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|Thomas Charles Hart was born on 12 June 1877 in Genessee County, Mich. and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1897. He served his initial tours of sea duty in Massachusetts (Battleship No. 2) and in the steam yacht Vixen, during the Spanish-American War. In the years before the First World War, Hart filled a variety of billets: as a junior officer in battleships, torpedo boats, and submarines; as an instructor at the Naval Academy; as aide to an Ass't Secretary of the Navy; and as commander of the Pacific Torpedo Flotilla. By spring 1917, Hart was commanding the cruiser Chicago and the Sub Base at New London, Conn., while also acting as Chief of Staff to the Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet.
During WW I, he served as commander of Submarine Divisions 2 and 5, with Bushnell (AS 2) as his flagship. One division was based at Bantry Bay, protecting sea approaches to the British Isles; the second was based at Punta Delgada in the Azores, protecting routes to that vital island. In 1918 he was appointed Director of Submarines in the Office of the CNO. Serving as its head until 1922, Hart fought doggedly to improve the lot of the submarine force. His tenacity was responsible for the Navy's acquisition of surrendered German U-boats after World War I to learn the details of the technical innovations in the enemy craft. Receiving the Distinguished Service Medal for his service as Director of Submarines, Hart spent the ensuing years of the '20's and '30's in a succession of sea and shore billets. He studied at the Army and Navy War Colleges; commanded the Atlantic Fleet Submarine Divisions, battleship Mississippi (BB-42), and Submarine Flotilla 3; served as Ass't Commandant of the 3d Naval District; Inspector of Ordnance at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport RI; and Commander of the Control Force. After a tour as Superintendent of the Naval Academy, he went to sea as Commander, Cruiser Division 6, in June 1934. Reporting to the General Board after this tour of sea duty, Hart became its chairman in 1937.
With the temporary rank of admiral, Hart relieved Adm. Harry E. Yarnell as Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet on 25 July 1939. For the next two years, Hart prepared the small Asiatic Fleet for war with Japan. He reduced the presence of his fleet in Chinese waters and concentrated it in the Philippines to await the onslaught. He also badgered Washington for reinforcements in the way of planes and submarines. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor catapulted the United States into World War II. The Americans, with their Filipino allies, fought a delaying action in the Philippines, while a mixed American, British, Dutch, and Australian (ABDA) military structure was set up to operate from Java in an attempt to hold the Japanese at the Malay Barrier. In command of ABDA naval forces, Hart directed this defense into mid-February 1942. By then, it had become evident that, despite ABDA, the Japanese were not to be denied. Despite the obstacles, Hart persevered in the face of "discouraging surroundings and complex associations" and earned a gold star in lieu of his second DSM for unfailing judgment, sound decisions, and moral courage. Transferred to the retired list in July 1942 with the rank of Admiral, Thomas C. Hart nevertheless continued on active duty with the General Board through 1944. From February to April 1944, he was chairman of the committee which conducted the "Hart Inquiry" into the Pearl Harbor attack, a duty which took him to the length and breadth of the Pacific Ocean area.
On 9 February 1945, Hart retired from the Navy to fill an appointment as senator from Connecticut. He served in Congress until 3 January 1947 and did not seek reelection. Admiral Hart then returned to his family home in Sharon, Conn., and died there on 4 July 1971, at the age of 94.
USS Thomas C. Hart (DE 1092) was the first ship named in his honor.
|65k||undated (U.S. Navy photo)||Wendell R. McLaughlin, Jr.|
|119k||14 August 1975: Overhead bow view of USS Thomas C. Hart (FF 1092) and USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) being refueled by USS Truckee (AO 147). (U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, Photo No. 1996.488.128.017)||Mike Green|
|75k||circa 1977||Robert Hurst|
|61k||Spring 1980: USS Thomas C. Hart (DE 1092) entering Djibouti, prior to the start of her Persian Gulf deployment. (Photo © Walter Bengtson)||Walter Bengtson|
|189k||01 January 1983: At sea - An aerial starboard view of Thomas C. Hart underway. (date incorrect: Hart was in an SRA
(Selected Restricted Availability) shipyard period at Horne Brothers Shipyard, downtown Newport News, Va. from November 1982 to March 1983. Thanks to Neal Jefferis, 1st LT
and Gunnery/Fire Control Officer from September 1982 to September 1985.)
