Difference between revisions of "RICHARD L. HELM, LCDR, USN"

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Richard Helm '39

Date of birth: June 12, 1917

Date of death: April 3, 1943

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:

1939 Helm LB.jpg

RICHARD L. HELM

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Blatz, Dick

"Rally round," and Blatz is on the spot. From the capital city of Pennsylvania, our whirl-wind of speech. Tutored in the political atmosphere of Harrisburg, he has become the Naval Academy's most consistent "bull sessionist"—and occasionally he passes out some good dope. His undaunting courage and will to win against surmounting odds have successfully carried him through his one major tussle with the Steam Department. Though one of the finer Spanish athletes of the Class of '39, he does find some time to devote to athletics. Blatz does not consistently drag, yet no hop would be complete without his beaming face. There never was a more congenial roommate, and we know he will be a success in whatever field of endeavor he chooses.

Manager Football 4, 3; Battalion Track; Reception Committee; 1 Stripe.

1939 Helm LB.jpg

RICHARD L. HELM

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Blatz, Dick

"Rally round," and Blatz is on the spot. From the capital city of Pennsylvania, our whirl-wind of speech. Tutored in the political atmosphere of Harrisburg, he has become the Naval Academy's most consistent "bull sessionist"—and occasionally he passes out some good dope. His undaunting courage and will to win against surmounting odds have successfully carried him through his one major tussle with the Steam Department. Though one of the finer Spanish athletes of the Class of '39, he does find some time to devote to athletics. Blatz does not consistently drag, yet no hop would be complete without his beaming face. There never was a more congenial roommate, and we know he will be a success in whatever field of endeavor he chooses.

Manager Football 4, 3; Battalion Track; Reception Committee; 1 Stripe.

Loss

Richard was lost when USS Pickerel (SS 177) was sunk by Japanese vessels north of Honshū on April 3, 1943.

His parents were listed as next of kin. He has a memory marker in Pennsylvania.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Richard Lintner Helm (NSN: 0-82729), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action in the performance of his duties in the U.S.S. PICKEREL (SS-177), during the first five War Patrols of that Submarine in enemy waters from 8 December 1941 to 26 August 1942. As Assistant Torpedo Data Computer Operator, his keen understanding of fire control equipment and proficiency in operating the Torpedo Data Computer were of invaluable assistance to his Commanding Officer in conducting successful attacks which resulted in the sinking of two enemy freighters, totaling 10,000 tons. His coolness and devotion to duty contributed directly to the success of his vessel in evading enemy countermeasures. His conduct throughout was an inspiration to the officers and men in his ship and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 03958 (May 12, 1945)
Action Date: December 8, 1941 - August 26, 1942
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant
Company: Assistant Torpedo Data Computer Operator
Division: U.S.S. Pickerel (SS-177)


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 1939
Ensign, USS Helena

June 1940
Ensign, USS Helena


Others at or embarked at this command:
LTjg Charles Brewer '34 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 5)
November 1940
Ensign, USS Roe
April 1941
Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut


Class of 1939

Richard is one of 78 members of the Class of 1939 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.