(1945 Train Crash Obituary) Royalton WAVE Victim of North Dakota Wreck

Royalton Officer One of 34 Fatalities in N. Dakota Train Wreck

Lt. (jg) Adda Jane Patterson, of the WAVES, a former Middletown school teacher, became the third woman from this immediate vicinity to lose her life in the service of our country.

The Navy Department last night said she was one of the three more persons just identifies who were among the 34 killed in last Thursday night's collision of two sections of the Empire Builder, crack Great Northern Railway train, at Michigan, ND.

A daughter of a well-known Upper Royalton grocer, William C. Patterson, and Mrs. Patterson, the WAVE officer recently has been on special Field Service assignments and was on her way to Seattle, Wash., according to her sister, Mrs. John Rhinesmith.

Lieutenant Patterson was traveling with three other Navy officers assigned to Field Service work, all of whom were killed.  They were Mrs. Adelaide McManus, New York City; Ens. Rose Ellen Wilson, Los Angeles, and Lt. (jg) L. S. Stuller, Seattle, Wash.

She recently had served similar assignments in Boston and New York and prior to that was attached to the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. 

A graduate of Middletown High School and Bucknell University, she received her Master of Arts degree from Columbia University before accepting a position as a science teacher at Middletown High School, where she taught for six years before she entered the WAVES as an officer candidate in January, 1943.

Following her graduation from the WAVE Officers' School at Smith College in March of the same year, she was commissioned an ensign and was assigned to the WAVE Training School at Milledgeville, Ga., as a company commander.  She received her promotion to a lieutenant, junior grade, in May, 1944.  She went to Norfolk to take a course in radar before she was assigned to the Research Department in Washington.

Scholastic Honors

While at Bucknell she became a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, a national mathematical honor fraternity.  She was also a member of the Middletown Church of God and was a Past Matron of the Middletown Chapter of the Eastern Star.

Mrs. Rhinesmith, whose husband is a Navy chaplain stationed in Nevada and who now is residing at the home of her parents in Royalton, said the family last heard from Lieutenant Patterson just before she left for the West Coast.