John Hood DD-665 - History

John Hood DD-665 - History

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John Hood

John Hood was born in Florence, Ala., 3 December 1859. He was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1875, and graduated from the Naval Academy, second in his class. His first cruise after graduation took him to the South Atlantic in Shenandoah, and he later sailed in Wachusetts, Brooklyn, Vandalia, Mohician, Jamestown, Constellation, Bancroft and Kearsarge. Hood was wrecked with Kearsarge 21 February 1894 on Roncador Reef off Central America in the Pacific, and was a lieutenant in Maine when she was blown up at Havana 15 February 1898.

Hood commanded Hawk during the Spanish American War, carried information of the arrival of the Spanish Squadron off Santiago to the commander of the Flying Squadron at Cienfuegos, and delivered orders for him to proceed to Santiago 23 May 1898. He also served in Nero during the Spanish War. Hood surveyed the Pacific in 1899-1900 to prepare data and charts by which the Pacific cable was laid.

He commanded Elcano in Chinese waters during the Russo-Japanese War from 1903 to 1905 and Tacoma from 1907 to 1909, during Haitian and Central American revolutions and elections. He was in charge of the ships at the Naval Academy in 1909 and 1910. He commanded Rhode Island of the Atlantic Fleet in 1910-11. Under him in 1911-12, Delaware won the battle efficiency pennant. From 1912 to 1915 he was a member of the General Board of the Navy. In 1915-16 he commanded Texas which won the "Red E" for excellence in engineering efficiency.

He was promoted to Rear Admiral August 29, 1916 and retired 18 March 1918. Admiral Hood died at the Naval Hospital, Annapolis, Md., February 11, 1919.

(DD-665: dp. 2,050; 1. 376'6"; b. 39'8"; dr. 17'9"; s. 37 k.; cpl. 319; a. 5 5", 10 40mm., 7 20mm., 6 dcp., 2 dct., 10 21 " tt. ; cl. Fletcher)

John Hood (DD-665) was laid down 12 October 1942 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala.; launched 25 October 1943; sponsored by Miss Amelia O'Neal; and commissioned 7 June 1944, Comdr. Thomas J. Thronhill in command.

After shakedown in the Caribbean, the new destroyer departed for the Pacific 21 August 1944, arriving Mare Island 6 September. She sailed on to the Aleutian Islands for duty with the North Pacific Forces, arriving Adak 18 September. John Hood joined Destroyer Squadron 57 of Rear Admiral J. L. McCrea's Task Force 92 and served her entire war career in the stormy waters of the North Pacific guarding our vital northern "back door." The principal offensive missions were to harass and threaten the enemy outposts in the Kurile Islands, more than 600 miles westward of Attu. In carrying out this mission, the Task Force made nine sorties against the Kuriles and five offensive sweeps in the Sea of Okhotsk, hampered by bad weather, and well beyond the range of friendly air cover. John Hood was the only ship of the task force which participated in every sortie from reporting through the end of the war.

In November she engaged in the bombardment of the Japanese base on Matasuwa, causing considerable damage to the installation. She continued sorties and patrol operations in the Kuriles through the winter and spring of 1945. While patrolling in the Sea of Okhotsk 25 June 1945, John Hood encountered an enemy convoy attempting last minute reinforcements to the badly battered Japanese garrisons. The destroyer assisted in sinking one cargo ship and probable sinking of another. On 11 August her task group conducted one of the final naval operations of the war by destroying another enemy convoy.

Following the cessation of hostilities, she steamed to Adak to prepare for occupation duties. John Hood departed Adak 31 August with a large force headed for Northern Japan. The battle tested destroyer remained in Northern Japanese waters with the occupations forces until she turned homeward 18 November. She arrived Charleston, S.C., 22 December and remained there until she decommissioned 3 July 1946 and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

John Hood recommissioned 3 August 1951, Comdr. S. P. Gantz in command. Following commissioning she received major modifications to enable her to assume a place in the modern fleet.

