ANDREW B. HAMM, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Andrew Hamm '39

Date of birth: September 16, 1917

Date of death: July 28, 1945

Age: 27

Lucky Bag

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Andrew was lost when his SB2C-4E Helldiver was shot down over Kure, Japan, on July 28, 1945.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Andrew Britte Hamm (NSN: 0-82340), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber of Bombing Squadron ONE (VB-1), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), and deployed over Kure, Japan, on 24 July 1945. While flying a dive bomber plane, Lieutenant Commander Hamm pressed home his attack in the face of intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire from enemy warships and shore batteries and scored a direct bomb hit on an enemy aircraft carrier in the heart of the Japanese homeland. At the time, he was the leader of his squadron's phase of the overall Task Force attack on a concentration of Japanese battleships, heavy and light cruisers, aircraft carriers and numerous smaller war craft in the Kure Naval Base harbor. Under his skillful direction and determined leadership, his squadron contributed materially to the outstanding success of the Task Force attack. His heroic conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 24-Jul-45
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 1 (VB-1)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Andrew Britte Hamm (NSN: 0-82340), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Dive Bomber of Bombing Squadron ONE (VB-1), attached to the U.S.S. BENNINGTON (CV-20), and deployed over Kure, Japan, on 28 July 1945. While flying a Navy dive bomber plane in which, in the face of one of the heaviest anti-aircraft barrages ever encountered over the Japanese homeland, Lieutenant Commander Hamm pressed home his attack to a very low altitude above the target, released his bomb and scored a direct hit on an enemy aircraft carrier. At the time he was the leader of his Dive Bombing Squadron in its attack on Japanese battleships, heavy and light cruisers, aircraft carriers and smaller warships in the heavily defended Kure Naval Base harbor of the island of Honshu. His own damaging bomb hit and his leadership of the attack in the face of the intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire of the ship and shore batteries contributed materially to the success of the overall attack by the Task Force. His determination and heroic conduct were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: 28-Jul-45
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 1 (VB-1)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander Andrew Britte Hamm (NSN: 0-82340), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 14 July 1945 as the leader of ten dive bombing planes which carried spotting officers for the first surface bombardment of the Japanese homeland by battleships and cruisers of the United States Navy. The bombardment was directed against major industrial targets on the island of Honshu in the heart of Japan. For two hours he circled over the target area of Kamaishi in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire from ships in the harbor and camouflaged shore batteries thereby placing his spotter in the most advantageous positions from which to direct the salvos of battleships and cruisers. At times he flew so low his plane barely cleared the hilltops. His leadership, determination and skillful airmanship on this occasion were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 14, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 1 (VB-1)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lieutenant Commander Andrew Britte Hamm (NSN: 0-82340), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight on 18 July 1945 when he nominated himself to fly as the leader of a division of bombers which dived last in an attack on an enemy battleship in the Yokosuka Naval Base in the heart of the Japanese homeland. In taking this action, he placed himself in a position from which to make the most accurate observations of the damage done by planes preceding him in the attack. By the same token his division became the target of the most accurate of the intense heavy and medium anti-aircraft fire of warships and shore batteries. In the face of this withering fire, he pressed home his attack and dropped his bomb alongside the battleship and then maneuvered his plane at a low altitude to obtain excellent photo coverage of the bombing attacks. His leadership, determination and skillful airmanship on this occasion were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Action Date: July 18, 1945
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Bombing Squadron 1 (VB-1)
Division: U.S.S. Bennington (CV-20)


Class of 1939

Andrew is one of 75 members of the Class of 1939 in Memorial Hall.