Korean War Casualty Information
USS Hobson (DD-464) Collision with the USS Wasp (CV-18)

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The Sinking of the USS Hobson



The U.S.S. Hobson (DD-464)
(Click picture for a larger view)

The U.S.S. Hobson (DD-464), a Gleaves-class destroyer was built at the Charleston Navy Yard and commissioned shortly after the outbreak of WWII. During the war she saw action in North Africa, the western Atlantic, and at D-Day. Late in 1944 she was converted to a destroyer-minesweeper and reclassified DMS-26. After this conversion she saw heavy action near Okinawa, where she suffered significant casualties and damage from enemy suicide attacks. Repairs were completed after World War II and the Hobson took up duty as a destroyer-minesweeper with the Atlantic Fleet.

On the night of April 26, 1952 the Hobson was a support ship for the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Wasp (CV-18), which was conducting flight operations 700 miles west of the Azores (38 degrees 27 minutes north/41 degrees 21 minutes west). It was on its way to visit 20 different Mediterranean ports.  The Wasp began a turn into the wind to prepare for aircraft recovery. The Hobson needed to maneuver to maintain its correct position in reference to the Wasp. A tragic miscalculation took place on the Hobson bridge that night. The Hobson turned port in a maneuver that required crossing the bow of the Wasp, instead of simply falling behind the Wasp and turning in the carrier’s wake. The Hobson was struck amidships by the Wasp. The collision cut the Hobson in half. She sank in less than five minutes. 176 of her crew were lost at sea, many asleep in their berthing compartments.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • 176 Casualties
  • Shipmates Who Survived
  • In Memoriam
  • Published Stories About the USS Hobson
  • Readers' Comments

176 Casualties:

[KWE Note: An estimated 150 crew members were sleeping when the collision occurred and the ship sank within four minutes, which is why the mortality rate was so high.]

  1. Allen, William Erby, 20, Columbia, TN
  2. Amico, Michael, 20, Detroit, MI
  3. Antley, Lawrence A., 19, Charleston, SC
  4. Arayes, George, 24, Brooklyn, NY
  5. Baker, David, 18, Elstead, NY
  6. Baker, Harold K., Dansville, NY
  7. Baker, Sam K., 25, Muskogee, OK
  8. Balzer, Andrew J., 21, Beaver Falls, PA
  9. Bass, Arthur J., 21, Mohawk, NY
  10. Becker, Efracio L., 26, Philadelphia, PA
  11. Behnke, Gary R., 19, Royal Oak, MI
  12. Bells, J.C., 27, Wesson, MS
  13. Berry, William J., 21, Spartanburg, SC
  14. Blackburn, Willie R., 25, Blanco, TX
  15. Bloomfield, Louis E., 20, Richmond, VA
  16. Bond, Alvin C., 20, Wichita Falls, TX
  17. Boney, Leroy, 20, Wilmington, NC
  18. Booker, Julian R., 21, Americus, GA
  19. Braunschweig, Wallace J., 21, Beaver Dam, WI
  20. Brennan, John J., 19, Southampton, NY
  21. Breuer, Buell C., 29, Rolla, MO
  22. Brobst, James H. Jr., 22, Allentown, PA
  23. Brooks, Joseph T., 39, Elberton, GA
  24. Brooks, Robert A., 19, Buffalo, NY
  25. Bryant, Clayton E., 18, Houston, TX
  26. Buckner, Earnest B., Alexander City, AL
  27. Burchett, Oscar L. Jr., 22, Nevis, MN
  28. Burr, Dwight L., 20, Wadesboro, NC
  29. Callahan, William T., 38, Zebulon, GA
  30. Carlson, Harold R. Jr., 17, Delavan, WI
  31. Carr, Patrick Eugene, 21, Galesburg, IL
  32. Chrobak, Casimir M., 29, Worchester, MA
  33. Clements, John J. "Jack" Jr., 21, Audubon Park, NJ
  34. Cofer, John Monroe, 34, Cleveland, TN
  35. Cole, Paul L., 21, North Lewisburg, OH
  36. Comins, John P., 22, Reading, PA
  37. Cornell, Richard D., 21, Richmond, VA
  38. Costello, William H., 27, Winchester, MA
  39. Craver, Samuel D., 27, Rochester, NY
  40. Cropsey, Richard L., 23, New York, NY
  41. Crotts, Porter L. Jr., 24, Spindale, NC
  42. Culham, Merrill M., 19, Lansing, MI
  43. Cutler, Donald L., 19, Dover Plains, NY
  44. Davis, Basil, 21, Jacksonville, FL
  45. Davis, Jerry, 20, Kirksville, MO
  46. Degaglia, James D., 19, Norwalk, CT
  47. Deuel, Norman J., 19, Grand Ledge, MI
  48. Dingman, Frank A., 18, Alexandria Bay, NY
  49. Duke, Herman J. Jr., 22, Richmond, VA
  50. Dunst, Joseph, 20, Bronx, NY
  51. Earnst, Samuel P., 22, Brookville, OH
  52. Eisenbrey, Harry Y., 21, Edgely, PA
  53. Eisenach, Robert O., 22, Kenora, Ontario, Canada
  54. Ellis, Roland T., 23, Washington, D.C.
  55. Enfinger, Clevy, 21, Hilton, GA
  56. Erwin, Edward M., 27, Decatur, IL
  57. Fey, James R., 20, Hyattsville, MD
  58. Flannery, James A., 21, Cincinnati, OH
  59. Floyd, Boyd E., 34, Chadbourn, NC
  60. Gleason, James D., 19, Pittsfield, MA
  61. Gould, Theodore III, 23, Lutherville, MD
  62. Grammer, Adron F. Jr., 20, Hughes, AR
  63. Griffin, Roy S. Jr., 23, Lexington, KY
  64. Hannigan, Charles W., 19, Elysian, MN
  65. Hardy, Dow F., 21, Schenectady, NY
  66. Haugen, Harley J., 20, Ironton, MN
  67. Havens, Clifford E., 19, Ogdensburg, NY
  68. Henry, William O., 34, Prince George, VA
  69. Herman, Hugo C., 20, Ashley, ND
  70. Hess, Ned W., 19, Annville, PA
  71. Hogan, William J., 19, Port Huron, MI
  72. Hoitala, Gary N., 20, Bronx, NY