John Hood departed Norfolk 29 June for an aroundworld cruise, including peace-keeping patrols with the 7th Fleet off the coast of Korea. She returned to Norfolk 6 February 1954 for repairs and coastal training operations before sailing 5 November 1955 for Mediterranean duty with the 6th Fleet. Upon returning to Norfolk 26 February 1956, the destroyer received repairs to her storm damaged mast and then trained midshipmen in the summer. During the tense Suez crisis in the fall she sailed with Task Force 26 to Lisbon to be ready for action if needed and returned to the Virginia Capes in December.

Following training exercises along the Atlantic coast, and another 6th Meet cruise 1957 in the still turbulent Mideastern waters, John Hood commenced training cruises in early 1958. She operated with Fleet Sonar School and engaged in ASW exercises before being transferred to the Reserve Destroyer Squadron at New York I October 1959. She continued training reservists until I August 1961, when President Kennedy ordered a callup of reservists to bolster the nation's military strength during the Berlin crisis. The American answer to the communist challenge prevented a major conflict; and, as the crisis subsided, John Hood resumed duties as a reserve training destroyer at New York in August 1962. She continued this service into 1967.

John Hood received one battle star for World War II service.


This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Fletcher Class Destroyer
    Keel Laid October 12 1942 - Launched October 25 1943

Naval Covers

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USS John Hood DD-655 (1944-1974)

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Rear Adm. John Murray Hood

Commander of the Hawk, the fastest U.S. ship in the Spanish-American War, Rear Admiral John M. Hood then commanded the Fourth Division of the Atlantic Fleet in World War I. The USS John Hood (DD-655) was named for him.

Erected 2016 by City of Florence.

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, Spanish-American &bull Waterways & Vessels.

Location. 34° 48.362′ N, 87° 37.89′ W. Marker is in Florence, Alabama, in Lauderdale County. Marker can be reached from Hightower Place 0.3 miles south of Veterans Drive (Alabama Route 133). Located in River Heritage Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 Hightower Place, Florence AL 35630, United States of America. Touch for directions.

Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oscar Stanton DePriest (here, next to this marker) Charles Caine Anderson (here, next to this marker) Frank Perron Achorn (here, next to this marker) Dr. Amit Roy (here, next to this marker) Lt. Col. R. Edward Yeilding (a few steps from this marker) Ronnie Gene Flippo (within shouting distance of this marker) James Thomas Rapier (within shouting Paid Advertisement

distance of this marker) William Christopher Handy (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.

Also see . . . USS John Hood (DD-665). John Hood was born in Florence, Ala., 3 December 1859. He was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1875, and graduated from the Naval Academy, second in his class. His first cruise after graduation took him to the South Atlantic in Shenandoah, and he later sailed in Wachusetts, Brooklyn, Vandalia, Mohician, Jamestown, Constellation, Bancroft and Kearsarge. Hood was wrecked with Kearsarge 21 February 1894 on Roncador Reef off Central America in the Pacific, and was a lieutenant in Maine when she was blown up at Havana 15 February 1898 (Submitted on November 5, 2016, by Sandra Hughes Tidwell of Killen, Alabama, USA.)

Comment & Discussion

Several Navy submarine veterans I have spoken to have readily agreed that the submarine force should be a mixture of nuclear and diesel-powered subs. Commander Fargo overlooks two important points in his commentary rejecting the case for diesels:

1. A submarine can only be in one place at one time. It is generally acknowledged that the submarine force is under-strength for the multitude of missions assigned to it. The small number of nuclear-powered submarines renders the submarine force vulnerable. Since it is generally agreed that two or three diesel air independent propulsion (AIP)–equipped submarines can be built for the cost of one nuclear-powered one, the argument to acquire some is compelling. There undoubtedly are numerous scenarios where a diesel boat would suffice in place of a high-value nuclear one.

2. The United States does not have infinite financial resources. The current emphasis on nuclear power for submarines has resulted in the submarine force sacrificing quantity for quality. The current spending programs for defense cannot be sustained for long in view of unprecedented national debt, and sooner or later the Navy will be forced to make some hard choices.

