RICHARD A. HAINES, LT, USN
Richard Haines '28
Date of birth: April 28, 1903
Date of death: November 30, 1942
The 1928 Lucky Bag included pictures and brief biographies of some of those who went to "U.S.S. Outside."
RICHARD ALEXANDER HAINES
"Thug" entered the Academy with ambitions to succeed in the academics and athletics, and by constant plugging made the grade up to first class year. He will ever be known as one who doesn't fear work. All his friends wish him the best of luck and know that he will succeed in 'cit' life.
From Traces of War:
Richard Alexander Haines was born in Haines Falls, N.Y., 28th April 1903. He attended the Tennessee Military Institute from 1921-1923, the Naval Academy for a time, and served 3 years in the Coast Guard from 1928-1931. Commissioned Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve on 23rd July 1941. Haines served in Washington, after which he was assigned to the USS New Orleans. When the USS New Orleans suffered a devastating torpedo hit in the Battle of Tassafaronga, 30 November 1942, Lieutenant Haines remained at his station to assist in controlling the damage until overcome by asphyxiating gas generated by the explosion.
His wife was listed as next of kin.
The Damage Control Officer on the New Orleans, Lieutenant Commander Hubert M. Hayter, and two of his men, Lieutenant Richard A. Haines and Ensign Andrew L. Forman, remained at their damage control posts despite the fact that it was filling up with toxic fumes. These three brave men were eventually asphyxiated by the fumes and perished. The ship’s chaplain, Howell M. Forgy, later wrote about Hayter, “I wondered what he thought about in those final minutes, but I knew one thing: he was not afraid.”
From Hall of Valor:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Richard Alexander Haines, United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving Assistant to the Damage Control Officer on board the Heavy Cruiser U.S.S. NEW ORLEANS (CA-32), during action against enemy Japanese forces off Savo Island, on the night of 30 November 1942. When his ship was struck by a torpedo forward, Lieutenant Haines, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, remained at Central Station to assist in the control of damage until he finally succumbed to an asphyxiating gas which had been generated by the explosion. His courageous spirit of self-sacrifice, maintained above and beyond the call of duty, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
General Orders: Commander Southern Pacific: Serial 00232 (January 21, 1945)
Division: U.S.S. New Orleans (CA-32)
Memorial Hall Error
Richard is listed in Memorial Hall as a member of the regular Navy; his biography, headstone, and Navy Cross citation cite him as a member of the Navy Reserve.