From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
Herbert Robinson '79

Date of birth: February 19, 1859

Date of death: June 19, 1883

Age: 24

Naval Academy Register

Herbert Judson Robinson was admitted to the Naval Academy from New Hampshire on September 15, 1875 at age 16 years 6 months.



Herbert "died at naval hospital, Chelsea, Mass., June 19, 1883" after "being sick some months."


From researcher Kathy Franz:

Herbert was born in Brentwood, New Hampshire. His father was James who worked in a store. His mother was Mary, and his sister was Maybell. For a while, they lived in Exeter.

After graduation from the Naval Academy, Herbert served on the Vandalia under Richard W. Meade. The ship cruised the North Atlantic coast travelling in 1881 to Caribbean ports such as Bridgetown, Barbados, Port of Spain, Trinidad, and St. Thomas, West Indies. At the end of their two-year cruise, Captain Meade wrote a letter on April 18, 1881, about the three cadet-midshipmen on board: Herbert, J. B. Cahoon, and Thomas Snowden. “During this time, these young officers have performed forecastle, boat, and other duties, and at quarters were stationed in the several divisions. In general service with spars and sails, they have been stationed in the top and they have, at times both at sea and in port had charge of the deck in the daytime.

“They have been required to find daily at sea the position by Dead Reckoning and observation, the course, distance, and occasionally the variation. In addition to the usual day’s work, each one has worked a large number of his own observations, covering almost the entire ground of practical navigation. They have had a large amount of practice in stellar observations and every two or three weeks have observed lunar distances for practice. They have been required to keep their journals and on leaving port to write their own remarks on the character and resources of the port and they have kept the watch, quarter, and station bills as required by Regulations. … All these young gentlemen have good physique and are of gentlemanly bearing and deportment. As far as has come under my observation in twenty-one months, the moral character of each is un-exceptionable.”

In particular, he wrote that Herbert “is intelligent and capable. He is constitutionally slow, I think, but none the worse for that and has always performed the duties required of him in a proper manner. He is a fair sailor, an excellent practical navigator and a fair drill officer. He has good judgment and much discretion and a fair command over men. He will, in my opinion, make a very good and thoroughly reliable officer.”

Unfortunately, after leaving the Vandalia, Herbert came down with a fatal disease of the kidney. He was home for a few months, and then spent 18 months in the Chelsea Naval Hospital before passing.

He is buried in New Hampshire. (Note his tombstone very clearly says "Hurbert", this is the only reference found with this spelling.


From the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Cadet Midshipman, 15 September, 1875. Graduated 10 June, 1881. Ensign, Junior Grade, 3 March, 1883. Died 19 June, 1883.

Memorial Hall Error

Illness is not a criteria for inclusion in Memorial Hall.

Class of 1879

Herbert is one of 4 members of the Class of 1879 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

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