—George Walker, Life Member

UAVs: Before Fire Scout, There Was DASH

(See T. Pinney, Proceedings Today, August 2018)

I applaud Captain Pinney’s comprehensive review of the 1960s-era Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter DASH-QH-50-C program. I was a DASH controller-instructor with Utility Squadron 6 (VU-6) in 1963 at Naval Training Center–Damneck, followed by a full year on the USS Forrest Royal (DD-872) as DASH Division Officer.

These drone helos were indeed viewed as experimental toys by seasoned destroyer skippers and crews however, when deployed properly, they had great potential to sink enemy subs far from their vulnerable destroyers.

Many were lost to intermittent electronic control issues. Remember that commercial televisions were still mostly black and white and often “snowed out” with no warning. DASH electronic systems were subject to the same kinds of problems in an infant industry.

The leading edges of the counter--rotating blades were long strips of quarter-round lead inserts that traveled through their arc just below supersonic speed. If these blades impacted anything, it generated a very hazardous catastrophic reaction of exploding shrapnel in every direction. Flight deck crews were always at great risk when trying to land and secure a returning drone on a rolling, pitching deck. Sure, the bird was “expendable” since there was no crew on board, but its basic cost was $125,000—more than $1 million today—not cheap.

Captain Pinney correctly underscores that DASH was an important stopgap system until the Navy could upgrade their destroyer force to larger, more stable ships for the new, more capable light airborne multipurpose system (LAMPS) helicopter. U.S. Navy operations during the Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile crises had to affect strategic planning at the time.

He also concludes with two appropriate questions: Why did it take so long for the Fire Scout to come along? And, how can it best be employed from here?

—LT W. D. Reed, USNR (Ret.)

Fifty Tons of Fury:
Bring Back the Patrol Torpedo Boat

(See E. Hernandez, Proceedings Today, September 2018)

Captain Hernandez is correct to point out that not every mission requires a guided-missile destroyer. However, a host of operational, logistical and practical challenges make the reimagined patrol-torpedo (PT) boat a less than optimal alternative for the modern U.S. Navy.

First is range. The Navy prefers to “fight an away game”—to operate far from home waters. In peacetime, a short-legged combatant such as a PT boat would only further burden the Navy’s already overworked combat logistic structure. In wartime, it is questionable whether a modern PT boat base—by definition, close to the enemy—could even be protected.

Second is detectability. The greatest advantage a World War II–era PT boat possessed was the small size that made it difficult to detect and target. The modern battlespace is very different. The proliferation of highly capable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems coupled with precision-guided munitions has significantly stacked the odds of concealment and survival against small fast-attack craft.

Third is risk. The most famous movie about PT boats was titled They Were Expendable. Of the 531 PT boats that served during World War II, 99 (18%) were lost. Today’s modern military and the American public are much more aware of and averse to casualties, making it difficult to imagine a modern commander choosing to send multiple PT boats (each with eight sailors) into a high-end fight.

An unmanned surface vehicle (USV) variant of the PT boat could address many of these concerns. First, by removing the requirement to host a human crew, more size, weight, and power could be devoted to propulsion, fuel, and weapons. Second, USVs allow for the possibility of small, low-freeboard designs with reduced radar and visual signatures.

Last, removing humans would provide operational commanders with a truly needed capability: an asymmetric asset that could be employed with little risk to sailors’ lives.

—Matt Cosner

Technology: The New Addiction

(See P. Ryan, pp. 52–57, September 2018)

Captain Ryan relates the rise of personal technology usage (PTU) to the simultaneous increase in diagnoses of anxiety, depression, suicide rates, aviation mishaps, and even child abuse.

While there is undoubtedly a correlation and a sharp rise in recent decades, causation is not clear, as he notes in his conclusion, calling for study. Until more research is done, we will not know the full impact, but there likely are many causes beyond technology. I agree with him that “it is imperative that we assess the impact on sailors’ abilities to function the next day after PTU before bed.”

