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Date of birth: October 21, 1920

Date of death: December 17, 1951

Age: 31

Lucky Bag

1943 Pugh LB.jpg

From the 1943 Lucky Bag:


Vanceburg, Kentucky

From way back in the moonshine hills of Old Kentucky, Annapolis got one of the most likable Midshipmen ever to bilge a math exam. Tommy's disposition was as sunny as he was fond of hunting and fishing, and that's saying a lot! Though not exactly a six-footer, Tommy was every inch a man. All three years he was out for football and baseball and it follows that he found it much easier to bat a .340 at the plate than he did to star in the section room. His three wives and all those who knew him will always remember Tom as an all-around athlete, a swell sport, and a true friend in every sense of the word.

The Class of 1943 was graduated in June 1942 due to World War II. The entirety of 2nd class (junior) year was removed from the curriculum.


Ben was lost on December 18, 1951, when the AD-2 Skyraider he was piloting was destroyed by its own bomb blast. He ditched the aircraft into Wonsan Harbor, but was found dead later, likely from exposure.

He was Executive Officer of Fighter Squadron (VF) 194, which was operating from USS Valley Forge (CV 45).

Ben is buried in Kentucky.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant Commander Benjamin T. Pugh, United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight while serving with Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED NINETY-FOUR (VF-194), in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea on 14 December 1950.

General Orders: All Hands (September 1952)
Action Date: December 14, 1950
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Company: Fighter Squadron 194 (VF-194)

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Herbert Baslee, Jr. ’43 was also a pilot flying from USS Valley Forge (CV 45) during this period of the war.