DAVID ZABRISKIE, JR., LCDR, USN

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David Zabriskie, Jr. '36

Date of birth: August 30, 1912

Date of death: June 1, 1944

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

From the 1936 Lucky Bag:


Loss

David was lost when USS Herring (SS 233) was sunk by a Japanese shore battery on June 1, 1944. He was commanding officer of the boat.

His wife was listed as next of kin. His daughter was born in 1939 but died when she was 3.

Career

From Fleet Organization:

  • Communications Officer USS Peary (DD-226) 1 Jul 1939 - 1 Nov 1940
  • Duty USS Tautog (SS-199) 23 Apr 1942 - 1943
  • Executive Officer USS Tautog (SS-199) 31 Mar 1943 - 1 Oct 1943
  • Captain USS Herring (SS-233) 6 Feb 1944 - 1 Jun 1944
  • Ensign 4 Jun 1936
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) 4 Jun 1939
  • Lieutenant (T) 1 Jan 1942
  • Lieutenant 30 Jun 1942
  • Lieutenant Commander (T) 1 May 1943

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Commander David Zabriskie, Jr. (NSN: 0-77048), United States Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy during SIX consecutive War Patrols of a United States Submarine during World War II, in which seventeen enemy vessels have been sunk or damaged. His courage and skill have, during these patrols, contributed greatly to the success of the ship in each attack made on the enemy. During these six patrols he performed duties as Navigator, Diving Officer, Assistant Approach Officer, and Officer-of-the-Deck. In all of these assignments his courage and ability were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 41
Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Navigator
Division: United States Submarine

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander David Zabriskie, Jr. (NSN: 0-77048), United States Navy, for gallantry and intrepidity in action in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. HERRING (SS-233) during the EIGHTH War Patrol of that Submarine in enemy waters from 16 May to 1 June 1944. Pursuing highly aggressive and tenacious tactics, despite extremely strong enemy countermeasures, he daringly penetrated escort screens to successfully launch well planned torpedo attacks against enemy ships. These highly successful attacks resulted in the sinking of a KAMIKAZE Class destroyer of 1,200 tons and a ISHIGAKI Class destroyer escort of 500 tons before overwhelming enemy counterattacks damaged his submarine so severely that she was unable to return to port. His conduct and courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 07500 (December 12, 1944)
Action Date: May 16 - June 1, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. Herring (SS-233)

Final Patrol of USS Herring

From UBoat.net:

16 May 1944
USS Herring (Lt.Cdr. D. Zabriskie, Jr.) departed from Pearl Harbor for her 8th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol of the Kuril Islands.

21 May 1944
USS Herring (Lt.Cdr. D. Zabriskie, Jr.) topped up with fuel at Midway.

31 May 1944 (position 48.00, 153.00)
USS Herring (Lt.Cdr. D. Zabriskie, Jr.) and USS Barb rendezvous in Sea of Okhotsk some 150 miles west of Matsuwa Island, Kurils, to plan operations against Japanese shipping in the vicinity.

Later that day Herring attacked a convoy sinking the Japanese frigate Ishigaki (860 tons, offsite link) and the Japanese army cargo ship Hokuyo Maru (1590 GRT) west of Matsuwa Island in position 48°00'N, 153°00'E.

1 Jun 1944 (position 48.00, 153.00)
USS Herring (Lt.Cdr. D. Zabriskie, Jr.) torpedoed and sank the Japanese troop transport Iwaki Maru (3124 GRT) and the Japanese merchant cargo ship Hiburi Maru (4366 GRT) off Matsuwa Island in position 48°00'N, 153°00'E. Unfortunately Herring is sunk by a Japanese shore battery after this attack.

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 1936

Ensign, USS New York

Others at this command: LT Douglas Smith '25, ENS Clark Hood, Jr. '35, ENS James Southerland, II '36, ENS John Hunter '36, ENS Joseph Evans '36, and ENS Richard Meyers '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Archibald Greenlee '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B) and ENS George Nicol '34 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

January 1937

Ensign, USS New York

Others at this command: LT Douglas Smith '25, ENS Clark Hood, Jr. '35, ENS James Southerland, II '36, ENS John Hunter '36, ENS Joseph Evans '36, and ENS Richard Meyers '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Archibald Greenlee '32 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B) and ENS George Nicol '34 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 1B).

April 1937

Ensign, USS New Orleans

Others at this command: LTjg Lion Miles '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT Hallsted Hopping '24 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 11S) and ENS Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Scouting Plane Squadron (VS) 11S).

September 1937

Ensign, USS New Orleans

Others at this command: LTjg Lion Miles '31 and ENS Oliver Ramsey '37.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Clyde McCroskey, Jr. '35 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6).

January 1938

Ensign, USS New Orleans

Others at this command: LTjg Lion Miles '31 and ENS Oliver Ramsey '37.

July 1938

Ensign, USS New Orleans

Others at this command: ENS Oliver Ramsey '37, ENS Harry Bass '38, and ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Dewitt Shumway '32 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 6).

January 1939

Ensign, USS Peary

October 1939

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Peary

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Gustafson '36.

June 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Peary

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Gustafson '36.

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Peary

Others at this command: LTjg Arthur Gustafson '36.

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Augusta

Others at this command: LTjg Kenneth Pound '37, ENS William Lamberson '38, ENS Carthel Smith, Jr. '40, and ENS Brewster Phillips, II '41.


Class of 1936

David is one of 39 members of the Class of 1936 on Virtual Memorial Hall.