  73. Hopkins, Hubert D., 29, Oriental, NC

  74. Hummel, Trenton A., 34, Charleston, SC

  75. Jones, Homer E., 19, Burlington, KY

  76. Jones, Otis W., 19, 20, Richmond, VA

  77. Klimauskas, Frank W., 21, Detroit, MI

  78. Kline, Loring B., 31, Paw Paw, WVa
  79. Kotzman, John M., 20, Staunton, IL
  80. Kovack, Joseph R., 28, Charleston, SC
  81. Kreger, Robert D., 26, Oxford, OH
  82. Kruichak, Kazan P., 18, Tomah, WI
  83. Kuney, Charles F., 23, Duncansville, PA
  84. Kunz, Raymond C., 20, Utica, NY
  85. Kupper, Harold L., 20, Hamilton, OH
  86. Lacio, Frank, 20, St. John, KS
  87. Lambert, George D., 20, Jackson Heights, NY
  88. Lamison, Jack E., 26, Temple Hills, MD
  89. Laverty, William R., 20, Philadelphia, PA
  90. Lea, Byrn B., 23, LaCross, WI
  91. Lebert, Morris, 24, Lake Charles, LA
  92. Lee, Obie A., 31, Palestine, TX
  93. Leonard, Joseph A., 20, Baltimore, MD
  94. Lewis, Karl E., 17, South Clinton, IA
  95. Lindsay, Lawrence C., 27, Hogansville, GA
  96. Liska, Edward, 29, Bronx, NY
  97. Lowe, Clarence H., 18, Birmingham, AL
  98. Mansfield, William S., 40, South Boston, MA
  99. Martin, A. Wayne, 21, Sanford, CO
  100. Mauzy, Cecil R., 24, Drakesboro, KY
  101. McAnulty, Charles W., 18, Ventura, CA
  102. McBride, James T., 22, Wilmington, DE
  103. McCord, Zack H., 29, Hodges, SC
  104. McCrory, William P., 21, Alabama City, AL
  105. McFarlane, James Harold, 21, Calhoun, AL
  106. McManus, Stanley, 28, Liberty Hall, SC
  107. Merdzinske, Francis J., 19, Pittsburg, PA
  108. Millington, Robert D., 21, South Sanford, ME
  109. Milton, Carl C., 38, Monroe, NC
  110. Moceika, Robert A., 27, Pittsburg, PA
  111. Morgan, Harold D., 22, North Marshfield, OH
  112. Moss, James R. Jr., 23, Milton, FL
  113. Mullin, Kenneth L., 18, Peaks Island, ME
  114. Nave, James Jr., 23, Reading, PA
  115. Noonan, Thomas M., 22, Bronx, NY
  116. Norlock, Casimer A., 20, Bay City, MI
  117. Norman, Richard L., 20, Malta, OH
  118. Oliveria, Robert G., 27, Fall River, MA
  119. O'Neill, Edward J., 20, East Providence, RI
  120. Ortlip, Robert J., 20, Feasterville, PA
  121. Paine, Proctor P., 21, Thompson, OH
  122. Patterson Grady, 36, Warsaw, NC
  123. Phillips, Irvin L., 21, Baltimore, MD
  124. Pothier, Roland H., 20, Leominster, MA
  125. Potts, Robert J., 22, Commerce, GA
  126. Praul, Joseph N., 18, Philadelphia, PA
