James H. Hobby was born 27 April 1835, at New Boston, Hillsborough County, N.H. Appointed 3d Assistant Engineer 1848, he resigned 21 June 1855 but was re-appointed 2d Assistant Engineer 4 June 1861 and served with distinction throughout the Civil War. As 1st Assistant Engineer of Sassacus, Hobby participated in an engagement with the Confederate ships Bombshell and Albemarle in Albemarle Sound 5 May 1864. Although fearfully scalded when a shot from Albemarle cut Sassacus's steam pipes, Engineer Hobby remained at his post to control the engines, thus enabling the vessel to retire successfully from the action and preventing an explosion. When Sassacus was out of danger, the badly-wounded engineer was carried to the deck for medical attention. For his heroism Hobby was promoted 30 numbers in grade. He was placed on the retired list 19 October 1870 and died 17 November 1882.
(DD-610: dp. 1,620; l. 348'4" ; b. 36'1" ; dr. 17'4" ; s. 38 k.; cpl. 259; a. 4 5", 4 20mm., 5 21" tt.; cl. Benson)
Hobby (DD-610) was launched 4 June 1942 by the Bethlehem Steel Co., San Francisco; sponsored by Mrs. Walter Davis, whose four sons were on active duty with the Navy; and commissioned 18 November 1942, Lt. Comdr. Ernest Blake in command.
After shakedown off the West Coast, Hobby proceeded to New York City 12 February 1943, to begin transatlantic convoy duty between there and Casablanca. In five voyages to the Mediterranean that year, Hobby developed several U-boat contacts and was credited with inflicting severe damage on one marauder 9 May. She sailed from Norfolk 2 January 1944 for the Pacific, where she remained in the New Guinea area until 22 August providing fire support and ASW screen for various invasions in the Admiralty and Schouten Islands. Sailing north in the fall, Hobby provided flre support for Peleliu and Ngesebus island invasions and then remained on screening duty through November. Despite frequent contacts with Japanese aircraft, she emerged untouched.
On 10 December Hobby sortied with the fast carriers of Task Force 38 for strikes on the important Philippines target of Luzon. She remained with the carriers through further strikes on the Philippines, Formosa, and the China coast into 1945, as U.S. naval power pushed closer to Japan. On 16 February Hobby joined Admiral M. A. Mitscher's fast carriers of the 5th Fleet as they carried out the first air strikes against Tokyo since the Halsey-Doolit-tle raid of April 1942. In addition to screening tankers for the carrier force, she operated off Iwo Jima and later off Okinawa as part of the valuable tankers ASW screen. Detached from Pacific duty at the end of June, Hobby arrived Seattle 17 July 1945 for overhaul. News of the Japanese capitulation reached her while she was in drydock.
Hobby sailed to New York 6 October to participate in Navy Day ceremonies, during which she hosted foreign naval attaches and congressmen during the Presidential Review of the victorious fleet. Proceeding to Charleston 1 November 1945, Hobby decommissioned there and went into reserve 1 February 1946. Hobby was transferred in January 1947 to Orange, Tex., where she remains.
For her participation in the major campaigns of World War II, Hobby was awarded 10 battle stars.