MAXIMILIAN G. SCHMIDT, CDR, USN

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Maximilian Schmidt '32

Date of birth: March 20, 1908

Date of death: January 5, 1944

Age: 35

Lucky Bag

From the 1932 Lucky Bag:

1932 Schmidt LB.jpg

MAXIMILIAN GMELICH SCHMIDT

Boonville, Missouri

"Mack" "Emp" "Dutch"

Back in the summer of nineteen twenty-eight a long-eared Missouri mule came galloping up to the Naval Academy gate and lo, there sat Mack as blithe and happy as when he left the Ozark Mountains back in old Missouri.

He began Plebe summer backed up by plenty of military experience and therefore went through the long hot months of training easily and entered "ac" year with his best foot forward. The end of Plebe year found Mack well up in his class and a member of the Plebe Intercollegiate Rifle Team. Having lost two roommates early in his life at the Academy, he decided to take no chances and acquired three all at once at the beginning of second class year. Mack has an affinity for wagers, but we know one "Bet" that was his downfall.

He is a steady, easy-going fellow who always has a ready smile for everyone, and fortunate will be those who are shipmates with him. His courage and determination plus an inexhaustible patience will enable him to go far in his chosen profession.

Rifle, 32; Plebe Soccer, 32; Lacrosse, 32; Choir; Musical Club; N. A. Ten; Lucky Bag Staff; 3 Stripes.


Maximilian was in charge of the Choir and a member of the Naval Academy Ten.

1932 Schmidt LB.jpg

MAXIMILIAN GMELICH SCHMIDT

Boonville, Missouri

"Mack" "Emp" "Dutch"

Back in the summer of nineteen twenty-eight a long-eared Missouri mule came galloping up to the Naval Academy gate and lo, there sat Mack as blithe and happy as when he left the Ozark Mountains back in old Missouri.

He began Plebe summer backed up by plenty of military experience and therefore went through the long hot months of training easily and entered "ac" year with his best foot forward. The end of Plebe year found Mack well up in his class and a member of the Plebe Intercollegiate Rifle Team. Having lost two roommates early in his life at the Academy, he decided to take no chances and acquired three all at once at the beginning of second class year. Mack has an affinity for wagers, but we know one "Bet" that was his downfall.

He is a steady, easy-going fellow who always has a ready smile for everyone, and fortunate will be those who are shipmates with him. His courage and determination plus an inexhaustible patience will enable him to go far in his chosen profession.

Rifle, 32; Plebe Soccer, 32; Lacrosse, 32; Choir; Musical Club; N. A. Ten; Lucky Bag Staff; 3 Stripes.


Maximilian was in charge of the Choir and a member of the Naval Academy Ten.

Loss

1932 Schmidt 1.jpg

Max was lost when USS Scorpion (SS 278) was sunk sometime after January 5, 1944. He had taken command on September 24, 1943 and successfully taken the boat on one war patrol before her loss.

His wife was listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Arlington National Cemetery.

From Find A Grave:

His loss left his widow, Elizabeth Hilliard Schmidt and two children: Elizabeth Anne Schmidt & Robert E. Schmidt. His parents, Max E. Schmidt and Louise Gmelich Schmidt are buried at the Walnut Grove Cemetery, Boonville, Cooper County, MO.

Career

From Fleet Organization:

  • Under Instruction Postgraduate School United States Naval Academy 1939
  • Duty USS Wichita (CA-45) 1 Oct 1939 - 1 Jul 1940
  • Duty USS Walke (DD-416) Aug 1940
  • Navigator USS S-32 (SS-137) 1 Nov 1940
  • Executive Officer USS S-32 (SS-137) 1 Jul 1941 - 1 Oct 1941
  • Captain USS S-32 (SS-137) 31 Oct 1941 - 2 May 1943
  • Captain USS Scorpion (SS-278) 23 Sep 1943 - Jan 1944
  • Lieutenant (j.g.) 2 Jun 1935
  • Lieutenant 23 Sep 1939
  • Lieutenant Commander (T) 15 Jun 1942
  • Commander (T) 18 Nov 1942

Wartime Service

Max was previously commanding officer of USS S-32 (SS 137) (October 1941 - May 2, 1943) for that boat's first five offensive war patrols.

From Find A Grave:

CDR Maximilian G. Schmidt, born 10 Mar 1909 in Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri, was a graduate of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. His record includes USS Wichita (CA-45) 1 Oct 1939 - 1 Jul 1940, USS Walke (DD-416) Aug 1940, Navigator USS S-32 (SS-137) 1 Nov 1940, Executive Officer USS S-32 (SS-137) 1 Jul 1941 - 1 Oct 1941, Captain USS S-32 (SS-137) 31 Oct 1941 - 2 May 1943, Captain USS Scorpion (SS-278) 23 Sep 1943 - Jan 1944.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Lieutenant Commander Maximilian Gmelich Schmidt (NSN: 0-71341), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. S-32 (SS-137), during the FOURTH War Patrol of that Submarine in waters adjacent to enemy occupied territory in the Northern Pacific during the period from 25 February 1943 to 20 March 1943. On 9 March 1943, Lieutenant Commander Schmidt pressed home a night surface attack on an enemy destroyer or mine layer and from close range, scoring one hit which caused a destructive fire on this vessel. His vessel was immediately counterattacked with depth charges by another vessel, but due to his coolness and skillful handling of his ship, he was able to retire with only superficial damage. On 13 March 1943, he made a successful night surface attack on an enemy submarine and on 15 March 1943, he made an additional successful submerged attack on another enemy submarine. His offensive action and his intrepidity, demonstrated by these attacks, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander North Pacific Force: Serial 0197 (April 10, 1943)
Action Date: March 9, 1943
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Commanding Officer
Division: U.S.S. S-32 (SS-137)

Silver Star

Unable to find the citation for the Silver Star he was awarded.

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.

October 1932
Ensign, USS California


Others at or embarked at this command: ENS John Shaffer, III '30 (Battle Force)
January 1933
Ensign, USS California

April 1933
Ensign, USS California

October 1935
Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

January 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cachalot

April 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24 and LT Elmer Buerkle '25
July 1936
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cachalot

January 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Cachalot

April 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Cachalot

September 1937
Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LTjg Thomas Williamson '32
January 1938
Lieutenant (j.g.), communications officer, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LTjg Thomas Williamson '32
July 1938
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
January 1939
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS R-2
October 1939
Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Wichita

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg William Kane '33 (Aviation Unit)
June 1940
Lieutenant, USS Wichita

Others at this command: ENS Thomas Roddy '40
November 1940
Lieutenant, USS S-32
April 1941
Lieutenant, USS S-32


Class of 1932

Maximilian is one of 52 members of the Class of 1932 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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