Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Frigate
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Hubbard II (DE-211)

The first Hubbard carried the shortened version of the name (B.H.B. Hubbard) (q.v.) she carried at the time of her acquisition by the Navy. The second Hubbard (DE-211) was named for the late Comdr. Joseph Charles Hubbard.


Joseph Charles Hubbard, born 24 January 1900 in Danbury, Conn., graduated from the U.S. Naval Acad emy (USNA) with an ensign’s commission on 4 June 1920. Retained briefly at the USNA in connection with training the wrestling squad slated to participate in the Olympics that year (13 June-28 July), Hubbard then reported to the heavy cruiser St. Louis (CA-18) at the Philadelphia (Pa.) Navy Yard on 16 August 1920 as the ship was completing a period of repairs that had followed her duty between 17 December 1918 and 17 July 1919 returning troops from Europe. Shortly after Hubbard joined St. Louis, she sailed for European and Near Eastern waters.

Hubbard reported to the destroyer Williamson (DD-244) for a brief tour of duty (13 October-19 December 1921) that preceded his assignment to the yacht Scorpion (PY-3), the flagship and station ship for U.S. Naval Forces operating in that region wracked by tumultuous events in the wake of the World War. Reporting to that ship six days before Christmas of 1921, he remained in Scorpion (save for a brief tour of duty in the destroyer Sturtevant (DD-240) on 8 March 1922) into the spring of the following year. Detached from Scorpion on 20 May 1922, he served in a succession of destroyers operating in those waters: McFarland (DD-237), Sturtevant, and Sands (DD-243) before reporting to the light cruiser Cleveland(CL-21) at Boston, Mass., on 20 August 1922. Promoted to lieutenant (j.g.) on 5 June 1923 while in Cleveland, he transferred thence to the light cruiser Raleigh (CL-7) on 30 September 1924, reporting on 1 October.

Transferred thence to the minesweeper Chewink (AM-39), departing Raleigh three days before Christmas of 1924 and reporting to his new ship on 2 January 1925, Lieutenant (j.g.) Hubbard underwent submarine instruction at the U.S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Conn. Upon completion of that training, he reported to the New London Ship and Engine Company, Groton, Conn., for duty in connection with fitting out the new submarine S-47 (SS-158).

Following her commissioning and fitting out, S-47 conducted engineering and torpedo tests off the southern New England coast, then departed New England and moved south to join Submarine Division (SubDiv) 19. Arriving at Coco Solo, Canal Zone, on 19 January 1926, S-47, for the next year and a half, operated in the Pacific and Caribbean, a routine punctuated by joint Army-Navy exercises testing the defenses of the Panama Canal: Fleet Problem VI (February 1926) and VII (March 1927); and by extended training cruises in the Caribbean (June 1926 and April 1927). S-47 transferred to San Diego with her division in June 1927.

Promoted to lieutenant on 2 June 1927, Hubbard was detached from S-47 on 19 January 1928, and traveled to Annapolis, via New York and the Receiving Ship there (18 March 1928), reporting to the USNA on 30 March 1928. He served at his alma mater in the Department of Seamanship and Flight Tactics, and (7 June-29 August 1929) served a tour of temporary duty in the battleship Florida (BB-30) during the Midshipman Training Cruise in the summer of 1929. 

Hubbard then commanded the submarines O-7 (SS-68) (2 June 1930-1 June 1931) and R-3 (SS-80) (20 June 1931-29 May 1933) in succession before he went ashore for duty at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Fort Mifflin, Penn. (26 June 1933-14 June 1935). Traveling thence to the Asiatic Station, Hubbard reported for duty with Submarine Squadron (SubRon) 5 on 31 July 1935.  Promoted to lieutenant commander on 1 July 1936, he assumed command of the destroyer Peary (DD-226) on 1 March 1937, roughly four months before Japan’s aggressive actions against China heightened tensions in the Far East. Hubbard was detached from Peary on 13 December 1937, the day after Japanese naval planes sank the gunboatPanay (PR-5) in the Yangtze River.

Following another tour of shore duty on a Naval Examining Board in Washington, D.C. (10 February 1938-17 November 1939), Lt. Comdr. Hubbard returned to sea duty, joining the heavy cruiserSan Francisco (CA-38) on 23 November 1939 as damage control officer and first lieutenant. He received promotion to commander on 2 January 1942, and served in the ship during the eventful summer and autumn of 1942.

On 12 November 1942, TF 67 (Rear Adm. Richmond K. Turner) unloading troops in Lunga Roads, Guadalcanal, under the protection of air and surface forces, came under attack by Japanese land attack planes, one of which crashed into San Francisco’s after superstructure, critically injuring Comdr. Mark H. Crouter, the executive officer, at his battle station (Battle 2). Hubbard relieved Crouter, who remained on board to render what assistance he could.

Task Group 67.4, to which the damaged San Francisco belonged, comprising two heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and eight destroyers (Rear Adm. Daniel J. Callaghan) encountered the Japanese Bombardment Force (Rear Adm. Abe Hiroaki) that included two battleships, steaming to bombard Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, shortly after midnight on 12 November 1942. In the savage nocturnal naval action, Abe’s force inflicted heavy damage on TG 67.4 before it retired northward; Rear Admirals Callaghan and Norman Scott were killed on board their respective flagships, San Francisco and light cruiser Atlanta (CL-51), but the American force succeeded in disrupting the Japanese plan to shell Henderson Field. Among those killed on board the badly battered San Francisco was Comdr. Hubbard, as well as the man he relieved, Comdr. Crouter.


(DE-211: displacement 1,400; length 306'; beam 36'10"; draft 9'5"; speed 24 knots; complement 186; armament 3 3-inch, 4 1.1-inch, 8 20 millimeter, 2 depth charge tracks, 8 depth charge projectors, 1 depth charge projector (hedgehog), 3 21-inch torpedo tubes; class Buckley)

Hubbard (DE-211) was laid down on 11 August 1943 at Charleston, S.C., by the Charleston Navy Yard; launched on 11 November (Armistice Day) 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Helen L. Hubbard, widow of the late Comdr. Hubbard; and commissioned on 6 March 1944, Lt. Comdr. Louis C. Mabley, USNR, in command.

Published: Mon Feb 08 09:47:20 EST 2016