Below is a clipping of a 1942 military document detailing promotions of personnel. The column listing "service numbers" seems to specify them in an abbreviated fashion. Given that assumption and specifically for the first individual (Nicholas B. Van Bergen):

  • Can his full service number be ascertained from the number listed?
  • Once obtained, can his full service number be corroborated via another source online?

report of changes - officers

(full image here)

Update (for grins) : Canadian Girl Scout found a picture of the WWI USS Marblehead. While a great picture, it is not of the Marblehead mentioned above - apparently there were more than one. From the image she did post I was able to scan their archives to find the WWII light cruiser:

USS CL-12 Marblehead

(full image here)

2 Answers 2


If Nicholas van Bergen graduated from Annapolis in 1921 (as suggested by Canadian Girls Scout's source) then it is possible that 1360 is his full Service Number.

The numbers 501 to 999 were issued to officers serving post WWI and from 1920 to the outbreak of WWII, numbers issued were from 1,000 to 125,000 (as the Navy grew rapidly).

Since he was born in 1900, graduating in the Class of 21 is feasible and so he could have a four digit number.

Update: It appears that Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 305 (August 1942) contains the citation for his Navy Cross. I would be very surprised if that did not provide corroboration of his Service Number,

  • Wow, I hadn't considered that possibility. I can confirm he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1921, so it would seem that is his actual Service Number. Thanks!
    – fbrereto
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 1:00

I haven't been able to find what you're looking for (yet ;)

but I did find some cool photos of the USS Marblehead :D

enter image description here

Also, the name could sometimes be written "Van der Bergen" as it is here: Cdr. Nicholas Bauer Van der Bergen, USNA21 under the heading 'These are the sailors who were wounded in action and stayed with the USS Marblehead.'

  • Well that's odd -- it appears there is more than one Marblehead in the history of the US Naval Fleet. The above Marblehead would appear to be a WWI vessel, while the one referenced above is a WWII vessel. See: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Marblehead
    – fbrereto
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 0:27
  • Thanks for the updated link and reference to his name misspelled. What do you think "USNA21" means? He did go to the Naval Academy - is that his graduating class (1921?)
    – fbrereto
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 0:34
  • 3
    Not so odd! If there were only two Marbleheads, then you are very fortunate. In the Royal Navy, a ship's name may have been reused many times over the years. That is why it is essential to search for a name and a year when doing maritime research.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 0:35
  • 3
    @Fortiter Ohhhhh! Like the Starship Enterprise ;) Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 0:45

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