From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richard Hughes '37

Date of birth: November 26, 1913

Date of death: December 8, 1941

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1937 Lucky Bag:


Richard was lost when the PBY-5 Catalina he was copiloting crashed while landing in Halifax harbor on December 8, 1941. From VP Navy:

Emergency downwind landing. Hit swell during landing, bounced and hit second swell nose down attitude and flipped partially over. The hull was torn, plane sank in 20mins. … All indications are the partial or complete loss elevator control occurred. Pilot:Ens.Paul H.Alter/Killed, Lt(jg) Richard B. Hughes/Killed, ENS Robert W. DeReamer/Killed, AMM1 Cleo Wells (NAP)/Killed, RM3 Harry W. Sheep/Killed, AMM3 Carl W. Pierce/Killed, AMM1 John R. McIntyre/Seriously inj, AMM3 Robert E. Dearen/Minor inj, AMM3 Robert M. Smith/Seriously inj, RM3 Oliver C. Lawhead/Seriously inj, and RM1 George A. Brown/Minor inj

His wife was listed as next of kin. Unable to locate a burial location or memory marker.


He was promoted to LTJG on June 3, 1940. On February 11, 1941 he was designated naval aviator #7136. (Information from Richard Leonard, naval aviation historian.)


He was copiloting a PBY-5 Catalina when it was involved in a mishap while taxiing in Rhode Island on November 7, 1941. No one aboard was injured, but the aircraft suffered significant damage.

Memorial Hall Error?

Richard is not listed on the killed in action panel in the front of Memorial Hall. While not an obvious error, inclusion on the panel for crashes like this—which appears to be incidental to a combat flight—has been inconsistent across WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Class of 1937

Richard is one of 45 members of the Class of 1937 on Virtual Memorial Hall.