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Paul James Register
Paul J. Register.jpg
Paul J. Register as a midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, ca. 1920
Born (1899-11-05)November 5, 1899
Died December 7, 1941(1941-12-07) (aged 42)
Place of birth Bismarck, North Dakota
Place of death Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1921–1941
Rank Lieutenant Commander
Unit USS Florida (BB-30)
USS Truxtun (DD-129)
USS Shaw (DD-68)
USS George E. Badger (DD-196)
Commander, Destroyer Squadrons
USS Argonne (AP-4)
USS S-6 (SS-111)
USS Maryland (BB-46)
United States Naval Academy
Commander, Destroyers, Battle Force Pacific
USS Melville (AD-2)
Naval Recruiting Bureau, New York City
USS Arizona (BB-39)
Battles/wars World War II
*Attack on Pearl Harbor
Awards Purple Heart
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
American Defense Service Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Paul J. Register (1899–1941) was a United States Navy officer killed in action during the attack on Pearl Harbor for whom two U.S. Navy ships were named.


Paul James Register was born in Bismarck, North Dakota on 5 November 1899. He graduated from Bismarck High School in 1917 and from the United States Naval Academy in 1920 and was simultaneously commissioned as an ensign.

Register was assigned to the battleship USS Florida (BB-30) until 14 June 1921, when he was reassigned for engineering instruction aboard the destroyers USS Truxton (DE-229), USS Shaw (DD-68), and USS George E. Badger (DD-196). In August 1922 he was re-assigned to the Commander of Destroyer Squadrons aboard the armored cruiser USS Rochester (CA-2) as assistant to the squadron engineer officer until April 1923.

In 1923, Register reported to Submarine Base New London at New London, Connecticut, for instruction at the Submarine School. Promoted to the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, on 5 June 1923, he received orders to the transport USS Argonne (AP-4) at Cavite Naval Station in the Philippine Islands for temporary duty. In December 1923 he was assigned the submarine USS S-6 (SS-111) and served aboard her until 30 June 1927.

Register was promoted to lieutenant on 2 June 1927 just before transferring to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, for post-graduate studies and in May 1928 attended the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island. Lieutenant Register was assigned as gunnery officer aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB-46) in June 1929 until he was ordered to report to the U.S. Naval Academy as an instructor in 1932. From 1932 to 1934 he served as a gunnery instructor at the Naval Academy and continued his post graduate-work in law.

In May 1935, Register received orders to report to Rear Admiral Clark H. Woodward, Commander Destroyers, Battle Force Pacific, for duty as aide and flag lieutenant on his staff and continued to serve aboard destroyer tender USS Melville (AD-2) after Rear Admiral Woodward was relieved.

In May 1938 Register was assigned to the Navy Recruiting Bureau in New York City as a United States Naval Reserve instructor. During this assignment he continued to study law at Fordham University during evenings. He was promoted to lieutenant commander on 1 July 1939 and was assigned various postings as a Naval Reserve instructor in the State of New York.

On 20 March 1941, Register received notification for change of duty for assignment to the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39) as her communication officer. He reported for duty aboard Arizona in May 1941. He was killed in action when Arizona was sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 at the beginning of World War II.


Lieutenant Commander Register was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously in accordance with General Order No. 186 on 21 January 1943. Other awards he received posthumously were the American Defense Service Medal and the World War II Victory Medal on 31 October 1946 and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal on 22 June 1948.


The U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Register (DE-308) was named for Lieutenant Commander Register, but she was renamed USS Creamer (DE-308) while under construction in 1943.

The destroyer escort USS Register (DE-233) then was named for him. While under construction, she was converted into the high-speed transport USS Register (APD-92), and was in commission as such from 1945 to 1946.


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