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William M. Hobby (DE-236)

William Matthews Hobby, Jr., born on 27 July 1899 in Sylvania, Ga., was appointed a midshipman from the 1st district of Georgia on 20 June 1919 and graduated in the class of 1923.

After initial sea duty in the battleship Oklahoma (BB-37) from June 1923 to April 1925, Hobby underwent brief aviation instruction at Pensacola, Fla.; reported to destroyer Kidder (DD-319) on 21 November 1925; and served in that ship as she earned the 2d Nicaraguan campaign ribbon.

Hobby then underwent submarine instruction at the Submarine Base, New London, Conn., from late December 1927 to June of the following year. He then travelled to the Asiatic station, where he reported to the submarine tenderCanopus (AS-9) on 10 August 1928, prior to his joining the submarine S-37 (SS-142) 10 days later. After successive tours in S-41 (SS-146) and S-30 (SS-135), Hobby returned to the United States for service at the United States Naval Academy from May 1931 to June 1933. He then helped to fit out the submarine Cachalot (SS-171) before serving back-to-back tours in battleship Tennessee (BB-43) and training ship Wyoming (AG-17) into the summer of 1938.

Hobby reported to the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Kearny, N.J., on 11 May 1939, to supervise the fitting out of the new Sims-class destroyer Anderson (DD-411) and to become her first commanding officer when she was placed in commission.

Detached on 22 March 1941, Hobby then rejoined the battleship Oklahoma four days later as damage control officer and 1st lieutenant. After the battleship capsized and sank in the Japanese attack against Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Hobby served briefly in the 12th Naval District before he joined the new battleship Washington (BB-56) on 3 January 1942. He acted as navigator of that battlewagon until he relieved Comdr. Walter E. Moore as executive officer of the light cruiser Juneau (CL-52) at Espiritu Santo on 2 November 1942.

Ten days later, Juneau was heavily damaged during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The following afternoon, Friday the 13th, while she was returning to Espiritu Santo, the cruiser was literally blown into bits by a torpedo from the Japanese submarine I-26 which detonated her magazine. Commander Hobby was among those who perished in the cataclysmic blast that tore the ship apart.

(APD-95: dp. 1,650; l. 306'0"; b. 37'0"; dr. 12'7"; s. 23.6 k.; cpl. 201; trp. 162; a. 1 5", 6 40mm., 6 20mm.; 2 dct.; cl. Charles Lawrence)

William M. Hobby (DE-236) was laid down on 15 November 1943 at the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard. Since she had been constructed in a drydock, there was no launching ceremony per se, and she was floated out on 2 February 1944. The ship was redesignated a fast transport, APD-95, on 17 July 1944; and she was completed as such at her builder's yard. She was simultaneously christened and commissioned at Charleston on 4 April 1945. Miss Catherine Hobby, the sister of the late Commander Hobby, sponsored the ship; Lt. Comdr. Frank N. Christiansen, USNR, was her first commanding officer.

Following shakedown training in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, William M. Hobby proceeded to Norfolk, Va. From 16 to 21 May, the new fast transport conducted an "amphibious shakedown," including shore bombardment exercises off Bloodsworth Island in Chesapeake Bay. After post-shakedown repairs at the Norfolk Navy Yard, William M. Hobby held additional shakedown gunnery training in Chesapeake Bay before she departed Hampton Roads, Va., on 3 June, bound for Panama in company with her sistership Amesbury (APD-46).

William M. Hobby reached Christobal on 8 June, completed the transit of the canal on the 10th, and set course for the California coast immediately thereafter. Arriving at San Diego on the 17th, the fast transport got underway for the Hawaiian Islands in company with Amesbury and O'Reilly (DE-330) on the 20th.

Making Pearl Harbor on the 27th, William M. Hobby trained underwater demolition teams (UDT's) at Maaleea Bay, Maui, Territory of Hawaii, in July before she embarked UDT 29 for transportation to the west coast. Departing the Hawaiian Islands on 2 August, William M. Hobby made port at Oceanside, Calif., near San Diego, one week later.

Shifting briefly to San Pedro, the fast transport returned to Oceanside and disembarked UDT 29 on 13 August. The following day, Japan surrendered, ending the war in the Pacific. On the 16th, William M. Hobby sailed for Hawaii.

Reaching Pearl Harbor on the 22d, the fast transport got underway on the 24th for the Marshall Islands, in company with Ira Jeffrey (APD-44) and Blessman (APD-48), and arrived at Eniwetok on 1 September. Pushing on to the Philippines, she anchored in Manila Bay on the 5th. William M. Hobby cruised in the Philippine archipelago; touching at Subic Bay, Zamboanga, Mindanao, Bugo, Macajalar Bay, and San Pedro Bay; until she sailed for Okinawa, and from thence to Japan.

Reaching Wakayama, Japan, on 28 September, William M. Hobby soon got underway for Hire Wan, Honshu, with UDT 5 embarked. Daybreak on 1 October found the fast transport entering the Inland Sea. There, she joined Tracy (DM-19), who led the APD to her anchorage at Hiro Wan. That morning, the ship sighted a floating mine off her port bow and destroyed it with 40-millimeter, 20-millimeter, and rifle fire. The ship's embarked UDT reconnoitered beaches and shore installations at Hiro Wan from 2 to 10 October to prepare the way for the arrival of American occupation troops in the Kure area.

On 11 October, William M. Hobby got underway for the island of Shikoku and arrived at the port of Mitsuhama later that day. The fast transport disembarked the 15 American Army officers, 18 enlisted men, and two Japanese officers whom she had carried as passengers and remained at anchor off Mitsuhama while UDT 5 reconnoitered the beaches there.

After returning once more to Hiro Wan, William M. Hobby got underway for the United States on 14 October. Proceeding via Guam, Eniwetok, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Panama Canal, she arrived at Philadelphia on 9 December. The fast transport subsequently shifted southward via Norfolk to Green Cove Springs, Fla., where she arrived on 6 January 1946. She was decommissioned there and placed in reserve on 6 April 1946.

William M. Hobby remained in reserve until she was struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1967. Transferred to the government of South Korea on a grant-in-aid on 23 July 1967, the fast transport was renamed Chr Ju (PG-87). Initially classified as a gunboat (PG), she was later reclassified in Korean service to APD-87 in 1972. She remained in service with the Korean Navy into 1979.

Published: Thu Apr 14 09:27:08 EDT 2016