William A. Hodgman

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William Adams Hodgman (January 31, 1884 – February 9, 1967) was a United States Navy captain and diplomat. He served on a number of ships, and briefly as the 23rd Naval Governor of Guam. During World War I, he commanded the USS Roe, for which he received the Navy Cross. After leaving the Navy, he served as commercial attaché to several countries, notably to Hungary, where he gained notoriety for striking a duke at a party.

Naval career[edit]

Hodgman graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1908, after being appointed from New York.[1] He served on a number of ships during his career. In 1913, as an ensign, he served aboard the USS Nebraska.[2] In 1917, Hodgman, then a lieutenant, served aboard the USS Connecticut.[3] Hodgman served as acting Governor of Guam from November 22, 1919 to December 21, 1919.[4] As a lieutenant commander, he received the Navy Cross for his exceptional command of the USS Roe during World War I. He retired as a captain.[1]

Diplomatic work[edit]

After leaving the Navy, Hodgman served as a commercial attaché to Guatemala.[5] In 1931, he was acting as commercial attaché to Hungary when he became involved in a diplomatic incident. He had been hosting a party shortly before returning to the United States on leave. There, Heinrich Borwin, Duke of the House of Mecklenburg, made disparaging remarks about some of Hodgman's guests, prompting the diplomat to strike Borwin. Borwin consequently challenged Hodgman to a duel, but Hodgman declined and returned to the United States shortly thereafter.[6] Despite this incident, Hodgman kept his post as diplomat, and was assigned to Montevideo, Uruguay, later the same year.[7]

He died on February 9, 1967, in San Diego, California.[8]


  1. ^ a b "William Adams Hodgman". Military Times. Gannett Government Media. 2011. Archived from the original on 27 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Officers of the Navy and Marine Corps of the United States. 3. Millington, Tennessee: Bureau of Naval Personnel. 1913. p. 18. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  3. ^ Register of the Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and Reserve Officers on Active Duty. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. 1917. p. 282. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Naval Era Governors of Guam". Guampedia. Guam: University of Guam. 10 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Handy, Jim (1994). Revolution in the Countryside: Rural Conflict and Agrarian Reform in Guatemala, 1944-1954. North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. p. 213. ISBN 0-8078-4438-1. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Say American Hit Duke". The New York Times. New York City. The New York Times Company. 2 July 1931. p. 28. 
  7. ^ "Takes Montevideo Post". The New York Times. New York City. The New York Times Company. 2 December 1931. p. 46. 
  8. ^ [1]