Commanding Officer

U.S. Navy photograph

Commander Amos Townsend Hathaway, U.S. Navy


navycross.jpg Navy Cross
LOM.jpg Legion of Merit
BS.jpg Bronze Star (2)
CAR.jpg Combat Action Ribbon
PUC.jpg Presidential Unit Citation
ADM.jpg American Defense Service Medal
ACM.jpg American Campaign Medal
APCM.jpg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
WW2VM.jpg World War II Victory Medal
national_defense_SM.jpg National Defense Service Medal
PPUC.jpg Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
PLM.jpg Philippine Liberation Medal
Award Criteria


- 1913 Born in Pueblo, CO
-   Duke University
MIDN 1935 U.S. Naval Academy
ENS   USS Mississippi (BB 41)
LTJG   USS Craven (DD 382)
LT   USS Boise (CL 47)
LT 1942 XO & NAV, USS Zane (DMS-14)
LCDR 1943-1944 XO, USS Hoel (DD-533)
CDR 1944 CO, USS Heermann (DD-532)
CDR 1950 - 1951 XO, USS Saint Paul (CA-73)
? ? Battalion Officer, U.S. Naval Academy
? ? Staff, Naval War College
? ? Logistics Commander, Far East Command Headquarters
CAPT ? Commander, Destroyer Division 92
CAPT ? COS, COMCARDIV 16 in USS Valley Forge (CV-45)
CAPT 1959-1960 CO, USS Rochester (CA-124)
CAPT 1960 DIR, Logistics Plans Division, Joint Chiefs of Staff
CAPT 1965 Retired from Service
- 1966 - 1979 Professor at The Citadel, Charleston, SC
- 1996 Died

Short biography of

Captain Amos T. Hathaway, U.S. Navy

Amos T. Hathaway was born on December 5, 1913 in Pueblo, Colorado, the son of James A. and Nina North Hathaway.  His hometown was Chevy Chase, Maryland.  He was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Duke University.

His first sea duty assignment was on battleship USS Mississippi (BB 41).  In the late 1930s he served on the destroyer USS Craven (DD 382) and light cruiser USS Boise (CL 47).

During World War 2 he first served as Navigator, then Executive Officer of the high-speed minesweeper USS Zane (DMS-14).  Later he was assigned as the Executive Officer of USS Hoel (DD-533).

In April 1944 Commander Hathaway was assigned as Commanding Officer of the Fletcher Class destroyer USS Heermann (DD 532).  For the next month she divided her time between protecting troop and resupply convoys which were occupying Emirau Island and hunting enemy supply barges along the coast of New Hanover.  Back in Port Purvis 3 June, Heermann participated in the bombardment of a tank farm on Fangelawa Bay, New Ireland, 11 June, and then searched for submarines along sealanes leading from the Solomons towards the Admiralties, the Carolines, and the Marshall Islands until 26 June.  The summer of 1944 found Heermann busy escorting Navy and Merchant shipping to rendezvous where they joined convoys bound for various ports.  This duty took Commander Hathaway to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides Islands and Noumea, New Caledonia Island.  Heermann cleared Port Purvis 6 September 1944 with Rear Admiral William D. Sample's escort carrier force that provided air support during the invasion of the Palau Islands.

After replenishing at Seeadler Harbor, Admiralty Islands, Commander Hathaway sortied on 12 October 1944 with a fire support group for the liberation of the Philippine Islands.  Heermann screened transports and landing ships safely to the beaches of Leyte and then joined Rear Admiral Thomas L. Sprague's Escort Carrier Group (Task Group 77.4).

At the outset of the Battle Off Samar the ship laid protective smoke in the rear of the escort carriers of Task Unit 77.4.3 with the smaller destroyer escorts.  He bravely turned Heermann to attack the heavy cruisers and battleships of the IJN Centre Force.  Although none of the torpedoes found their target, almost better results were realized. The mighty Japanese battleship HIJMS YAMATO was forced to comb Heermann's torpedo wakes and was subsequently placed out of position for the remainder of the action.  After her torpedoes were expended, Commander Hathaway bravely engaged the Japanese warships with 5-inch gunfire.  Heermann was hit several times and was notably down by the bow before the action concluded.  Heermann was the only surviving destroyer of Taffy III.  For his actions in the battle he was awarded the Navy Cross and as a member of the Task Unit a Presidential Unit Citation.

Commander Hathaway served as Executive Officer of the cruiser USS Saint Paul (CA-73) from November 1950 to July 1951 during the Korean War.  During this time he was awarded the Legion of Merit by the U.S. Army.  In the 1950s he served as Commander of Destroyer Division 92.

His shore duty billets include Staff at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island; Logistics Commander at Far East Command General Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan; and Director, Logistics Plans Division for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC in 1960.

His final sea duty billets were as Chief of Staff, Commander Carrier Division 16 in USS Valley Forge (CV-45) and Commanding Officer of the gun cruiser USS Rochester CA-124) from August 1959 to June 1960.

After he retired from the Naval service he served as a professor at The Citadel military college in Charleston, SC from 1966 to 1979 where he taught  fundamental mathematics and computer science.

Captain Hathaway passed away on August 26, 1996 at a nursing home in Charleston, South Carolina at the age of 82.  He was interred at Arlington National Cemetery in section 12 plot 8533-7 on September 6, 1996.

Source: Robert Jon Cox independent research, Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, USS Saint Paul (CA-73) Association, Arlington National Cemetery website, and Find a Grave.

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