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WWI Naval Aviator #660

WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343192014000
Classification: Query
I need help finding information on my WWI relative, Edward T. Garvey, US Navy, Aviator #660. He was awarded the Navy Cross and also received commendation for the rescue of the crew of a downed seaplane. He was stationed out of Wexford, Ireland.

He reportedly graduated from Darmouth 1918, was in the naval aviator training programs at MIT and Pensacola.

Since he didn't officially retire until 1957, I can't send for his service records until 2019. He doesn't have any direct descendents. I haven't been able to find much that I can use since I don't know when he was stationed and where.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343457783000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1343471488000
I see where you have been at geneology a long time from your profile. I can safely assume and something I don't like to do. (1.) You did a General Search and a Military Search on him. (2.) You have got in touch with NARA. (A.)By Internet (B.) E-Mailed National office or E-mailed or called a local office in your area. (3.) Called and visited your local Veterans Adminastration office.

I highly recommend if you have not done those. Please do. I know you have a world of experience. Much more than me in most cases. You have to find out as much info as you know. The More info in. The more info out. Not to talk down to you.

This is the best advice I can offer you if you have not done them already.

I would also like to add. If he graduated Darmouth in 1918. It is according to when he graduated. If it was in June or july. I think you might want to check WW2. WW1 ended 11 Nov 1918. They were definately aware that it was just a matter of time. If it was in January if they graduatte in January. Then it could very well be possible. He definately would have had to have some training; but threy were much in need of good Pilots. It would be according to his experience.

The Navy Cross was instituted on Feb 4, 1919 and was retroactive back to 6 Apr 1917. It was at that time given out not only for heroism in Combat; but other distiguish acts of valor not connected with combat.

It was only awarded for combat after 7 Aug 1942. It had to be and act of valor associated with combat.

I wanted to ask you; because I am use to MIT the Massachusets Institute of Technology; but not in Pensacola. What university was it or and I am not trying to be funny; but they are very famous for Management training in Pensacola also. They Give out degrees in Management training.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343499576000
Classification: Query
Thank you very much. When I asked for any suggestions I meant it. I will make sure that I do everything on your list.

I'm not that experienced at doing military research. I've done enough I was able to verify that there was a training program at MIT, after which aviators then went to Pensacola for training. I read that they had to go through (as many as) three training programs before they could become a naval aviator.

Cmdr. Eddie was aviator #660. Pensacola has a memorial wall for WWI naval aviators but it doesn't include all of them because their numbers were never "collected" in a central location. The Navy started to do that but, at the beginning of WWII, the collection of WWI naval aviators record stopped... more important things to deal with at that point. Eddie is not on the Pensacola wall.

Eddie was stationed in Wexford and I think I read that the base in Wexford was opened in May 1918; so the acts for which he received that commendation and then they Navy Cross must've happened within a short span of time (6-months). The station at Wexford was responsible for patrolling for submarines to keep them out of the harbor. Eddie's Navy Cross was for "bombing enemy submarines from an aeroplane".

Eddie is buried at Arlington National Cemetery but he's not in the national database because he died before 1978 (other national cemeteries have data before that date but apparently Arlington doesn't).

As for Dartmouth, he was a "member of the class of 1918" -- so that may not necessarily mean 'graduated".

I had a contact check Pensacola for me; that's how I know Eddie's not on the wall. We're lucky that we even have his aviator number. I've also contacted Arlington National Cemetery but haven't heard back yet. I'm trying to verify the information that I have first.

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your reply.


Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343519094000
Classification: Query
He might have dropped out in very early 1918. Being he was going into the war. He certainly would have left in good standing as many men probably heeded the call and left college. He also might have graduated in Jan 1918 and went into the Navy. He would have went in as an officer applying todays standards; but that is only speculation.

Did you also do the following: Check with Dartmouth and their records. They would have him listed. Please call your local VA and see what they can tell you. If he is not buried in Arlington and you find the cemetary. They generally have records of possibly what Funeral Parlor handled the burial and if the Govt. paid any of the expenditures. You could get info from that.

