Military Wiki
Laurence Wild
30th Governor of American Samoa

In office
August 8, 1940 – June 5, 1942
Preceded by Jesse Wallace
Succeeded by John Gould Moyer
Personal details
Born May 1, 1890
Wilber, Nebraska
Died May 26, 1971(1971-05-26) (aged 81)
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Occupation Naval officer
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Captain
Laurence Wild

Laurence Wild (May 1, 1890 – May 26, 1971) was a United States Navy Captain, college basketball player and coach, and the 30th Governor of American Samoa from August 8, 1940, to June 5, 1942. Wild was born in Wilber, Nebraska,[1] and lived in the 4th Congressional District of Nebraska for much of his adult life.[2][3] He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1913; while there he played for the Navy Midshipmen men's basketball, and was named an 1913 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American.[4][5] He returned as head coach of the team for one year (1913–14), coaching for ten games and winning all of them.

While a Lieutenant commander, Wild served as a communications officer for Submarine Squadron 11.[6] President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt recommended Wild for the rank of Captain in 1939.[2]

During his governorship, a more complicated political structure arose in American Samoa when Brigadier general Henry Louis Larsen of the United States Marine Corps became Military Governor and Island Commander of Tutuila. Though Larsen outranked him and commanded the military on the island, Wild held the senior position, and ultimately maintained control over the administration of all the islands in American Samoa.[1] On March 13, 1941, Wild ordered the construction of an airfield on the main island.[1] He died in Coronado, California on May 26, 1971.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sorensen, Stan; Joseph Theroux (2007). "The Samoan Historical Calendar 1606-2007". Government of American Samoa. pp. 19; 107; 129. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 United Press International (14 December 1939). "Promotion Lists are Approved". Berkley Daily Gazette. Berkeley, California. p. 11.,3771475&dq=laurence-wild&hl=en. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  3. Official Register of the United States. 1. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1941. p. 79. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  4. "Navy Men's Basketball: A Tradition of Excellence". NavySports. CBS Sports. 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  5. "Division I Consensus All-American Selections". Award Winners. NCAA. 2008. pp. 134. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  6. Lockwood, Charles; Hans Christian Adamson (2004). Tragedy at Honda. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. x. ISBN 1-59114-467-1. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 

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