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World War 1 at Sea



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Seaman Earnest Crammer, lost when collier USS Cyclops disappeared after March 4, 1918 (US Naval Historical Center)

return to World War 1, 1914-1918
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Links to United States Navy in World War 1


- Rise to Global Parity, 1900-1922
- Fleets and Stations, early 1917
- World War 1 and Major Ship Lists in outline

Those Who Served
- Navy, Coast Guard & Marine Corps Casualties
- Medal of Honor, 1915-1918
- Officer Ranks and Enlisted Man's Rates

- Flag Officers, 1914-1918

Organisation and Technology

- Bureau of Yards & Yards, 1917-1918

- Development of Warship Armour

Contemporary Accounts
- Victory at Sea by R. Adm William Sims
- On the Coast of France: US Naval Forces in French Waters
- US Marine Corps in the World War
- Chronology of U.S. Marine Corps in the World War

- Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1-era, includes references to USN ships escorting North Atlantic convoys, river gunboat operations in China etc


Casualties by Name, includes US Coast Guard, with next of kin and  appointment/enlistment information

Abbate-Ayers, Babb-Byxbee, Cads-Cygan, D'Abreu-Dykeman, Eades-Ezell, Faas-Furrer, Gadberry-Gwin, Haag-Hyre, Ide-Justesen, Kaaukea-Kynock, La Combe-Lyons, MacDonald-Mytro, Nachtmann to Nyros, O'Rourke-Quota, Raasch-Ryrie, Sabol-Szyrowinski, Taber-Von Schrader, Wachalac-Zwieseland

Background to US Navy Casualties

by Date & Ship/Base, includes US Coast Guard, may include more information on causes of death
1914-17 to March 1917
1917 April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
1918 January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
Casualties by Branch of Service by Date
Naval Aviation - Medics on Western Front - Submariners


Casualties by Name integrated with US Navy lists above
Background to US Coast Guard Casualties
by Date & Ship 1917 to 1918, also integrated with US Navy lists above


Casualties by Name Abbot-Fuqua, Gabel-Myers, Nachant-Zyglarski Background to US Marine Corps casualties
by Date & Unit 1917 to 1918, up to 1921

by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

Having lived and worked in the United States and with an American-born son living there, I have long wanted to honour the United States Navy in the same way I have tried to do for the Royal Navy (and indeed other Navies of the World). The planned projects are still coming to fruition, but one of them has - US Navy and Coast Guard men and women lost in World War 1. As my own father was killed in action with the Royal Navy in 1943, my aim is also to honour those lost in the service of their Navies.

Don Kindell, an American researcher who has contributed so much to Naval-History.Net, has uniquely compiled all Royal Navy and Royal Marine casualties from before 1914 to the present. Royal Navy historians and enthusiasts owe him a great deal. I hope this compilation of US Navy and Coast Guard casualties goes a little way to repaying him.
Scope and Sources
The majority of casualties listed are from the period April 1917 to November 1918 when the USA was formally at war. However, it has been possible to identify others lost in the years 1914-1917; an incomplete, but nevertheless representative list.
There are two main sources of information, both original US Government Printing Office publications. I am grateful to Don Kindell for locating the first, and to the US Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security, for supplying a copy of the second:

"Officers and Enlisted Men of the United States Naval Service Who Died During the World War", prepared by the Bureau of Navigation of the Navy Department, 1920
"United States Coast Guard Roll of Honor, April 6, 1917 to November 30, 1918", supplement to Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1919

For casualties in the period before April 1917, a variety of sources have been used, all from the internet, including the US Naval Historical Center, New York Times Archives, and On Eternal Patrol.

All images, unless otherwise stated, are courtesy the US Naval Historical Center or US Coast Guard: the actual contributor is noted where this information is given. It is believed that all those used are in the public domain, but if I have made any mistakes, please let me know.
The majority of ship information is from the US Naval Historical Center (NHC), Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS), US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

I am very grateful to all these sources. I also apologise for any scanning errors I have failed to pick up.
A Special Note on the Influenza Pandemic and Causes of Death
It is very sad to realise that the majority of US Navy casualties came about because of this dreadful event. Young men, many in their teens, joined the Navy, most no doubt to find adventure and travel the world, only to die, often within weeks of joining, in a Stateside hospital. Because of the impact of the pandemic, the main stages have been included in the date list, mainly from the "Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy, 1919 - Miscellaneous Reports, Influenza".

Note that even before the 1918 influenza pandemic and the respiratory disease deaths it often led to, many men died from those same non-influenza-linked, respiratory diseases that were common in those days, such as pneumonia.

Those who were not lost in action, died from a variety of illnesses and diseases, by accident and in some cases by their own hands. Rather than intrude on their privacy and that of their families, then and now, the actual causes are not identified. Instead, the general terms illness/disease or died or accident have been used. The only exception are deaths due to influenza or related respiratory diseases, so that the scale of losses from these causes can be appreciated. Recorded details of the causes of death can be found by locating the US Navy's "Officers and Enlisted Men" publication through an internet search.

Abbreviations and Comments
Main abbreviations are A - Aviation, F - Female, G - General, JG - junior grade, NNV - National Naval Volunteers, R - Radio, USNRF - US Naval Reserve Force, USNRC - United States Naval Reserve Corps.

