CLAUDE W. HAMAN, CDR, USN
Claude Haman '26
Date of birth: April 23, 1904
Date of death: January 12, 1943
From the 1926 Lucky Bag:
Biography & Loss
From Find A Grave:
Only child of one-time Placer County (CA) Supervisor William Haman and his wife Susan Ann nee Vettel. The family moved from Sacramento to Roseville when Claude was a toddler. He graduated from Roseville Joint Union High School where he was student body president. He attended the US Naval Academy at Annapolis from where he graduated in 1926 and was commissioned Ensign that same year.
He subsequently advanced in grade as follows: Lieutenant (junior grade) in 1929, Lieutenant in 1936, Lieutenant Commander in 1940, and Commander in 1942. After graduation from the Naval Academy, he joined the USS Oklahoma and served in that battleship until April 1927. The following month he reported for duty under instruction at the Edgewood Arsenal Edgewood, MD, and continued this instruction at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, RI, until December 1927.
He served successively in the USS Brooks and USS Sands from January until October 1928, and during that period had temporary additional duty in flight training at the Naval Air Station, Hampton Roads, VA. In November 1928 he reported to the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL, for Flight training and was designated naval aviator on October 10, 1929. The following month he reported to Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet and served until April 1931. He then had duty aboard the aircraft carrier Saratoga from April 1931 until April 1932. The following year he served at the Naval Air Station, San Diego, CA, and in June 1934 he was assigned duty with the aviation unit of the USS Indianapolis.
In May 1936 he joined the USS Wright and served with Patrol Squadron 11 attached to that aircraft tender and continued duty in that squadron when it was later attached to the USS Langley. From July 1937 until May 1940, he served consecutively with Patrol Squadron 1 and Patrol Squadron 8 (later redesignated Patrol Squadron 24) attached to Aircraft Squadrons based at Pearl Harbor. The following month he reported for duty in command of Observation Squadron 2, with additional duty in the USS Tennessee and commanded that squadron until January 1942, shortly after the outbreak of World War II.
He then had charge of fitting out Patrol Squadron 93 and assumed command upon its commissioning on January 5, 1942. His words at the commissioning as the first skipper of Patrol Squadron VP-93: "We are at War. I know as I just came from there. Let's go to work!" In October of that year he reported for duty as operations officer on the staff of the Commander, Patrol Wing 7. Commander Haman died of burns received while fighting a fire in the Bachelor Officers' Quarters, Naval Operating Base, Argentia. For his heroism at that time, he was posthumously awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart Medal.
He left a widow, Nina, and a daughter, Janet.
He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
He has a memory marker in California.
His wife remarried to his Naval Academy roommate, Donald Mills.
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (Posthumously) to Commander Claude William Haman, United States Navy, for heroism at the risk of life not involving conflict with an armed enemy during a fire on 12 January 1943. Discovering a fire in a corridor, Commander Haman ignored a nearby exit through which he could have escaped, seized a fire extinguisher and rushed toward the center of the flames in an attempt to check the fire which endangered the officers under his command. As he staggered away from the blaze, fatally burned, his only concern was for the safety of his men.
General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 315 (June 1943)
Memorial Hall Error
Claude is not listed with his classmates. He was identified through the diligent efforts of Leslie Poche, a volunteer who combed through Shipmate issues to find operational losses not accounted for in Memorial Hall.