(U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-84-00641 from the Defense Visual Information Center)
|287k||01 April 1984: anchored in Norwegian territorial waters near Tromso, Norway with other NATO units - A starboard bow view of Thomas C. Hart, foreground, and the destroyer tender USS Yellowstone (AD 41) anchored. The ships are participating in United Effort/Teamwork '84 exercises. (location provided by J.L. MacMichael, Hart's CO at the time) (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-85-01569 by PH2 Ronald D. Brigham from the DVIC)|
|76k||undated, but after hull upgrade (Photo © Ignacio F. Lopez)||Igancio F. Lopez,
Spanish Navy (ret.)
|52k||undated, but after hull upgrade||Joe Radigan|
|189k||21 February 1985: At sea, VACAPES OpArea - A port bow view of Thomas C. Hart underway. Photo taken while on Post Repair Sea Trials at the completion of overhaul. The ship finished a month ahead of schedule as a result of some great teamwork by the crew and shipyard. That is Chesapeake Light in the right background. (location provided by J.L. MacMichael, Hart's CO at the time) (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-86-11621 from the DVIC)||Navsource|
|366k||21 February 1985: At sea, VACAPES OpArea - A port bow view of Thomas C. Hart underway. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-86-11622 from the DVIC)||Robert Hurst|
|210k||22 January 1990: At sea - A port quarter view of the fleet oiler USS Caloosahatchee (AO 98) and Thomas C. Hart during underway replenishment operations. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-SC-90-03839 from the DVIC)||Navsource|
|220k||28 March 1991: Norfolk, Va. - A port bow view of Thomas C. Hart with sailors manning the rails as the vessel returns to port from deployment in the Persian Gulf area during Operation Desert Storm. (U.S. Navy photo DVID #DN-ST-91-09395 by PH2 Carl from the DVIC)||Bill Gonyo|
|68k||16 May 2001: Toulon France - TCG Zafer (F-253), ex-USS Thomas C. Hart (FF 1092), entering port at Toulon. (Photo by Guy Schaeffer, from the collection of Paolo Marsan)||Paolo Marsan|
|241k||21 May 2001: Toulon France - TCG Zafer (F-253), ex-USS Thomas C. Hart (FF 1092), departing port at Toulon. (Photo by Carlo Martinelli)||Carlo Martinelli|
|Thomas C. Hart History|
|View the USS Thomas C. Hart (DE 1092) DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command web site.|
|Thomas C. Hart's Commanding Officers
Thanks to Wolfgang Hechler & Ron Reeves
|Dates of Command||Commanding Officers|
|1.) 28 Jul. 1973 - 23 May 1975||Cmdr. Ronald J. Forst|
|2.) 23 May 1975 - 14 Apr. 1977||Cmdr. John Davis Rohrbough (Toledo, Oh.)|
|3.) 14 Apr. 1977 - 01 Jun. 1979||Cmdr. John F. Bennett|
|4.) 01 Jun. 1979 - 20 Jun. 1981||Cmdr. John Davis Pearson (USNA '61) (Pinetops, N.C.) (ret. as Radm.)|
|5.) 20 Jun. 1981 - 10 Jun. 1983||Cmdr. Frank Richard Whalen (USNA '63)|
|6.) 10 Jun. 1983 - 15 Oct. 1985||Cmdr. John Lee (Skip) MacMichael (USNA '65) (Norristown, Pa.)|
|7.) 15 Oct. 1985 - 21 Nov. 1987||Cmdr. Louis Adolph Nick, Jr.|
|8.) 21 Nov. 1987 - 10 Oct. 1989||Cmdr. James Douglas Stevens|
|9.) 10 Oct. 1989 - 16 Jun. 1992||Cmdr. David Campbell Rollins (Salem, Mass.)|
|10.) 16 Jun. 1992 - 30 Aug. 1993||Cmdr. James William McGloon (USNA '75)|
Contact information is compiled from various sources over a period of time and may, or may not, be correct. Every effort has been
made to list the newest contact. However, our entry is only as good as the latest information that's been sent to us. We list only
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