—MIDN Marcus Sanders, USN

From Our Archive

I was very intrigued by September’s archive photo, identified as a World War I–era blimp with a depth charge under a seat. I believe this may be incorrect.

The blimp appears to be a C-class (or possibly D-class), with the photo showing the port-side motor, photographed from the bow of the gondola. The cylindrical object underneath the motor is, I believe, the fuel tank (the small oil tank being situated with the engine itself).

What a great photo to include in the magazine. I commend you.

—Larry Reese

Editor’s Note: Most of the information on the photos in the Naval Institute archive comes from the captions provided with the original Navy photos, or the cataloging information included with donations. That was the source of the description of the September photo. On close inspection, it does appear that the “chair” may in fact contain a V-8 engine that looks consistent with the Hispano Suiza 8s with which C- and D-class blimps were equipped.

Ready. Responsive. Relevant?

(See K. Pecora, pp. 32–37, August 2018, and J. Marks, More C&D, September 2018)

I wanted to join the Coast Guard from the time I was eight years old, even though the service was not talked about much in the 1950s and early 1960s. I recall seeing one recruiting ad with two or three “40 boats” coming at the camera at full speed with some upbeat military music (that turned out to be the Coast Guard march). I joined in July 1965 because there was a quiet value system rather than a lot of packaging. A young female volunteer at a USO dance in November 1965 in San Francisco said to me, “Oh, you are in the ‘Ghost’ Guard.”

Two recent Coast Guard movies have been made and sold well at the box office. (The background music was another matter.) The Coast Guard, like the other services, is assumed to be present and accounted for at all times. When needed, Coast Guard members respond and go quietly about their business.

Maybe, using old as new has merit? Try marketing a recruiting video with the Coast Guard doing a number of its jobs with the Coast Guard march in the background, nice and loud. People will sit up and take notice.

It is about time to highlight the Coast Guard as a very special military and humanitarian service with more than 200 years of service to this country. Beat that!

—PSC Mike Benjamin, USCG (Ret.)

War and Peace Helps
Us Read History

(See B. Bray, p. 69, August 2018)

I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement with Captain Bray’s argument on the value of literature in addition to military history to invigorate the constantly developing military mind. He offers up Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace as a paragon because it is both a classic work of literature and the author rejects traditional interpretations of history. He mentions specifically Tolstoy’s objection to viewing history as the inevitable outcome of human agency—namely, the folly of the human tendency to ascribe a causal relationship between action and outcome. This philosophy permeates the book.

By all accounts, the novel is one of the finest in world history. However, the 1,400 page masterpiece can be intimidating and includes a fair amount of Russian aristocratic intrigue, romance, and family drama not directly applicable to the developing martial mind. For those less inclined to discover whom Natasha Rostova will marry, I suggest busy readers first explore volume 3, part 1, chapter 1 (Vintage Classics translation, p. 603) of War and Peace, where the author concisely narrates his philosophy, a valuable tool for the interpretation of military history.

—LT Brendan Cordial, USN

In Appreciation: Captain H. F. “Gerry” Lenfest

It was good to see the well-deserved tribute to Gerry Lenfest in Proceedings.

As a new ensign on board the USS John Hood (DD-655), I was serving as main propulsion assistant when the Berlin Wall crisis took place. The John Hood was a reserve training ship, but its crew was recalled to active duty as a result of the crisis. Gerry served as the operations officer. We sailed together for a year in Destroyer Squadron 20. Gerry returned to civilian life, and I completed my service on the destroyer about a year after that.

For about 50 years we had no contact, but through articles in the Columbia University Alumni magazine and in Proceedings, I kept up with news of him and learned that he had made a great fortune and was giving it away to many deserving causes. In the meantime, I had had a 40-plus-year career as a consulting civil engineer.

