HUGH D. BLACK, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Hugh Black '26

Date of birth: June 29, 1903

Date of death: February 28, 1942

Age: 38

Lucky Bag

From the 1926 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Hugh was lost when USS Jacob Jones (DD 130) was torpedoed on the morning of February 28, 1942 by U-578 off the coast of Delaware.

From the March 3, 1942 Naval communique reprinted in the April, 1942 issue of Shipmates:

The USS JACOB JONES, a World War destroyer, was sunk by an enemy submarine off Cape May, New Jersey, just before dawn on February 28, 1942.

There were only eleven survivors consisting of nine engine room ratings and two apprentice seamen. Factual information in regard to the circumstances that led to the sinking is sparse because of the lack of deck ratings among the survivors. It has been established, however, that prior to receiving the first torpedo hit, the enemy submarine was not sighted nor was the torpedo.

The first torpedo blew up the bow and apparently killed all the personnel on the bridge as well as the men sleeping in the forward living compartments. The second torpedo, which was fired after the submarine circled ahead of the JACOB JONES, blew up the stern and all the depth charges.

The only survivors, except one man from the after engine room, were in the amidship section when the stern was blown up.

Biography

"Photographed circa the early 1940s. He was lost at sea on 28 February 1942, while serving as Commanding Officer of USS Jacob Jones (DD-130), when his ship was torpedoed and sunk. USS Black (DD-666) was named in his honor. The original photograph was presented to USS Black by Mrs. Hugh D. Black, Ship's Sponsor, on 21 May 1943, the day the ship went into commission. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph."

From Naval History and Heritage Command:

Hugh David Black was born in Oradell, New Jersey, on 29 June 1903. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922, graduated in 1926, and served on board USS Richmond, mainly in the Far East, between 1926 and 1928. During the next few years, he was an officer on board the battleship New York, the gunboat Asheville, and the destroyers Parrott, Rizal and Montgomery. Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Black was assigned to the Naval Training Station, San Diego, California, in 1933-1934, then served on board the destroyer Upshur and during 1935-38 commanded the minesweeper Lark.

Lieutenant Black had duty with the Bureau of Navigation, in Washington, D.C., in 1938 and attended Harvard University for two years, beginning mid-1938. He was Executive Officer of the new destroyer Benson in 1940-1941. In March 1941, he took command of the destroyer Jacob Jones. Lieutenant Commander Hugh D. Black lost his life when Jacob Jones was sunk by a German submarine on 28 Feburary 1942.

Namesake

USS Black (DD 666) was named for Hugh; the ship was sponsored by his widow.

Related Articles

Burton R. Hanson '40, Thomas W. Marshall, Jr. '30, and Norman C. Smith '42 were also lost when the Jacob Jones was torpedoed.

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.

October 1926

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24.

January 1927

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24.

April 1927

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24.

October 1927

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24.

January 1928

Ensign, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS Neville McDowell '24 and ENS Robert Symes '27.

April 1928

Ensign, USS Parrott

July 1928

Ensign, USS Parrott

October 1928

Ensign, USS Parrott

January 1929

Ensign, USS Parrott

April 1929

Ensign, USS Parrott

July 1929

Ensign, USS Asheville

October 1929

Ensign, USS New York

Others at this command: LTjg Douglas Fox '26, LTjg Robert Hollenbeck '26, ENS James Willis '27, and ENS Howard Garner '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Charles Cecil '16 (Battleship Division 3) and LT William Sample '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New York

Others at this command: LTjg Douglas Fox '26, ENS James Willis '27, and ENS Howard Garner '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Charles Cecil '16 (Battleship Division 3), LT William Sample '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B), and ENS Leonard Southerland '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New York

Others at this command: LTjg Douglas Fox '26, ENS James Willis '27, and ENS Howard Garner '29.

Others at or embarked at this command: LT William Sample '19 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and ENS Leonard Southerland '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New York

Others at this command: LTjg James Willis '27, ENS Joshua Nix '30, and ENS Raymond Mayo '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and ENS Leonard Southerland '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New York

Others at this command: ENS Joshua Nix '30 and ENS Raymond Mayo '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New York

Others at this command: ENS Joshua Nix '30 and ENS Raymond Mayo '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Henry Dozier '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B) and LTjg Leonard Southerland '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

January 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

April 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Montgomery

July 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

October 1933

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

April 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

July 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

October 1934

Lieutenant (j.g.), Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois

January 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Upshur

Others at this command: LT Louis Drexler, Jr. '23.

April 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Upshur

Others at this command: LT Louis Drexler, Jr. '23.

October 1935

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Lark

January 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Lark

April 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Lark

July 1936

Lieutenant (j.g.), commanding officer, USS Lark

January 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Lark

April 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Lark

September 1937

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Lark

January 1938

Lieutenant, commanding officer, USS Lark

July 1938

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: CDR Sherwood Picking '11 and LT Lawrence McPeake '24.

January 1939

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: CDR Sherwood Picking '11 and LT Lawrence McPeake '24.

October 1939

Lieutenant, ROTC instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Others at this command: LT Mannert Abele '26.

June 1940

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Benson

Others at this command: LT Millard Klein '31.

November 1940

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Benson

Others at this command: LT Millard Klein '31.

April 1941

Lieutenant, executive officer, USS Benson

Others at this command: LT Millard Klein '31 and ENS Walter Louney '41.


Class of 1926

Hugh is one of 36 members of the Class of 1926 on Virtual Memorial Hall.