Thomas C. Hart
|Thomas C. Hart|
|United States Senator
February 15, 1945 – November 5, 1946
|Preceded by||Francis T. Maloney|
|Succeeded by||Raymond E. Baldwin|
|Born||Thomas Charles Hart
June 12, 1877
|Died||July 4, 1971
|Resting place||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal (2)|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
|Years of service||1897–1945|
Submarine Division 2
Submarine Division 5
Submarine Flotilla 3
Cruiser Division 6
United States Asiatic Fleet
Thomas Charles Hart (June 12, 1877 – July 4, 1971) was an Admiral in the United States Navy, whose service extended from the Spanish–American War through World War II. Following his retirement from the Navy, he served briefly as a United States Senator from Connecticut.
Life and career
Hart was born in Davison, Michigan. He attended the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating 13th in a class of 47 in 1897. Hart was formally commissioned in 1899, having fought in the Battle of Santiago aboard USS Vixen (PY-4) in the Spanish–American War. Hart later served as a division officer on USS Missouri (BB-11) and commanded the destroyer USS Lawrence (DD-8).
On March 30, 1910. Hart was married to Ms. Caroline Brownson, daughter of Rear Admiral and Mrs. Willard H. Brownson. At that time, LCDR Hart was assigned to inspect the building of the new Delaware-class battleship North Dakota at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, to which he was assigned prior to its commissioning on Monday, 11 April 1910. They spent their honeymoon at the newly rebuilt luxury resort "The Homestead", in Hot Springs, Bath County, Virginia.
Following his assignment on North Dakota, Hart became qualified to command submarines. In 1917 he was Chief of Staff to the Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet (COMSUBLANT), commanding COMSUBLANT's flagship Chicago at New London, Connecticut. He also served in World War I as Director of Submarine Operations for the Navy Department. Serving in this office as its head until 1922, Hart fought doggedly to improve the lot of the submarine arm of the Navy. His tenacity was responsible for the U.S. Navy's acquisition of surrendered German U-boats after World War I to learn the details of the technical innovations incorporated in the erstwhile enemy craft. Examination and trials of these U-boats were very influential in subsequent US Navy submarine design.
An unsuccessful recommendation of Hart's while on the General Board, beginning in 1936, was the building of small submarines. Hart's plan was to replace the aging S-boats, R-boats, and O-boats to provide area defense of submarine bases. This plan resulted in only two experimental submarines, Mackerel and Marlin. During this period, Hart successfully advocated the building of large destroyer leaders, later classified as anti-aircraft light cruisers (CLAAs), which became the Atlanta class and others.
World War II
Hart was appointed Commander in Chief, U.S. Asiatic Fleet on 25 July 1939 and held that position at the commencement of hostilities in World War II between Japan and the United States in December 1941. The majority of forces under Hart's command were located in the Philippines, with a small force of destroyers and a light cruiser based in Borneo. His command included the majority of the combat-ready US submarines in the Pacific. Hart initially commanded U.S. naval forces from Manila, but was forced to relocate to Java on 15 January 1942, in light of rapid Japanese advances through the Philippine archipelago. On his relocation to Java, Hart was named Commander, Naval Forces, ABDA Command, a joint British, Dutch, American and Australian military command, formed for purposes of holding the southern portions of the Dutch East Indies against further Japanese advances. While in command of ABDA naval forces, ships under his command fought the Battle of Balikpapan, a tactical victory, but strategic defeat for the allied forces. Hart held the command of the U.S. Navy Asiatic Fleet until 5 February 1942, at which point the command ceased to exist as part of a broader U.S. military command restructuring in the Southwest Pacific. Hart continue to hold the position of commander for ABDA naval forces until relieved of operational responsibilities on 12 February 1942. Hart formally was relieved of this title on 16 February 1942, when he left Java, ostensibly for health reasons, bound for the United States.
Hart returned to the United States on 8 March 1942. President Roosevelt presented Hart with a Gold Star in lieu of a second Distinguished Service Medal in July 1942 (his first Distinguished Service Medal having been awarded for his service in World War I) for "His conduct of the operations of the Allied naval forces in the Southwest Pacific area during January and February, 1942, was characterized by unfailing judgment and sound decision, coupled with marked moral courage, in the face of discouraging surroundings and complex associations.". Hart was retired with the rank of Admiral in July, 1942, but recalled to duty in August, 1942 as a member of the U.S. Navy's General Board. Hart retired from active duty a second time in February, 1945, on his appointment to the U.S. Senate to fill the seat of Francis T. Maloney, on Maloney's death.
Family and Legacy
Here is the ribbon bar of Admiral Hart:
|Officer Submarine Badge|
|1st Row||Navy Distinguished Service Medal with Gold Star||Sampson Medal|
|2nd Row||Spanish Campaign Medal||Mexican Service Medal||World War I Victory Medal with Submarine Clasp|
|3rd Row||China Service Medal||American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp||Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with one service star|
|4th Row||American Campaign Medal||World War II Victory Medal||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords|
- Hart, Thomas (2013). War in the Pacific: The Classified Report of Admiral Thomas C. Hart. Clarion Publishing. ISBN 978-0988714571.
- List of Superintendents of the United States Naval Academy
- List of United States Senators from Connecticut
- Thomas C. Hart biography at Arlington Cemetery website
- Oakland Tribune (Sunday morning edition, 27 March 1910, page 4, column 1, section - "Washington Society News and Gossip")
- The Washington Post (Thursday edition, 31 March 1910, page 7, columns 3–4, section- "Miss Brownson a Bride").
- The Washington Post Monday edition, 11 April 1910, page 7, column 3, section - "Personal Paragraphs".
- Friedman submarines, pp. 159-161
- Friedman submarines, pp. 221-224
- Friedman cruisers, pp. 228-236
- Morison, S.E., History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Little, Brown & Company, 1948, vol 3, p.151, p.158.
- Morison, pp. 158–160.
- Asiatic Fleet deployment 7 December 1941
- US submarine deployment 7 December 1941
- Morison, p. 278
- Morison, pp. 277–279
- Morison, p. 291
- Morison, p. 279
- Morison, p. 312
- Passenger List of Pan American Airways System - Atlantic Division, Yankee Clipper (NC 18603). From the Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957 (National Archives Microfilm Publication Year: 1942; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_6613; Line: 1).
- TIME June 01, 1942
- Julia Wells. Born in the White House, Pastor to All, Very Rev. Francis B. Sayre Jr. Dies at 93
- Friedman, Norman US Submarines through 1945: An Illustrated Design History, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995, ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
- Friedman, Norman US Cruisers: An Illustrated Design History, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995, ISBN 0-87021-718-6.
- Alden, John D., Commander, USN (retired). The Fleet Submarine in the U.S. Navy, Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 0-87021-187-0.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Biographical Directory of the United States Congress: Thomas Charles Hart
- ibiblio.org - Proceedings of the Hart Inquiry, on the Pearl Harbor Attack
- Proceedings of Pearl Harbor investigations including the Hart Inquiry
- arlingtoncemetery.net : Thomas Charles Hart
Samuel S. Robison
|Superintendent of United States Naval Academy
David F. Sellers
Harry E. Yarnell
|Commander-in-Chief, United States Asiatic Fleet
25 July 1939–14 February 1942
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
February 15, 1945 – November 5, 1946
Served alongside: Brien McMahon