In retirement, I spent much of my time as a volunteer with Project C.U.R.E., a nonprofit that donates equipment and surplus U.S. hospital supplies to hospitals and clinics in developing countries.

When I caught up with Gerry, the project owned four distribution centers around the country. For several years it had wanted to open an east coast center in the Philadelphia area but lacked the necessary $350,000 in seed money. Knowing that Gerry lived in the Philadelphia area, I wrote him a letter recalling our days together on the John Hood, described the need, and asked whether he could make a donation to help.

A few weeks later a letter arrived from the Lenfest Foundation. Gerry wrote that the project seemed “most worthwhile. . . . But, frankly, we have too many commitments on our plate to take on another, no matter how worthwhile. For you and the project, I do enclose a donation of $100,000.”

The enclosed check for $100,000 spurred a donation of $100,000 from another foundation. When I asked Gerry if he could help us with the remaining $150,000, he said that if we could get the other foundation to come up with an additional $75,000, he would come up with the rest. We did and he did.

The center is now open and has sent millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and supplies to hospitals in developing countries. It would not have happened without Gerry’s donation.

Such is the bond created by service in the Tin Can Navy, and such was Gerry’s generosity.

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John F. Kennedy kept these medical struggles private

Every member of “the greatest generation” can tell you where they were on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese Air Force bombed Pearl Harbor. And every Baby Boomer has a similar clarity of mind when recalling the horrors of Nov. 22, 1963.

That, of course, was the day 56 years ago when Lee Harvey Oswald murdered President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade drove through the streets of Dallas. Yet it is only in the past few decades we have had a more thorough understanding of President Kennedy’s complex medical history.

To put it bluntly, long before he died at age 46, Kennedy was a very sick man.

As a child, Kennedy nearly died from scarlet fever and also had serious digestive problems — most likely spastic colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, which plagued him for the rest of his life. As a young man, he suffered from urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and a duodenal ulcer. Better known was his notorious spine and back problems that began while playing football in college. His lower back pain was so severe, he was initially rejected by the both U.S. Army and the Navy when he first volunteered for service in World War II.

Through his own tenacity and father’s connections, Kennedy joined the Naval Reserve and became an officer on a P.T. (patrol torpedo) boat. During a battle in the Solomon Islands, on Aug. 1, 1943, the ship was strafed in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri. PT-109 quickly sank and two of the crew members died. Eleven others, including Kennedy, survived, floundering in the Pacific. A few of them were seriously injured. Along with the crew, Kennedy swam several miles to an island, towing one of the injured men by a life-vest strap. He then swam to other islands in search of fresh water and a U.S. vessel. Eventually, the men were rescued thanks in part to a distress signal Kennedy carved on a coconut shell.

The following year, 1944, Kennedy underwent the first of four unsuccessful back surgeries he had three more procedures between 1954 and 1957 while he was a U.S. senator. His spinal surgeries, which included fusions of the lumbar vertebrae and the placement of metal plates, were complicated by poor wound healing, painful abscesses, and osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone). He was so ill at a few points during this period that his Catholic priest administered last rites. During a long period of recuperation in 1956, he wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Profiles in Courage,” with the help of his eloquent speechwriter Theodore Sorenson.

Almost every day of Kennedy’s adult life, he experienced debilitating back pain, especially in the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joints. Many times, his back was so stiff from pain and arthritis that he could not even bend over to tie his shoes. Few people who live free of this disability understand how badly it affects one’s life. Still, Kennedy soldiered on to make his indelible mark on the world — until his assassination.

Some physicians have argued that the rigid back brace he wore while sitting in the presidential limousine on Nov. 22, 1963, contributed to his death. After the first, non-fatal gunshot struck him, Kennedy was unable to bend down. Instead of crumpling to the bottom of the car, the stiff brace held him upright and he remained in Oswald’s gun sight so that the killer was able to shoot the president in the head.