When  information differs, the source is identified as the original Bureau of Navigation publication (BN), US Naval Historical Center (NHC), or Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

Sources frequently refer to World War 1 warships as BB for battleship, DD for destroyer, SS for submarine etc. The only abbreviations generally in use at this time were ID for Identification Number and SP for Section Patrol - respectively merchant ships and usually small civilian vessels taken into Naval service. The USN codes we are familiar with did not come into use until around 1920.

Especially when referring to naval bases, air stations and naval hospitals, different titles are used in the original Bureau of Navigation publication, often, it is believed for the same establishment. The same sometimes goes for the use of the terms Naval and Navy. Far more research is needed to clarify these establishments and so the original listings are used.

Duplicated Entries and Original Errors
By collecting the Bureau of Navigation lists into a database and sorting them by name and date, it has been possible to identify duplications and correct other surname errors. The duplicated names and surname errors are listed here, the rest of the corrections incorporated into the text:
ARTHUR, Rolland Bettisworth, Carpenter's Mate, 2nd class, USNRF, should read BETTISWORTH, Arthur Rolland
BONEY, Lucious Wimbric, Apprentice Seaman, also as RONEY
BEDDING, Orville Bradford, Seaman, 2nd class, also as REDDING
CONWAY, Otho Basil, landsman for Electrician (R) should probably be CONAWAY (father's name)
FALLETT, Ernest Linwood, Chief Machinist's Mate, USNRF, also as PALLETT
GERDON, Edward LeRoy, Apprentice Seaman, USNRF, also as GORDON
GORDON, Edward LeRoy, Apprentice Seaman, USNRF, also as GERDON
KAAUKEA, Herman, Musician, 2nd class, also as LAAUKEA
LAAUKEA, Herman, Musician, 2nd class, also as KAAUKEA
LEQUIN, Maurice Lentilhon, Ensign, USNRF (Officers list), also as Yeoman, 2nd class (Enlisted list)
MASSEE, Needham Jerome, Machinist's Mate, 2nd class, USNRF, also as NEEDHAM, Jerome Massee
MICKUM, Martin Wilem, Seaman, 2nd class, USNRF, also as NICKUM, Martin Wilen
NEEDHAM, Jerome Massee, Machinist's Mate, 2nd class, USNRF, should read  MASSEE, Needham Jerome
NICKUM, Martin Wilen, Seaman, 2nd class, USNRF, also as MICKUM
PALLETT, Ernest Linwood, Chief Machinist's Mate, USNRF,  also as FALLETT
REDDING, Orville Bradford, Seaman, 2nd class, also as BEDDING
RONEY, Lucious Wimbric, Apprentice Seaman, also as BONEY
ROSS, Bruce W, Machinist (Officers list), also as ROSS, Bruce Wallace, Chief Machinist's Mate (Enlisted list)
THOMA, Carl Robert, landsman for Electrician (R) should probably be THOMAS (father's name)
THOMA, John Phillip, landsman for Machinist's Mate (A) should probably be THOMAS (father's name)



From 6 April 1917  to 10 September 1919, 131 officers and 3,489 enlisted men died, a total of 3,620 Marine Corps deaths from all causes.

The casualty lists in Naval-History.Net include some 1715 names from 17 January 1917 to 23 September 1921.


Most of the deaths are those recorded by the American Battle Monuments Commission in War Cemeteries and Memorials located in France.

Other sources for this incomplete list include Arlington Cemetery and State's lists from California, Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin

We are grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission and Library of Congress for use of the images.

USMC Casualties Missing from these Lists
by Don Kindell

At the end of the First World War, 75,640 United States Dead were buried in Europe. This included all services: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Ambulance Services, YMCA, and others.

In January 1920, a plan was advanced by the U.S. Congress to bring all the American Dead home. This was projected to cost some $8,000,000. Immediately, a movement was mounted by parents of the Dead to allow them to rest in peace. The plan was scaled down to returning 45,000 and this was reduced further as time went on.

To further the pain of the survivors, there were reports of funeral directors and funeral homes profiteering from this movement. This misconduct affirmed many families not to have their dead returned. Measures were put into place to assure the remains would go only to the funeral directors of the familiesí choice.

The steamship MERCURY arrived in the United States in April 1920 with 353 bodies (all but 80 who had been buried in France). Once the movement began in earnest some 2000 bodies reportedly arrived per week. In September 1920, 6281 bodies arrived in one transport.

When steamship WHEATON arrived at Hoboken, New Jersey, on 18 May 1921 with 5212 bodies (2800 received from Cherbourg and 1000 more from Antwerp) the total of dead was brought to 23,000. WHEATON made two other trips in 1921 carrying some 7600 dead.
CANTIGNY brought 2804 more in two trips in the fall of 1921.

This serves to explain the relatively "few" American graves in Europe, considering the sacrifices made.

The number of Dead repatriated was approximately 33,400 from all services or some 44 percent of the total buried in Europe.

According to the American Battle Monuments Commission - "The Commission records do not include the roster of those World War I Dead whose remains were returned to the U.S. for permanent interment."

Therefore an unknown number of Marine Corps dead (a rough estimate suggests at least 1,500) are NOT included in the casualty lists, even though some are noted as having been repatriated on the SS Catigny (5) and SS Wheaton (27).

The U.S. Marine Corps University Archives at St. Quantico, VA might be able to advise.

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revised 8/11/13