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First Name: Thomas

Last Name: Hamilton

Birthplace: Hoopeston, IL, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: James

Date of Birth: 26 December 1905

Date of Death: 03 April 1994

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Thomas James Hamilton

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Thomas James Hamilton
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Thomas James Hamilton was born on 26 December 1905 in Hoopeston, IL.

Hamilton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1927. The Naval Academy football team won the 1926 national championship with Hamilton, as the quarterback, being an integral part of the team. The only blemish on the 9-0-1 record was a tie with Army in which Hamilton drop kicked an extra point to tie the game with 30 seconds left. At the time it was considered the greatest game ever played.

In 1929, he was designated a Naval Aviator after completing the training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Hamilton became Navy's Head Coach in 1934 and remained until 1936 and then became Coach again in 1946 and 1947. The following year, he became the Athletic Director for the Academy.

In 1949 he left the Academy to become the Athletic Director at Pittsburgh for 1948 and 1949. He became the Coach at Pittsburgh for the year 1951 and coached three games in 1954. Hamilton was the Commissioner of the Pac-8 Conference from 1959-71 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

During World War II, Hamilton served on the USS Enterprise, initially as the Flight Deck Officer and later as the Executive Officer; in mid-1944 he became the Commanding Officer. He served ashore much of the war in flight training capacities. In May of 1942, the Navy implemented the most effective and productive program even devised for military aviation, known as "V-Five." The program was the idea of then-Commander Hamilton. The goal was to produce combat pilots to wage war in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters. However, its greatest effect was the most thorough and complete unarmed training the Department of the Navy had ever seen.


Hamilton received the following awards:

• Theodore Roosevelt Award from the NCAA

• Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association

• Gold Medal from the National Football Foundation

• Corbett Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Thomas James Hamilton died on 3 April 1994 in Chula Vista, CA. He is buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD.

Honoree ID: 2596   Created by: MHOH




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