WILLIAM M. HOBBY, JR., CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

William Hobby, Jr. '23

Date of birth: July 27, 1899

Date of death: November 13, 1942

Age: 43

Lucky Bag

From the 1923 Lucky Bag:


Loss

William was lost when USS Juneau (CL 52) was sunk at the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. He was the executive officer.

His wife was listed as next of kin; it appears that he was also survived by a son, William III (and later a grandson, William IV). William Jr. has a memory marker in Georgia.

Biography

From Wikipedia:

William Matthews Hobby, Jr., was born on 27 July 1899 in Sylvania, Georgia. He was appointed a midshipman from the 1st Congressional District of Georgia on 20 June 1919, attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, and graduated in the class of 1923.

After initial sea duty in the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37) from June 1923 to April 1925, Hobby underwent brief aviation instruction at Naval Air Station Pensacola at Pensacola, Florida. He then reported to the destroyer USS Kidder (DD-319) on 21 November 1925 and served in Kidder as she earned the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal.

Hobby then underwent submarine instruction at Submarine Base New London in New London, Connecticut, from late December 1927 to June 1928. He then travelled to the United States Asiatic Fleet, where he reported to the submarine tender USS Canopus (AS-9) on 10 August 1928, prior to his joining the submarine USS S-37 (SS-142) on 20 August 1928. After successive tours in the submarines USS S-41 (SS-146) and USS S-30 (SS-135), Hobby returned to the United States for service at the United States Naval Academy from May 1931 to June 1933. He then helped to fit out the submarine USS Cachalot (SS-170) before serving back-to-back tours in the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43) and training ship USS Wyoming (AG-17) into the summer of 1938.

Hobby reported to the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company at Kearny, New Jersey, on 11 May 1939, to supervise the fitting out of the new Sims-class destroyer USS Anderson (DD-411) and to become her first commanding officer when she was placed in commission.

Detached from Anderson on 22 March 1941, Hobby then rejoined the battleship Oklahoma (BB-37) on 26 March 1941 as damage control officer and first lieutenant. After Oklahoma capsized and sank in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Hobby served briefly in the 12th Naval District before he joined the new battleship USS Washington (BB-56) on 3 January 1942. He acted as navigator of Washington until he relieved Commander Walter E. Moore as executive officer of the light cruiser USS Juneau (CL-52) at Espiritu Santo on 2 November 1942.

On 12 November 1942, ten days after he reported aboard, Juneau was heavily damaged during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The following afternoon, 13 November 1942, while she was returning to Espiritu Santo, the Japanese submarine I-26 torpedoed her. The torpedo hit detonated Juneau's magazine, and she disintegrated in a massive explosion, leaving only ten survivors. Commander Hobby was among those who perished in the cataclysmic blast that tore the ship apart.

Namesake

USS William M. Hobby (APD 95) was named for William; the ship was sponsored by his sister, Catherine.

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 1923

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LT Festus Foster '19 and ENS Merritt Flanders '22.

September 1923

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21 and ENS George Lehman '23.

November 1923

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21 and ENS George Lehman '23.

January 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21 and ENS George Lehman '23.

March 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21 and ENS George Lehman '23.

May 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21 and ENS George Lehman '23.

July 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: LTjg John Burrow '21, ENS George Lehman '23, and ENS William France '24.

September 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS George Lehman '23 and ENS William France '24.

November 1924

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS George Lehman '23 and ENS William France '24.

January 1925

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS George Lehman '23 and ENS William France '24.

March 1925

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS George Lehman '23 and ENS William France '24.

May 1925

Ensign, USS Oklahoma

Others at this command: ENS George Lehman '23 and ENS William France '24.

January 1926

Ensign, USS Kidder

Others at this command: ENS Fitzhugh Rhea '24.

October 1926

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kidder

Others at this command: ENS James Smith, Jr. '25.

January 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kidder

Others at this command: ENS James Smith, Jr. '25.

April 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kidder

Others at this command: ENS James Smith, Jr. '25.

October 1927

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS Kidder

Others at this command: ENS James Smith, Jr. '25.

January 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20, ENS Charles Tolman, Jr. '25, and ENS Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

April 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), under instruction, Submarine Base New London, Connecticut

Others at this command: LT Robert Smith '20, ENS Charles Tolman, Jr. '25, and ENS Julian Morrison, Jr. '25.

July 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), 16th Naval District

Others at this command: LCDR Ryland Tisdale '15.

October 1928

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-37

January 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-37

April 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

July 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

October 1929

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

January 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

April 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-41

October 1930

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-30

January 1931

Lieutenant (j.g.), USS S-30

July 1933

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LTjg Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

October 1933

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LTjg Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

April 1934

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LTjg Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

July 1934

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

October 1934

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

January 1935

Lieutenant, USS Cachalot

Others at this command: LT Max Stormes '24 and LTjg Elmer Buerkle '25.

April 1935

Lieutenant, USS Richmond

Others at this command: ENS George McCutchan '33.

October 1935

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33, ENS Joel Davis, Jr. '35, ENS Samuel Adams '35, and ENS Stanley Lipski '35.

January 1936

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Willford Hyman '24, ENS Herbert Fulmer, Jr. '33, ENS Joel Davis, Jr. '35, ENS Samuel Adams '35, and ENS Stanley Lipski '35.

July 1936

Lieutenant, USS Tennessee

Others at this command: LT Raymond Tuttle '22, ENS Joel Davis, Jr. '35, ENS Samuel Adams '35, ENS Jack Crutchfield '36, and ENS Porter Maxwell '36.

Others at or embarked at this command: LTjg Alden Irons '31 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B) and ENS Stanley Lipski '35 (Observation Plane Squadron (VO) 2B).

October 1939

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Anderson

June 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Anderson

November 1940

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Anderson

April 1941

Lieutenant Commander, commanding officer, USS Anderson


Class of 1923

William is one of 25 members of the Class of 1923 on Virtual Memorial Hall.