From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Otto Kolb, Jr. '36

Date of birth: June 3, 1914

Date of death: February 28, 1942

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1936 Lucky Bag:


Otto was lost when HNLMS De Ruyter was sunk by a Japanese aerial torpedo during the Battle of the Java Sea February 28, 1942. He was aboard as a liaison officer for the (Dutch) commander of the Allied Striking Force. Previously, he had served aboard USS Houston (CA 30) until assigned to the staff on January 1, 1942.

His wife was listed as next of kin. She remarried after the war.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Otto Ferdinand Kolb, Jr. (NSN: 0-77161), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as Liaison Officer with the Commander Allied Striking Force, serving on Her Majesty's ship De RUYTER, in the defense of Java during the period 1 January 1942 to 27 February 1942. Lieutenant Kolb acted to establish and effect communications between the vessels of the Allied Forces and rendered valuable service in maintaining those communications under most difficult conditions during hotly contested action with enemy Japanese forces. The conduct of Lieutenant Kolb throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: January 1 - February 27, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Division: H.M.S. De Ruyter

Class of 1936

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