HARRY E. HUBBARD, CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Harry Hubbard '25

Date of birth: March 18, 1903

Date of death: October 16, 1942

Age: 39

Lucky Bag

From the 1925 Lucky Bag:


Loss

1925 Hubbard 1.jpg

Harry was lost on October 16, 1942, the morning after USS Meredith (DD 434) was sunk by Japanese air attack. He was the ship's commanding officer since March 2, 1942.

His wife, Erma, was listed as next of kin; he was also survived by a daughter, Jean. Erma was later an outspoken advocate for survivors, testifying before Congress and advocating for the passage of the Dependent's Indemnity Compensation Act of 1958.

His memorial at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial, Philippines.

Biography

From Navsource:

Harry Ensor Hubbard was born 18 March 1903 in Baltimore, Md. He graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1925, served 3 years in battleship Maryland, then qualified in submarines at New London, Conn. Following duty in submarine 8-34, he completed Naval Academy postgraduate work, then served in submarine tender Holland, and, was executive officer of destroyer Twiggs. He served at the Naval Torpedo Station at Newport, then commanded destroyer Roper 1939 to 1940, before assignment as staff gunnery officer for destroyers In the Atlantic. The latter duty terminated 1 March 1942 when Hubbard took command of destroyer Meredith (DD-434).

In command of Meredith, Hubbard helped screen carrier Hornet off Japan for the famed Doolittle bombing raids on Tokyo 18 April 1942. Thereafter he conned his destroyer on arduous patrol and escort from Hawaii to the Samoan, Fiji, and Solomon Islands. His destroyer helped cover transports landing reinforcements on bitterly contested Guadalcanal 18 September 1942. During the darkest days of the Solomons Campaign Hubbard joined in maintaining the lifeline of supplies to fighting men holding their ground on Guadalcanal.

On 15 October 1942 he fought his ship against Japanese carrier-based scouting planes, then fought off 18 enemy dive bombers and 12 torpedo planes launched by Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku. His gunners shot down five of the attackers, all the destroyermen following the example of Hubbard who carried on the fight though blinded by burns about his face. When his men had cleared the bridge, he abandoned the sinking Meredith scant moments before she made her final plunge. He perished on a life raft at sea the morning of 16 October 1942. The heroic stand of Commander Hubbard and his destroyerman had drawn the enemy aircraft away from ships who made it to Guadalcanal with munitions and desperately needed supplies.

Namesake

USS Harry E. Hubbard (DD 748) was named for Harry; the ship was sponsored by his daughter, Jean.

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

July 1925

Ensign, USS Maryland

Others at this command: LCDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09, ENS John Cromwell '24, ENS Fremont Wright '25, and ENS Thelman Lester '25.

October 1925

Ensign, USS Maryland

Others at this command: LCDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09, ENS John Cromwell '24, ENS Fremont Wright '25, and ENS Thelman Lester '25.

January 1926

Ensign, USS Maryland

Others at this command: LCDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09, ENS John Cromwell '24, ENS Fremont Wright '25, and ENS Thelman Lester '25.

October 1927

Ensign, USS Maryland

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09 and ENS Fremont Wright '25.

January 1928

Ensign, USS Maryland

Others at this command: CDR Franklin Van Valkenburgh '09, ENS Fremont Wright '25, ENS Elmer Cooper '27, and ENS Harold Richards '27.

July 1928

Ensign, under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), 16th Naval District

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

Others at this command: LTjg Everett Abdill '24.

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

Others at this command: LTjg Everett Abdill '24.

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

Others at this command: LTjg Everett Abdill '24.

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

Others at this command: LTjg Everett Abdill '24.

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

Others at this command: LTjg Everett Abdill '24.

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-34

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20 and LTjg Howard Garner '29.

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20 and LTjg Howard Garner '29.

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LT Samuel Arthur '20 and LTjg Howard Garner '29.

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Howard Garner '29.

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Howard Garner '29.

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LTjg Howard Garner '29.

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Holland

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Holland

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Holland

April 1935

Lieutenant, USS Holland

October 1935

Lieutenant, USS Holland

January 1936

Lieutenant, USS Holland

April 1936

Lieutenant, USS Holland

July 1936

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Twiggs

January 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Twiggs

April 1937

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Twiggs

September 1937

Lieutenant, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

January 1938

Lieutenant, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

July 1938

Lieutenant, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: LTjg Winsor Gale '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: 2LT Alben Robertson '37 (Marine Barracks, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island).

January 1939

Lieutenant, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island

Others at this command: LTjg Winsor Gale '31.

Others at or embarked at this command: 2LT Alben Robertson '37 (Marine Barracks, Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island).

October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Roper

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Roper

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, staff, Destroyer Squadrons, Patrol Force, USS Omaha

Others at or embarked at USS Omaha: ENS Charles Mason, Jr. '40 (USS Omaha).

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, staff, Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet, USS Omaha

Others at or embarked at USS Omaha: ENS Charles Mason, Jr. '40 (USS Omaha) and ENS Robert Plaut '41 (USS Omaha).


Class of 1925

Harry is one of 30 members of the Class of 1925 on Virtual Memorial Hall.