  127. Racinowski, Boleeslaw, 21, Milwaukee, WI
  128. Read, Edmund L., 21, Hamburg, PA
  129. Reeves, Eddie J., 21, Cottageville, SC
  130. Rhodes, Reginold, 21, Sterling, IL
  131. Roth, Donald F., 19, Highspire, PA
  132. Royce, Richard A., 22, East Granville, VT
  133. Sawyer, Thomas C., 19, Park Rapids, MN
  134. Seel, Arthur H., 21, Norton, MA
  135. Sherrill, Richard D., 23, Muskogee, OK
  136. Shore, Jack W., 21, Ronda, NC
  137. Sites, Richard P., 24, Lima, OH
  138. Slater, John B., 28, Little Rock, AR
  139. Smith, Charles David Jr., 26, Milo, MO
  140. Smith, David H., 27, Walpole, MA
  141. Southworth, Monite R., 25, Charlottesville, VA
  142. Sterling, Robert W., 22, Minneapolis, MN
  143. Story, James G. Jr., 20, Morganton, NC
  144. Swan, George E. Jr., 24, Shavertown, PA
  145. Sweeny, Paul N., 21, Toledo, OH
  146. Tanner, H. Dean, 19, Dacusville, SC
  147. Tierney, William J., 31, Philadelphia, PA
  148. Torrisi, Joseph A., 32, Harrison, NJ
  149. Turner, David A., 24, Port Arthur, TX
  150. Turner, James L. Jr., 22, Buffalo, NY
  151. Ushock, William M., 20, Shenandoah, PA
  152. Vincent, Robert E., 17, Indianapolis, IN
  153. Vogtman, Richard M., 20, Park Rapids, MN
  154. Wagner, Elmer H., 22, Chattanooga, TN
  155. Wagner, Horst H., 23, Hamden, CT
  156. Wallace, Malvin S., 20, Spartanburg, SC
  157. Walton, Joseph M., 22, Bellevue, KY
  158. Warhol, William J., 20, Minneapolis, MN
  159. Washington, Warren A., 23, Union, NJ
  160. Wassertheurer, Walter E., 28, Los Angeles, CA
  161. Webb, James L., 31, Charleston, SC
  162. Wessel, Nelson E., 21, Cincinnati, OH
  163. White, Benjamin, 19, Gibsonville, NC
  164. White, Ervin S., 19, Lynn, MA
  165. White, Robert P., 23, Dundalk, MD
  166. Wilks, Chester J. Jr., 21, Miami, FL
  167. Williams, Robert C., 26, Charleston, SC
  168. Willis, Bobby C., 24, Greer, SC
  169. Willis, Richard E., 18, Tipton, MO
  170. Willis, Robert E., 25, Tipton, MO
  171. Willms, Joe D., 20, Watseka, IL
  172. Wolfe, F. Kenneth Jr., 28, Savannah, GA
  173. Woods, James L., 35, San Antonio, TX
  174. Wright, Jodie Jr., 19, Morganton, NC
  175. Yates, James T., 46, LaGrange, GA
  176. Zwingman, Frank C. Jr., 20, Saginaw, MI

Shipmates Who Survived:

[KWE Note: The crew of the USS Wasp rescued 39 survivors from the USS Hobson and the crew of the USS Rodman rescued 22 survivors.]

