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Adapted from "Captain David Bryan Young, United States Navy" [biography, not dated] in Biographies, 20th century collection, Navy Department Library.

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  • World War II 1939-1945
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David Bryan Young

8 May 1903 - 16 May 1962

David Bryan Young was born on 8 May 1903, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of David Paul and Mary Margaret (LaVenture) Young. He attended elementary schools and graduated from Soldan High School in ST. Louis. He attended, for one year, Washington University in St. Louis, before his appointment to the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1923. As a Midshipman he was a member of the Track team and Captain of the Varsity Soccer team in 1926. He was also selected to the All-American Soccer Team during his junior year. Graduated in upper fourth of his class, and commissioned Ensign on 2 June 1927, he subsequently advanced in rank until his promotion to Captain on 20 March 1945. 

After graduation in 1927, he served consecutively in the battleships West Virginia and Arkansas, and in the destroyer Litchfield. Detached from the latter in 1933, he then reported for flight training at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, and on 5 March 1934 was designated a Naval Aviator. He joined Scouting Squadron NINE attached to the cruiser Northampton. Between 1935 and 1938 he attended the US Naval Post Graduate School where he graduated first in his class after instruction in aviation ordnance engineering. Upon completing this schooling, he reported for duty with Fighting Squadron TWO, based aboard USS Lexington (CV-2).

At the outbreak of World War II, he was on duty in the Armament Division of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington, DC, and remained in this billet until February 1943. He then became Executive Officer of USS Prince William (CVE-31), operating in the Southwest Pacific Theater. When detached from that vessel, in January 1944, he joined the staff of the Commander, Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, as Chief Staff Officer. “For exceptionally meritorious performance of duty…” in that capacity he received the Navy Letter of Commendation with Combat “V” from the Commander-in-Chief, US Pacific Fleet. Returning to the United States in the summer of 1944 he was Officer-in-Charge of the Aviation Ordnance Section of the Bureau of Ordnance, Navy Department, until August 1945, when he assumed command of USS Takanis Bay (CVE-89), operating in the Western Pacific. 

From February 1946 to June 1947 he served in the Guided Missiles Section, Special Weapons Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, after which he joined the staff of Commander, FIRST Task Fleet as Plans and Operations Officer. In October 1948 he reported as Naval Deputy, Armed Forces Special Weapons Project, Sandia Base, Albuquerque, NM, and while there had further service as a member of the Special Weapons Development Board. In May 1951 he returned to the Navy Department as Naval Aide and Executive Assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. 

In the summer of 1952 he reported to USS Bennington (CVA-20) as Prospective Commanding Officer and subsequently took command of that vessel upon its re-commissioning in the Fall of 1952. In September 1953 he assumed duties as Commander, US Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California. While on an official trip to Washington, DC in 1954, he suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized at the Navy Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. Following his recovery and return to China Lake, he was retired with disability in June 1955, thus ending a career of 32 years of continuous active naval service. 

In the summer of 1955 he was employed by the General Electric Company as an Executive Consultant in several divisions of that company in Schenectady, NY, Philadelphia, PA., Santa Barbara, CA. and Washington, DC. 

On 16 May 1962 he suffered a fatal heart attack and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Published: Wed Feb 27 14:17:54 EST 2019