Andrew Julian Hoggatt
Born: August, 1919
Hometown: Eaton, CO
Service: Merchant Marine
Position / Rank: Engine Cadet
Date / Place of death: November 19, 1940 / 32-41N,
Date / Place of burial: November 19, 1940 / Lost at
Sea – 32-41N, 168-39E
Andrew J. Hoggatt entered the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps at San Francisco, CA May or June 1940. He signed on as Engine Cadet aboard the SS President Cleveland on July 5, 1940 following a month aboard the training ship SS California State. He was on his third voyage aboard the SS President Cleveland when he was lost. Available documents indicate that Andrew Hoggatt was assigned to work days with the ship’s First Assistant Engineer, Mr. H. D. Wilkins.
On the afternoon of November 19, 1940, five days after the ship had sailed from Honolulu bound for Yokohama, a crew member needed him for a routine administrative function but could not locate him. A search of the ship ensued but neither he, nor his body could be found. The entry for Andrew J. Hoggatt’s death in the SS President Cleveland’s Official Log Book reads,
“Andrew J. Hoggatt Engine Cadet was this day declared missing. A complete and exhaustive search failed to find any trace of him aboard the vessel.
It is therefore declared that Andrew J. Hoggatt had either fell or willfully jumped over the ships side and was lost at sea.”
Upon the ship’s return to Honolulu, Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Fletcher interviewed several crew members. A full inquiry into the matter was held on December 31, 1940 in San Francisco when the President Cleveland returned from its voyage. The inquiry established that Hoggatt had not been feeling well since departing from Honolulu and was being treated by the ship’s doctor for a sexually transmitted disease. Testimony from two other Cadets indicated that Andrew Hoggatt had appeared to be upset or depressed since sailing from San Francisco. However, neither man believed that Andrew Hoggatt had taken his own life. Further, there was testimony that the unlicensed engineers aboard the SS President Cleveland felt that Hoggatt was performing work that, under their union contract, he should not hav e been performing. Further testimony found that Andrew Hoggatt was not happy with his work and intended to leave the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps when the ship returned to San Francisco. Finally, inspection of the SS President Cleveland found that there were places where someone could lose their balance and f all overboard. These included a guard chain between two lifeboat davits adjacent to the Cadets Room.
After taking testimony, and surveying the SS President Cleveland, the Investigation Board concluded that Andrew J. Hoggatt’s death was accidental in nature, although the precise nature of the accident could not be determined. The Board specifically stated that there was no evidence of either murder or suicide in his death.
Based on his service in the U.S. Merchant Marine Andrew J. Hoggatt was eligible for posthumous award of the Merchant Marine Defense Bar, the Victory Medal and Presidential Testimonial Letter.
Andrew J. Hoggatt was the seventh of John Adam Logan Hoggatt and Katherine E. Eagleman Hoggatt’s eight children. Andrew’s older siblings were Irene, George, Lawrence, John, Jr., James and Daniel. His younger brother was Paul. The family lived in Eaton, CO, a small farming community north of Greeley, CO. According to the 1920 and 1930 U.S. Census, John Hoggatt worked as a hired hand on farms around Eaton. John Hoggatt, Sr. died in 1938, a year after Andrew graduated from High School. By 1940 Andrew was living in Climax, CO where he was employed as a construction worker. At the time of his death, Andrew’s mother was living in Englewood, CO.