Yet Kennedy’s most serious health issue was Addison’s disease. This is an insufficiency of the adrenal glands, the organs which produce the vital hormones that help control sodium, potassium, and glucose levels in the blood, and mediate the body’s reactions to stress. Addison’s disease patients often begin their illness by experiencing severe diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and low blood pressure. If left untreated, it is a life-threatening disease. Since the late 1930s, doctors have been able to manage this serious illness with the prescription of corticosteroids, which, according to his biographer Robert Dallek, Kennedy probably began taking in one form or another since at least 1947, when he was officially diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency. Some reports, however, claim he may have taken the medication earlier. The chronic use of steroids over his lifetime likely caused osteoporosis of various bones in his body, most notably his spine, where he suffered from three fractured vertebrae.

During his presidency, Kennedy was also treated with a slew of opiate pain killers, local anesthetic (lidocaine) shots for his back pain, tranquilizers such as Librium, amphetamines and stimulants, including Ritalin, thyroid hormones, barbiturate sleeping pills, gamma globulin to stave off infections, as well as the steroid hormones he needed to keep his adrenal insufficiency at bay. According to The New York Times, during the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962, the president was prescribed “antispasmodics to control colitis antibiotics for a urinary infection and increased amounts of hydrocortisone and testosterone along with salt tablets to control his adrenal insufficiency and boost his energy.”

In his 1965 book “A Thousand Days,” the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. described an interview with Kennedy in July of 1959, in which he asked the U.S. senator about the rumors of his having Addison’s disease. Kennedy, who was about to run for president, confidently told Schlesinger, “No one who has the real Addison’s disease should run for the presidency, but I do not have it.”

Here, Kennedy was being both a duplicitous politician and an astute historian of medicine. In 1855, Thomas Addison, the senior physician to London’s Guy’s Hospital, published his treatise, “On the Constitutional and Local Effects of Disease of the Suprarenal Capsules.” The adrenal insufficiency of the six patients he described in this publication was caused by a destructive and infectious tuberculosis of the adrenal glands. Kennedy had adrenal insufficiency of an unknown cause but he was not in any way, shape or form, infected with tuberculosis. So, technically, he did not have “real Addison’s disease.”

Such verbal flim-flam recalls a mordant observation often attributed to our 35th president: “Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don’t want them to become politicians in the process.”

Left: President John F. Kennedy. Photo by Gerald L French/Corbis via Getty Images

Cracking the Army’s Budget Book on SmallArms

The Army’s recently announced budget request for the fiscal year 2022 includes at least $114 million for new rifles, handguns, and the next generation of small arms.

While the overall FY2022 Defense Department Budget is $112 billion, most of the non-operational dollars are for high-level R&D and big-ticket items like the F-35 fighter. The Army’s budget book for weapons and tracked combat vehicles meanwhile has a low nine-figure ask when it comes to individual small arms.

The bulk ($97 million) is to go to the Next Generation Squad Weapons, with much of the balance to acquire new Barrett-made Precision Sniper Rifles, and a few crumbs for M4s, M17s, and the like.

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John Bell Hood

Born in Owingsville, Kentucky in 1831 and a West Point Graduate at the age of 22, John Bell Hood was one of the most rapidly promoted leaders in the Confederate history of the Civil War. After serving in California and Texas for the United States Military, he resigned his commission in April of 1861 to join the Confederacy as a cavalry captain. From there, he was soon promoted to colonel of the Texas 4th Infantry. Thereafter he distinguished himself on a dozen fields, beginning in the Peninsula Campaign and at Second Manassas. At the Battle of Gaines' Mill on June 27, he distinguished himself by leading his brigade in a charge that broke the Union line - arguably the most successful Confederate performance in the Seven Days Battles. While Hood escaped the battle without an injury, every officer in his brigade was killed or wounded.

