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Hobson, the naval officer, the avenue, the ship

May 6, 2009
Lt Hobson, Medal of Honor winner

Lt Hobson, Medal of Honor winner

Richmond  Pearson Hobson was a great hero of the  Spanish American  War,  following only Theodore Roosevelt  and George Dewey.  Hobson was born in 1870, in Greensboro,  Alabama. His dad was a Confederate veteran.  He won a competitive test  for appointment to the Naval Academy at age fourteen and was the youngest in his class.  Hobson graduated from Annapolis in 1889, ranked first in his class.

In the war with Spain, Lieutenant Hobson was given the task of sinking his ship, the Merrimac, to block the entrance to Santiago de Cuba Harbor. The effort failed and Hobson  was taken prisoner. He was exchanged on July 6, 1898, and, to his  surprise, found himself a national hero.  He resigned his commission in 1903 and was elected to Congress serving four terms.   In 1933, Hobson was awarded the Congressional  Medal of Honor for his actions aboard the Merrimac. His crew had received the medal in 1899, but officers were  not eligible for the honor at that time.  He died in 1937.   The avenue is not the only thing named for Hobson here.  The destroyer USS Hobson was built in this Navy Yard in 1942.

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