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officer's date of commission = Pay Entry Base Date?

May 5 2009 at 8:19 AM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Re: Graduation;

Mark and anyone else:

My hope is that we're getting to the end of the matter, but I do wish to reply to two of the postings made by Mark, dated April 29 and 30, 2009. He provided USNA graduation data on the later commanders of the Asiatic Fleet's DesRon 29 and its constituent divisions, DesDivs 57, 58, and 59, and reminded the forum that at least two of these officers had been graduated early from the Naval Academy for fleet needs during the First World War, viz.:

Herbert Victor Wiley graduated with the class of 1915.
Paul Hopkins Talbot was commissioned in 1918 (one year early).
Thomas Howell Binford was commissioned in 1919 (one year early).
Edwin Mason Crouch graduated with the class of 1921.
Edward Nelson Parker graduated with the class of 1925.

The information that I found in various editions of the Navy Register agrees with all of that information, with one exception: Herbert V. Wiley. The date of commission is indicated in most instances by the Pay Entry Base Date (PEBD), but given that the Register's format seems to have been in a state of constant change, this date may be found in the main entry for each officer in some editions, but as part of the rear index of officers' names in other editions. The Pay Entry Base Dates are specified so for the officers under discussion:

Herbert Victor Wiley, May 10, 1911 (does not agree with Mark's info, but yes, I checked more than one edition to confirm this date; Wiley b. May 16, 1891)
Paul Hopkins Talbot, June 7, 1918 (agrees with Mark's info)
Thomas Howell Binford, June 7, 1919 (agrees with Mark's info)
Edwin Mason Crouch died in 1945, and his name no longer appears in postwar Registers.
Edward Nelson Parker, June 4, 1925 (agrees with Mark's info)

If in each case the PEBD is the date of commission of these officers, then there is a four-year discrepancy in the case of Herbert V. Wiley. It may be that the rule changed, and once upon a time the PEBD was when the person became a midshipman, or when he enlisted in the navy for those men appointed from the ranks. But IMO, unless some other explanation is provided--and if so, I welcome it--Wiley graduated and/or was commissioned in May 1911. Mark?

Of interest, the data on Thomas Murray Stokes, ComDesDiv 10 and Parker's boss aboard CUSHING (DD 376) during the naval battle of Guadalcanal--after which both officers were awarded the Navy Cross (Parker's third)--appears to be unclear and to need clarification.

Stokes supposedly graduated the USNA in the class of 1921, but his Pay Entry Base Date is given as January 26, 1922, and he was commissioned, so 'tis claimed, on June 3, 1922. Such a late graduation may have been due to illness, and of course, a very infective and high mortality strain of influenza was devastating the world's populations at that time. If those dates are correct, what might Stokes have been doing between January and June 1922, i.e., before he was commissioned? It only gets better....

Stokes was promoted to rear admiral on August 1, 1948, and retired in July 1952. The odd thing is that his name is nested in an array of rear admirals promoted to vice admiral on the retired list on the basis of a medal for valor previously awarded. But in Stokes's case only, he is indicated as a vice admiral as his highest rank in active service, with NO notation that he was promoted to that rank because of his Navy Cross (he is indicated as a Navy Cross recipient in all previous editions of the Navy Register). Odder yet is that the date of Stokes's highest rank in active service, specified as vice admiral, is August 1, 1948, the date he was promoted to rear admiral. Very confusing. Explanation anyone?


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  • a last thought - Nelson on May 5, 2009, 4:09 PM
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