He was promoted to major general in 1862 serving with distinction at Sharpsburg and at Fredericksburg. Hood was a significant player at the Battle of Gettysburg, being ordered by Longstreet to attack the Union’s left flank against his own wishes. His command was bloodily blunted by union forces in Devils Den, and finally undone at Little Round Top. Hood was severely wounded in the arm at Gettysburg and was forced to hand off command, and soon thereafter lost a leg at Chickamauga. After some recovery, he was appointed to lieutenant general serving under J.E. Johnston, whom he would surpass in rank in the spring of 1864. Hood conducted the remainder of the Atlanta Campaign with the strong aggressive actions for which he was famous. He launched four major offensives that summer in an attempt to break Sherman's siege of Atlanta, starting almost immediately with an attack along Peachtree Creek however, all of the offensives failed, with significant Confederate casualties. Finally, on September 2, 1864, Hood evacuated the city of Atlanta, burning as many military supplies and installations as possible.

Hood marched his army into Tennessee where his forces were crippled trying to break through Union breastworks at the Battle of Franklin. His army suffered again at the Battle of Nashville from Union forces lead by General Thomas. Hood was relieved of his rank (at his own request) in January of 1865 and returned to his post as lieutenant general. He desired to take control of the Texas army, but they surrendered before his arrival. In May 1865, Hood gave himself up to Union forces in Natchez, Mississippi. After the war, Hood moved to New Orleans and lived there with his wife and children until he died in 1879 of yellow fever.

Florence Celebrates 2016 Walk of Honor Inductees

FLORENCE—Mayor Mickey Haddock and the Florence City Council announced that the City of Florence hosted the dedication ceremony for the 2016 Walk of Honor Inductees Thursday, August 4, 2016, at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center. The Walk of Honor, located in the beautiful River Heritage Park, recognizes individuals of Florence and Lauderdale County who have achieved national or international acclaim. This is a means to give honor and perpetuate the name and achievement of deserving individuals, either current or former citizens, through a form of civic recognition. Areas of national or international accomplishment include, but not limited to: agriculture, art, athletics, business, education, government, humanities, literature, medicine, military, music, public service, religion, and science and technology.

The 2016 Inductees and their achievements are as follows:

Widely known and admired both for his success in business and for his philanthropy, Charles C. Anderson was one of only 12 individuals in the United States to receive the Horatio Alger Award in 2014.


Bio Summary:
Charles C. Anderson, Sr. is a successful businessman locally, nationally, and internationally. He was born in Florence in 1934 and has lived here his entire life, graduating from both Coffee High School and the University of North Alabama. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Hilda, and they have four sons who are all involved in the family businesses. Charles was one of only 12 people nationwide to receive the Horatio Alger Award in 2014. This award is presented to honorees who start from humble beginnings and become highly successful—and who become known for their philanthropy.

Learning at an early age the value of hard work and the importance of faith and family, Charles went from working for his father in a small newsstand to the head of a multi-million dollar business enterprise. His entrepreneurial spirit and solid upbringing led him along the way.

In all of his successes, he has given back into our community and across the globe many times over and made numerous worthwhile projects feasible. He was not one who sought recognition, but quietly giving a hand of financial support or providing an opportunity for others to work.

The Horatio Alger Award noted that “a dedicated leader in his community and beyond, Mr. Anderson has served on the boards of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, First United Bancorp, and Heritage Trust Fund, and was a charter member of the Shoals Economic Development Authority Board. He was the University of North Alabama Alumnus of the Year in 1979. A longtime supporter of the Salvation Army, Mr. Anderson served on its National Advisory Board. He was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 2011. He is a member of the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and the President’s Cabinet at the University of North Alabama, his alma mater. With a shared interest in education, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson have made many contributions to universities, schools and other charitable causes.”

In 1928, Oscar S. DePriest, son of former slaves, became the first 20th century African-American Congressman from the north. He is credited with the Anti-discrimination Amendment to the 1933 Civilian Conservation Corps Bill.


Bio Summary:
Born in Florence, Alabama, in 1871, Oscar DePriest rose from humble beginnings as the son of former slaves in Alabama to become the first black Congressman from the North. He moved from Florence to Kansas, and then in 1888, to Chicago where he started working first as a painter and then in his own real estate business. From there, he became a politician and a legislator. For many years he was a major force in local politics in Chicago.

