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John Boal '37

Date of birth: January 8, 1914

Date of death: August 5, 1942

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:


John was lost on August 5, 1942, when his scout aircraft crashed near Japan. He was a member of Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 9, flying from USS Boise (CL 47). Boise was performing a raid to divert Japanese attention from the operations around Guadalcanal.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

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.

September 1937

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Francis Maher, Jr. '35, ENS Thomas Shriver '35, and ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36

January 1938

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Francis Maher, Jr. '35, ENS Thomas Shriver '35, and ENS Jud Yoho, Jr. '36

July 1938

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: ENS Francis Maher, Jr. '35, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, and ENS John Kelley '38

January 1939

Ensign, USS Memphis

Others at this command: LTjg Francis Maher, Jr. '35, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, and ENS John Kelley '38

October 1939

Ensign, USS Talbot

Others at this command: LCDR Max Stormes '24

November 1940

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Others at this command: LCDR George Grove '15, CDR William Sample '19, LT Finley Hall '29, LT John Yoho '29, LT William Pennewill '29, LT Lance Massey '30, LT Albert Major, Jr. '32, LT Daniel Gothie '32, LT Dewitt Shumway '32, LT George Bellinger '32, LT John Spiers '32, LT Martin Koivisto '32, ENS Frank Peterson '33, LTjg John Phillips, Jr. '33, LTjg Charles Ware '34, LTjg Charles Brewer '34, CAPT Floyd Parks '34, LTjg Frank Whitaker '34, LTjg George Nicol '34, LTjg Philip Torrey, Jr. '34, LTjg Walker Ethridge '34, LTjg Allan Edmands '35, LTjg John Powers '35, LTjg Richard Stephenson '35, LTjg Victor Gadrow '35, LTjg Porter Maxwell '36, LTjg Roy Krogh '36, LTjg Frank Henderson, Jr. '37, LTjg John Thomas '37, LTjg Richard Hughes '37, ENS Alphonse Minvielle '38, ENS Carl Holmstrom '38, ENS Charles Anderson '38, ENS Charles King '38, ENS Charles Reimann '38, ENS Curtis Howard '38, ENS Donald Smith '38, 2LT Douglas Keeler '38, ENS Edmundo Gandia '38, ENS Eric Allen, Jr. '38, ENS Frank Quady '38, ENS Frank Case, Jr. '38, ENS Harry Bass '38, ENS Harry Howell '38, ENS Howard Clark '38, ENS Howard Fischer '38, ENS James Ginn '38, 2LT James Owens '38, ENS Jep Jonson '38, ENS John Kelley '38, ENS John Erickson '38, 2LT John Maclaughlin, Jr. '38, ENS John Eversole '38, ENS Leonard Thornhill '38, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, ENS Osborne Wiseman '38, ENS Oswald Zink '38, ENS Richard Crommelin '38, ENS Robert Seibels, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, ENS Roy Hale, Jr. '38, ENS William Brady '38, ENS William Tate, Jr. '38, and ENS William Lamberson '38

April 1941

Lieutenant (j.g.), Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 8, USS Brooklyn

Others at or embarked at USS Brooklyn: LTjg Arthur Newman '34 (USS Brooklyn), ENS Burton Hanson '40 (USS Brooklyn), ENS Donald Bried '40 (USS Brooklyn), ENS John Keough '40 (USS Brooklyn), and ENS Walter Shrout '41 (USS Brooklyn)

Class of 1937

John is one of 48 members of the Class of 1937 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.