JAMES M. TODD, MIDN, USN
James Todd '54
Date of birth: 1835
Date of death: December 30, 1855
The Lucky Bag was first published in 1894.
Life & Loss
Unable to find any details of his life or loss, except that it was on December 30, 1855, at Brooklyn, New York. He was 20 years old. (Copy of death notification found has no other information, except that he was survived by an "Uncle S C S Parsons of 39 Monroe Place Bklyn.")
James Madison Todd, of Massachusetts was one of six members of the [entering] class of 1851 who "were advanced and permitted to complete the course in three years."
Acting Midshipman, 2 October, 1851. Midshipman, 10 June, 1854. Died 30 December, 1855.
Memorial Hall Error
James is listed as an Ensign; however, this rank did not exist until 1862. He was a Midshipman.
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.
Midshipman, Steam Frigate San Jacinto