DePriest got his start in politics around the turn of the century after attending a community meeting. According to the Chicago Tribute Markers of Distinction, he was “shrewd, smart, and street savvy.” He developed great organizational skills and devoted his time to politics. He became popular among the Republican Party leaders and was nominated for Cook County Commissioner in 1904. In 1915 he was elected alderman of the 2nd Ward. He introduced a civil rights ordinance in the City Council the next year. In 1928, he was elected to the First District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and served three terms. He is credited with the passing of the antidiscrimination amendment to the 1933 bill establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps.

After leaving Congress, he ran again for alderman in Chicago and served from 1943 to 1947.

Dr. Ellen D. Hoffleit, celebrated worldwide for her many contributions to astronomy, discovered more than 1,200 variable stars. She authored Yale Bright Star Catalogue which is used in almost every astronomical observatory in the world.


Bio Summary:
Dr. Hoffleit was born in Florence, Alabama, and raised in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Her interest in stars began as a young child watching fireballs appear to collide in the skies above her backyard. She graduated from Radcliffe College with a degree in mathematics in 1928, and then began her career as a research assistant at the Harvard Observatory where she soon became an expert at determining spectroscopically the absolute brightness of stars. Under the supervision of Harlow Shapley she went on to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy in 1938, for which she was awarded the Carolyn Wilby Prize for the best original research. She worked at Harvard for 25 years and then was hired at Yale University in 1956 to run its star cataloging program.

In 1957 she was named director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory at Nantucket, where she initiated a summer research program for undergraduates, primarily young women. Under her mentorship, eleven of these women went on to earn Ph.D.’s in astronomy collectively they discovered more than 1,000 new variable stars and published more than 90 research papers.

Dr. Hoffleit’s major work during her years at Yale was The Bright Star Catalogue which is still used today at virtually every Astronomical Observatory in the world. Her many awards include the 1968 George van Biesbroeck Award for dedication to astronomy and the 1993 AAS-Annenberg Prize for science education. She is the past president of the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Asteroid Dorrit was named for her, and a Hoffleit Assistantship was established at the Mitchell Observatory to honor her work.

Though officially retired in 1975, Dr. Hoffleit continued to research for star catalogues as a Senior Research Scientist Emeritus. She passed away in 2007 at the age of 100.

Commander of the Hawk, the fastest U.S. ship In the Spanish-American War, Rear Admiral John Hood then commanded the Fourth Division of the Atlantic Fleet in World War I. The USS John Hood (DD-655) was named for him.


Bio Summary:
John Hood was born in 1859 to John Murray Hood and Cornelia Heslip Hood. He grew up in Florence where he heard many stories of gunboats on the Tennessee River during the Civil War, and he watched the steamboats travel up and down the river. The call of the nautical life was strong. He graduated second in his class from the Unites States Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1879 and embarked upon a career which brought him to the rank of Rear Admiral.

Hood commanded the gunboat Hawk, the fastest ship in the American Squadron during the Spanish-American War. After the war, Officer Hood was responsible for the laying of the Pacific Cable. He received superior naval commendations for his command of various ships and was a member of the Navy’s General Board. During World War I, Admiral Hood commanded the Fourth Division of the Atlantic Fleet.

In 1943, the destroyer USS John Hood (DD-655) was named in his honor.

Admiral John Hood was a widely recognized military hero for his accomplishments during the Spanish-American War and World War I.
After receiving nominations from the public, the Walk of Honor Selection Committee chose the four inductees. These Inductees join the thirty-five individuals selected from previous years. A bronze plaque with a picture of the inductee, along with a brief inscription of their accomplishment, has been placed on the Walk of Honor monuments in the park. The public is invited to visit the site. More detailed information on these individuals is available in the Local History and Genealogy Department at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library.

Watch the video: General John Bell Hood Lecture at the Historic Granbury Opera House in Hood County (December 2022).

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