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.

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 1924

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS Henry Brandenburger '21 and ENS Henry Batterton '23.

September 1924

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LT Albert Rooks '14, ENS Henry Brandenburger '21, and ENS Henry Batterton '23.

November 1924

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LT Albert Rooks '14, ENS Henry Brandenburger '21, and ENS Henry Batterton '23.

January 1925

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LT Albert Rooks '14, ENS Henry Brandenburger '21, and ENS Henry Batterton '23.

March 1925

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LT Albert Rooks '14 and LTjg Henry Brandenburger '21.

July 1925

Ensign, rifle team, Naval Academy

Others at this command: LT David Cummins '18, LTjg Edwin Conway '20, LTjg Elmer Kiehl '20, and ENS Jack DeShazo '25.

October 1925

Ensign, USS New Mexico

Others at this command: LCDR Albert Rooks '14, ENS Douglas Smith '25, ENS Jack DeShazo '25, and ENS Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

January 1926

Ensign, USS La Vallette

October 1926

Ensign, USS La Vallette

January 1927

Ensign, USS La Vallette

April 1927

Ensign, USS La Vallette

October 1927

Ensign, USS La Vallette

January 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

April 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

July 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS La Vallette

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS Gerald Dyson '27 and ENS John Burke '28.

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS John Burke '28.

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS John Burke '28.

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS John Burke '28.

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS John Burke '28, ENS Byron Newell '30, and ENS Charles Ostrom '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Charles Cecil '16 (Battleship Division 4) and LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 4B).

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS New Mexico

Others at this command: ENS John Burke '28, ENS Byron Newell '30, and ENS Charles Ostrom '30.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Gerald Dyson '27 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08, LT David Roberts '21, and LT Raymond Tuttle '22.

July 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08, LCDR Theodore Chandler '15, and LT David Roberts '21.

October 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08 and LCDR Theodore Chandler '15.

Others at or embarked at this command: LCDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

January 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08, LCDR Theodore Chandler '15, and LTjg Harold Pound '25.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

April 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08, LCDR Theodore Chandler '15, and LTjg Harold Pound '25.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

October 1932

Lieutenant (j.g.), Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08 and CDR Melville Brown '10.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

January 1933

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08 and CDR Melville Brown '10.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

April 1933

Lieutenant, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.

Others at this command: CDR Howard Lammers '08 and CDR Melville Brown '10.

Others at or embarked at this command: CDR Donald Godwin '11 (Naval Examining Board, Navy Department, Washington, D.C.).

July 1933

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Charles Brindupke '32, ENS Edwin Hurst '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

October 1933

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Charles Brindupke '32, ENS Edwin Hurst '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

April 1934

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Charles Brindupke '32, ENS Edwin Hurst '32, and ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Finley Hall '29 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 3B).

July 1934

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

October 1934

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

January 1935

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

April 1935

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33.

July 1936

Lieutenant, Naval Powder Factory, Indianhead, Maryland

January 1937

Lieutenant, Naval Powder Factory, Indianhead, Maryland

April 1937

Lieutenant, Naval Powder Factory, Indianhead, Maryland

September 1937

Lieutenant, Naval Powder Factory, Indianhead, Maryland

January 1938

Lieutenant, Naval Powder Factory, Indianhead, Maryland

July 1938

Lieutenant, USS San Francisco

Others at this command: LT Henry Batterton '23, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, and ENS William Brady '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7).

January 1939

Lieutenant, USS San Francisco

Others at this command: LT Henry Batterton '23, LTjg Richard Boutelle '34, ENS Roy Green, Jr. '38, and ENS William Brady '38.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg George Bellinger '32 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7).

October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, gunnery officer, USS Quincy

Others at this command: ENS Oliver Ramsey '37, ENS Robert Whitman, Jr. '39, and ENS William Walker '39.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Frank Peterson '33 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7).

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, gunnery officer, USS Quincy

Others at this command: ENS Oliver Ramsey '37, ENS Robert Whitman, Jr. '39, ENS William Walker '39, and ENS Denny Phillips '40.

Others at or embarked at this command: ENS Frank Peterson '33 (Cruiser Scouting Squadron (VCS) 7).

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, gunnery officer, USS Quincy

Others at this command: LCDR Eugene Elmore '22, ENS Costello Massey '32, LTjg Oliver Ramsey '37, ENS Robert Whitman, Jr. '39, ENS William Walker '39, and ENS Denny Phillips '40.

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, gunnery officer, USS Quincy

Others at this command: LCDR Edward Metcalfe '22, LCDR Eugene Elmore '22, ENS Costello Massey '32, LTjg Oliver Ramsey '37, ENS William Walker '39, and ENS Denny Phillips '40.


Class of 1924

Willford is one of 42 members of the Class of 1924 on Virtual Memorial Hall.