WILLFORD M. HYMAN, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Willford Hyman '24

Date of birth: August 16, 1901

Date of death: May 7, 1942

Age: 40

Lucky Bag

From the 1924 Lucky Bag:

Loss

Willford was lost when USS Sims (DD 409) was sunk by Japanese dive bombers on May 7, 1942 in the Battle of the Coral Sea.

His third wife, Edwige, was listed as next of kin. He was married to his first wife, Eva, in 1935; she died in early 1936. He was then married in 1937 to Rose; they must have divorced quickly, because he was also married to Edwige in 1937.

Career

From Wikipedia:

Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Hyman graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1924. He first served in battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40), and in the years before World War II, was assigned to many ships and a variety of shore stations, including the Office of Naval Operations. He assumed command of destroyer USS Sims (DD-409) 6 October 1941. After convoy escort duty in the Atlantic, Sims moved to the Pacific in early 1942.

Navy Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Willford Milton Hyman (NSN: 0-58619), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Destroyer U.S.S. SIMS (DD-409), during operations in the Coral Sea on 7 May 1942. Lieutenant Hyman skillfully warded off the first raid of a hostile aircraft attack on his vessel and the ship which it was escorting, and, in the second raid, when the Sims lay dead and crippled in the water, he kept her guns blazing away until the last Japanese plane had disappeared. Then he coolly directed salvage and repair operations until the bridge of the sinking vessel was completely awash and he went down into the sea. The conduct of Lieutenant Hyman throughout this action reflects great credit upon himself, and was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 313 (April 1943)
Service: Navy
Division: U.S.S. Sims (DD-409)

Namesake

USS Hyman (DD 732) was named for Willford.


Class of 1924

Willford is one of 41 members of the Class of 1924 in Memorial Hall.