January 1920

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS R-19

January 1921

Lieutenant Commander, inspection duty, Bureau of Engineering


Others at this command:

January 1922

Lieutenant Commander, Naval Inspr. Mach. Busch Sulzer Co., St. Louis

May 1923

Lieutenant Commander, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow

July 1923

Lieutenant Commander, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow

September 1923

Lieutenant Commander, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow

November 1923

Lieutenant Commander, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow


Others at this command:

January 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow


Others at this command:

March 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Division 12, USS Rainbow


Others at this command:

May 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

July 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

September 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

November 1924

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

January 1925

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

March 1925

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

May 1925

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18, USS Rainbow

July 1925

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18

October 1925

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18

January 1926

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, Submarine Divisions 12 & 18

October 1926

Lieutenant Commander, Board of Inspection and Survey

January 1927

Lieutenant Commander, Board of Inspection and Survey

April 1927

Lieutenant Commander, Board of Inspection and Survey

October 1927

Lieutenant Commander, Board of Inspection and Survey


Class of 1911

William is one of 15 members of the Class of 1911 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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