Difference between revisions of "LUTHER WELSH, LTJG, USN"

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Luther Welsh '09

Date of birth: June 20, 1889

Date of death: November 8, 1916

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1909 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Luther was lost on November 8, 1916 when he and his pilot were "on an experimental bomb test flight at Naval Proving Ground, Indian Head, Maryland, were instantly killed by the premature explosion of a bomb in their plane."

He graduated number four in his class and was assigned initially to USS Missouri and later to USS North Dakota. "He was detailed to the Bureau of Ordinance for temporary instruction at George Washington University in 1911. Later he continued his course at various steel plants. In 1913 he was promoted to Lieutenant junior grade, and became aid on the staff of the command of the Third Division of the Atlantic fleet. He was assigned to duty at Indian Head in March this year."

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Related Articles

Clarence Bronson '10 was also lost in this incident.

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 1910

Midshipman, Missouri

January 1911

Midshipman, North Dakota

January 1912

Ensign, under instruction, Bureau of Ordnance

January 1913

Ensign, under instruction, Bureau of Ordnance

January 1914

Ensign, Virginia

Others at this command: LT Butler Rhodes '03.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Clarence Thomas '08 (West Virginia) and 2LT John Mayer '13 (Marine Barracks, Norfolk, Virginia).

January 1915

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Virginia

Others at this command: LT John Wilcox, Jr. '05.

January 1916

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Virginia

Others at this command: LT John Wilcox, Jr. '05 and ENS Ryland Tisdale '15.


Class of 1909

Luther is one of 10 members of the Class of 1909 on Virtual Memorial Hall.