WILLIAM M. HOBBY, JR., CDR, USN
William Hobby, Jr. '23
Date of birth: July 27, 1899
Date of death: November 13, 1942
From the 1923 Lucky Bag:
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.
USS William M. Hobby (APD 95) was named for William; the ship was sponsored by his sister, Catherine.