From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Bridge '47

Date of birth: March 30, 1825

Date of death: September 21, 1854

Age: 29


William King Bridge was lost sometime after September 21, 1854 when USS Porpoise (1836) disappeared between Formosa and China.

He was born in, and appointed to the Naval Academy from, Maine. He was born in Augusta, Maine.


From researcher Kathy Franz:

In 1850, William was home with his family in Jersey City, New Jersey. His father Edmond was a land agent, his mother was Ann, his brother was James, a lawyer, and his sisters were Hannah, Annie, Octavia and Clara. They were all born in Maine. In addition to his other ships, William served on the mail steamer Illinois in 1852. His brother James died in 1853, and in 1870, his sisters Hannah and Annie were high school teachers at St. Catherine’s Hall (the Episcopal School) in Augusta, Maine.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Midshipman, 14 January, 1841. Passed Midshipman, 10 August, 1847. Master, 1 March, 1855. Lost in Brig Porpoise, 21 September, 1854.

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 1842

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1843

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

October 1843

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1844

Midshipman, Frigate Columbia

Others at this command:

January 1846

Midshipman, Steamer Mississippi

January 1848

Passed Midshipman, Steamer Water Witch

January 1849

Passed Midshipman, leave of absence

January 1850

Passed Midshipman, Sloop Falmouth

Others at this command:

January 1851

Passed Midshipman, Sloop Falmouth

January 1852

Passed Midshipman, Sloop Falmouth

January 1853

Passed Midshipman, Steamer John Hancock

Others at this command:

January 1854

Passed Midshipman, Steamer John Hancock

Others at this command:

January 1855

Passed Midshipman, acting Lieutenant, commanding officer, Brig Porpoise

Others at this command:

Class of 1847

William is one of 32 members of the Class of 1847 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.