From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

John Hudgins '94

Date of birth: November 22, 1871

Date of death: April 14, 1906

Age: 34

Lucky Bag

From the 1894 Lucky Bag:


Photo scanned and provided by Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D., Head of Special Collections & Archives/Archivist at the Naval Academy's Nimitz Library
Photo scanned and provided by Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D., Head of Special Collections & Archives/Archivist at the Naval Academy's Nimitz Library

John was lost on April 14, 1906 when the gunpowder from a 13" gun aboard Kearsarge (Battleship No. 5) ignited accidentally, killing another officer and eight men.

He was survived by his wife and son; John is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


From Army-Navy-Air Force Register and Defense Times, Volume 39:

Lieutenant John Milton Hudgins was appointed as a naval cadet from Virginia in September, 1890. He was graduated from the Naval Academy in June, 1894, and was sent to serve on the Detroit at the Norfolk Navy Yard. In July, 1895, Lieutenant Hudgins was promoted to the grade of assistant engineer and continued to serve in that capacity at the Norfolk Navy Yard until the following August when he was detached and ordered to London for a course of instruction, during which time he was attached to the American Embassy. On March 3, 1899, Lieutenant Hudgins' rank was changed from assistant engineer to Ensign. He subsequently reached the grade of lieutenant on September 26, 1901. He was attached to the bureau of equipment of the Navy Department soon after his last promotion and in October, 1903, was sent to the Kearsarge. A year ago he was given three months' sick leave, and upon his return to the Kearsarge was placed in charge of the wireless telegraph tests, which were being instituted by the bureau of equipment.


John's classmates erected a plaque in Memorial Hall "in commemoration of an act of self sacrifice and devotion to duty."

Related Articles

Joseph Graeme '97 was also lost in this incident.

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 1894

Naval Cadet, Detroit

January 1895

Naval Cadet, Detroit

Others at this command:

January 1896

Naval Cadet, Detroit

Others at this command:

January 1897

Assistant Engineer, Pursuing Special Studies, London

January 1898

Assistant Engineer, Pursuing Special Studies, London

January 1899

Ensign, New Orleans

January 1900

Lieutenant (j.g.), Glacier

January 1901

Lieutenant (j.g.), Glacier

January 1902

Lieutenant, Bureau of Equipment

Others at this command:

January 1903

Lieutenant, Bureau of Equipment

January 1904

Lieutenant, Kearsarge

January 1905

Lieutenant, sick leave

Class of 1894

John is one of 2 members of the Class of 1894 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.