  1. Archer, Leland R., Point Pleasant, NJ
  2. Arnold, Joseph F., Lebanon, PA
  3. Arsenault, Joseph H., Chelsea, MA
  4. Boller, Richard G., Unoin, New Jersey
  5. Brooks, Harold M., Detroit, MI
  6. Byers, Walter Ronald, Detroit, MI
  7. Camp, Carter Y., Charleston, SC
  8. Cardwell, Thomas G., Charleston, SC
  9. Carr, Richard K., Bristol, RI
  10. Cummings, Donald E., Aliquippa, PA
  11. Dahlke, Reinhold C. Jr., Buffalo, NY
  12. Denton, Cleo D., Mechanicsburg, PA
  13. Desrosiers, Albert, Fall River, MA
  14. Drury, Donald A., Lockport, NY
  15. Elliott, Edward W., Warsaw, WI
  16. Evans, James H., Steubenville, OH
  17. Gardner, Patrick E., Milwaukee, WI
  18. Hoefer, William A. Jr., Ocean Springs, MS
  19. Iseman, Paul E., Washington, DC
  20. Keleher, Lloyd F., Red Bank, NJ
  21. Kezer, Osman F. Jr., Cedarville, AR
  22. King, James H., Nashville, TN
  23. Lane, Donald D., Buchanan, NY
  24. Lankowski, Edwin I., Grand Rapids, MI
  25. LaQuiere, Arthur G., Charleston, SC
  26. Laughter, James B. Jr., Winston Salem, NC
  27. Mahoney, Peter A., Warwick, RI
  28. Mancuso, Paul J., Baltimore, MD
  29. Manning, Harry K., Charleston, SC
  30. McIntyre, James F., Fall River, MA
  31. Moore, Richard C. Sr. (Moore was new to the ship and not listed on official survivor's list.)
  32. Moss, Ellwood S., Mastic Beach, NY
  33. Moss, Irwin I., Brooklyn, NY
  34. Murdock, Kenneth E., Onawa, IA
  35. Myers, Cecil E., Kankakee, IL
  36. Neagley, William C., Mechanicsburg, PA
  37. Nelson, Richard A., Waterville, ME
  38. Niskala, Ernest J. Jr., New York Mills, MN
  39. Noennich, Bertram B., Los Angeles, CA
  40. O'Connor, Francis W., Dorchester, MA
  41. Oliver, George T., Charleston, SC
  42. Oliveri, Vincent J., Lawrence, MA
  43. Painter, Ralph E., Gaffney, SC
  44. Parks, Raymond P., Winter Haven, FL
  45. Price, James B., Coaldale, PA
  46. Proffer, Iredell, Clarkton, MO
  47. Raps, Harry C., Port Washington, NY
  48. Rinck, Anthony J., Jacksonville, IL
  49. Ross, John S., Hillsboro, OH
  50. St. Martin, Jean J., Charleston, SC
  51. Sanford, David D., Starrucca, PA
  52. Sawmiller, Marion A., Lincoln Park, MI
  53. Schmidt, Arthur H. Jr., Jackson Heights, NY
  54. Shiel, James L., Osage, WVa
  55. Stefanko, James A., Masontown, PA
  56. Stewart, John W. "Jack", Syracuse, NY
  57. Wycor, John J., Brooklyn, NY
  58. Wasilkowski, Raymond M., Carteret, NJ
  59. Weidner, Leroy R., Union City, PA
  60. White, Von Dale, Elkland, MO
  61. Williams, Frank B. Jr., Charleston, SC
  62. Wilson, Harrison J., Birmingham, AL

In Memoriam

[KWE Note: To add a memorial for your loved one who died in the sinking of the USS Hobson, e-mail Lynnita with text and photographs or mail to Lynnita Brown, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL 61953.]

Published Stories About the USS Hobson

Minesweeper Hobson Cut Down In Collision With Carrier
by James Donahue

Among the horror stories within the annuals of the U.S. Navy is the loss of the minesweeper Hobson when it came in collision with the aircraft carrier Wasp in the North Atlantic in 1952. The 348-foot-long Hobson was no match for the massive Wasp, was sliced in two and sank so fast it took 176 sailors to the bottom with it.

After surviving active naval battles in both the European and Pacific Theaters of World War II, including a kamikaze attack, the Hobson was assigned to training duties off the Atlantic Coast until the Korean War outbreak in 1950. She was then assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, providing support in amphibious operations and plane guard for carriers.

The Hobson met her fate on April 26, 1952, while with the Destroyer Rodman and accompanying the Carrier Wasp on route to the Mediterranean. At about 10 p.m. that night the Wasp was recovering planes from a routine night flying operation while the Hobson and Rodman were steaming about 1000 yards behind to recover any pilots who might have to ditch.

When the wind suddenly changed, the Wasp turned into it, but the Hobson failed to receive the turning signal and continued steaming forward. She consequently steamed right across the oncoming bow of the carrier and was struck amidships on the starboard side. The collision turned the Hobson over on its port side and split the ill-fated ship in two. The stern of the minesweeper swung around and slammed into the Wasp’s bow, opening a gaping hole in the carrier.

The Hobson sank within minutes, leaving a big oil slick around the carrier, which now was standing dead in the water. Most of the Hobson’s crew was below deck, asleep when the accident happened, and never had a chance. There were only 80 survivors out o a crew of 236. The commanding officer also died. Those who made it grabbed life jackets and rafts thrown out into the oil-slicked waters from the Wasp and Rodman.

The Wasp was in no danger of sinking and limped home after the crash. The hole in her starboard bow was 76-feet long.

It was a sad and unexpected end for a gallant ship. Commissioned in 1942, the Hobson served in every major US Naval action of the European War and then moved to the Pacific where she survived six bloody engagements in that theater. The ship received six Battle Stars and a Presidential Unit citation.

Readers' Comments

[KWE Note: To add a comment, e-mail Lynnita or mail to Lynnita Brown, 111 E. Houghton St., Tuscola, IL 61953.]



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