There is an internet. I am not sure if they handle United States Servicemen or not; but anyone who died in the military. You can look them up on thar internet. If i find it. I will either check it out or let you know. you don't have to answer if you don't want to ubless you have something to add to this.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343579109000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1343579689000
You probably have this info.
1. Garvey, Edward T. 2. Rank- Ensign 3. WW1 4. Reason- Naval Aviation. 5. USN (R) (I think this means United States Navy Retired or Reserves.) If it does.

It means he got home okay and was not killed unless he was called back up or was in WW2 and met some fatality.

As we are learning today you can be called back up especially if you were in the National Guard or Drafted (Conscription would be equal to this I think.) and the terms of your agreement with the Armed Forces or military.

You did not putin his rank or if he was retired. I found this info and thought you might like it. If you didn't have it.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343584038000
Classification: Query
I got a copy of his obituary.

He enlisted in the Navy in April, 1917. His Navy Cross was awarded (when he served in a WWI seaplane squadron) for countering submarines in St.Georges Channel and Irish Sea port approaches.

The next part I had incorrect, thinking it was WWI. Eddie was attached to the USS Shawmut, 1920, and received special commendation from the Force Commander for "effecting a rescue at sea of the crew of a sinking flying boat #4312 "making a perfect landing in a bad sea where two planes had already come to grief."" This was when the Atlantic Fleet Air Force was moving from Philadelphia to Guantanamo, Cuba.

He resigned his commission after that, then rejoined the Navy at the start of WWII. He served on staff at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, General Court Martial Boards at Terminal Island, San Pedro, and the Hawaiian Sea Frontier.

He left the Navy in 1946 and retired from the Naval Reserve as a Commander in 1957.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343605166000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1343642872000
I am not trying to be funny. You seem to have most of his military career intact. You know the basic facts about most of his career. The only thing missing would be (1.) actual documents from the Navy backing this up. That would be letters from the military stating this. (2.) The medals he was awarded.

You said that you could not get his file untill a certain time. The most important thing here: (1.) Was he married . (2.) Is the waiting period for his Service File; because it has not yet become a situation where unles you are a relative or not a certain relative. You are not entitled too or can't get that file.

I would imagine that the Naval Cross was awarded for (1.) Fighting off Submarines because of military equipment that was supposed to be unloaded there and he would attack enemy sub marines who wanted to destroy those ships. (2.) These might be trooop ships during WW1 either bringing troops over or taking wounded and surviving troops home.

He got the Navy Cross definately in WW1 and it was for Aviation.

The commendation for the saving of lives off or around Cuba was because a Flying Boat or Seaplane had crashed for some reason and an attempt by two other Sea Planes had failed and he was successful.

I am no Navy man; but I would say they had to be in very rough waters or this was a place where they trained troops and something is not being said about what really happened. It might have been inexperienced pilots who tried and were in the first two seaplanes; but i doubt that the Navy would purposely send inexperienced pilots to do the recue unless that was all they had at the time or the other two took it upon themselves; because they were on a training mission and the plane for some reason crashed and inexperienced or experienced pilots took it upon themselves to save them and it was very rough waters and terrain along a shoreline and they failed to do it while on a training mission.

I would suggest you check with and there is probably a memorial in Ireland to the various troops who served during that time. In Europe most of the places were very grateful to there own men who fought and to the allies who gave their lives or those who participated in the war. They might have a special section for those men who died on their soil and probably a memorial along the coast where the actual fighting took place.

The American Govt. with the approval of the country may have been granted land to commemorate a portion for there dead and a line of crosses and or a memorial to the wounded and those who fought.

Use the internet and put in "WW1 St George Chanel Ireland; WW1 United States Naval Air Force St. George Island Ireland, WW1 United States Navy Airmen awarded the Navy Cross.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343693656000
Classification: Query
I didn't find anything online about a memorial in Ireland for American forces that protected the coast... just ones for Irish service men that died.

I did confirm that Eddie attended Dartmouth from 1914 to 1917. He did not graduate but is considered an alumnus.

Eddie did not have any children. He married a widow who had five children and he raised her children; as far as I know he did not adopt them.

What I initially knew about Eddie came from his stepson.

Thanks for your help.


Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1343716314000
Classification: Query
Your welcome.

Re: WWI Naval Aviator #660

Posted: 1344374664000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1344376553000
This was a most interesting thread and I gained so much from it. It will be lengthy but relevant. You could not really exclude all the history around it and that he was participating in military history and it evolved around a most important time. WW1 and the "Roaring twenties". I left out referencing some of the internet sources; because it is very easy for the subjects involved to be found on the internet.

The most important thing up to this time was a nations Naval control of the Seas and that was about to change.

Ensign Edward Thomas Garvey was assigned to the USS Shawmutt and everywhere in the Ensigns career from 1918 into the early twenties. The USS Shawmutt played a part.

The USS Shawmutt was a Minelayer and Sea Plane Tender. The original name was the OGALA and was comissioned the Massachusetts and redesigned as a minelayer and later to become a Seaplane tender. It was later named the USS Shawmutt and then changed back to the OGALA; because it sounded like another ship.

The Seaplanes were used as submarine spotters and were loaded and unloaded into a hangar within the Shawmutt. 1918 it was assigned as a part of the North Atlantic Fleet to St George Chanel in a Irish seaport and spent the entire time ther of WW1 laying mines and laid some 2,970 mines.

1918-Ensign Edward Thomas Garvey was awarded the "Navy Cross" as part of a Seaplane Squadron for countering Submarines in the St. George Chanel & the Irish sea port approaches.

1920 The USS Shawmutt was a part of the North Atlantic Fleet Force and was moving from Philadelphia to Guantanamo Cuba.

1920- Ensign Edward Thomas Garvey receives an accomendation from the Force Commander for effecting a rescue at sea of the crew of a sinking flyng boat #4312 making a safe landing where two planes had come to grief.

1 Nov 1920- Navy sinks from the air in experiments the USS Indiana (evidently retired and out of comission), Tangier Island, Va.

Sometime in 1920- General Billy Mitchel comander in the United States Army Air Corps. He believed that Air Forces had rendered Navies around the world obsolete or word's to that effect. Testified in front of Congress that 1'000 Bombartment Air planes can be built and operated for the price of one battleship and that a squadron of those bombers could sink a battleship and would be making more efficient use of the funds. THIS INFURIATED the Navy; but Mitchel was allowed to conduct a careful series of test alongside the Navy and the marines. (Ref. "Battleships" Wipkipedia.)

Feb 1921-With the help of Congress they agreed to a series of test to be conducted W/ the ARmy, Navy, Marine Air Corps.

The test were to be held May 27th, June 21st, July 13th, July 18th

The test were held.

26 June 1921 (Washington Post Page 3) "The Pilots of the three attacking planes were Lieuts: Campbell Keene, George E. Rumill & "Edward T. Garvey" who are among the most experienced of the Navy aviators".

In the test the Shawmutt was an a great part of it and General Billy Mitchel and some other commanders met aboard the Shawmutt.

In the test there were three or more ships sunk and a submarine; but for brevity. I will get to the point. From the internet sight and I typed in from a book written about the whole experience by Alfred Wilson Johnson USN Ret. "Naval Bombing Experiments off the Virginia Cape June & July 21st.

It led to many sights; but the most important sight was (V-C-U-S upper cased). There was aireal footage of the bombings of most of the ships in question and the footage of the crew.

The next sight was what I was looking for. The Naval Bombing Experiments of the Virginia Cape June & July 21st. They listed after some scrolling who was responsible for the bombings of most of the Sub and two other Boats. U117 Suubmarine, Frankfurt, Ostriesland and it was the biggest of the prizes and what Mitchell was looking for.

They had a list of several Navy, Army, and Marines who contributed. I will list for bevity only pertaining to Edward Thomas Garvey.

U117 Submarine- Ensign Garvey
Ostfriensland - Lt. Garvey (He was probably promoted for his work on the U-117 and because of his record (Navy Cross and accommendation).

There was muich history involved. They use a Radio device to help move the Ostfriesland for the first time in history . So that it could move on its own power. You can imagine what developed out of that for the military.

I couldn't even touch on all the enterplay between the Navy and Gen. Mitchell. Who laid out the future attack by the air of Japan and when it might take place and he wasn't far off in time. He even described what would be used. I thank you for this opportunity. Some of it I was aware of (Gen Mitchell). The minute I saw where he was bombing from the air. Gen. Mitchel came to mind. Edward Thomas Garvey retired a Lt. Commander. What a Life!!! Take care and God Bless and God Speed.

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