Charles Wayman Hogue
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Service: U.S. Navy
Position / Rank: Ensign
Date / Place of death: December 10, 1944 /
Aboard USS Mercy (AH 8)
Date / Place of burial: At Sea from USS Mercy
(AH 8) / Tablets of the Missing at
Manila American Cemetery Manila, Philippines
According to U.S. Navy records, Charles W. Hogue was appointed Midshipman, USNR
on August 15, 1942 although he was appointed a Cadet, U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet
Corps some months before. He signed on as Engine Cadet aboard the new Liberty
Ship SS Peter Silvester on June 24, 1942 at San Francisco, CA. The ship returned to
San Francisco, CA nearly a year later, on May 23, 1943 from Noumea, New Caledonia.
From there he reported to Kings Point to complete his education, receive his license as
Third Assistant Engineer and his commission as Ensign, USNR.
Ensign Hogue entered the U.S. Navy at San Francisco, CA and reported aboard the
USS Lamson (DD 367) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard on April 26, 1944 while the
veteran destroyer was undergoing an overhaul. By July the ship was ready for action
and reported for duty with the Fifth Fleet at Eniwetok on August 8. After two months of
convoy escort duty, the Lamson was transferred to the Seventh Fleet for the
amphibious assault on Leyte in the Philippine Islands.
The Lamson was assigned to the routine duties of destroyers in a combat area; naval
gunfire support, anti-submarine patrol and screening larger ships supporting the
invasion. On the morning of December 7, 1944, three years after the war began, the
Lamson was firing its guns on Japanese targets on Leyte in support of Army troops
ashore. After shooting down an attacking Japanese plane the USS Lamson was
ordered at 1040 to replace its badly damaged sister ship, the USS Mahan (DD 364), as
fighter director ship. For the next hour the Lamson was in the middle of a massive dog
fight, using its radar to guide friendly fighters to Japanese formations. At about 1400
the Japanese renewed their attack on the fleet, with Lamson guiding fighters to groups
of enemy planes while shooting down one attacker.
However, another plane flew around a nearby island and was able to approach to 1,000
yards away before being fired on by the Lamson’s guns. Despite the Lamson’s hard
turn to port away from the plane it struck the after stack with its right wing and spun
around into the port side of the ship. The aircraft wreckage immediately enveloped the
ship in flame as far forward as mount 51. At the same time the impact of the crash on
#2 stack collapsed it, causing a flare back in the After Fire Room, burning the crew on
duty there. The engineers in the Forward Fire Room were trapped by jammed hatches.
All men there were among the 25 crewmen who perished.
With the fire threatening the forward ammunition magazines, and no water pressure in the
fire mains, the USS ATR 31, a Rescue Tug, came alongside to help fight the fire and remove the wounded. However, conditions aboard the Lamson improved and the
ATR 31’s crew and the Lamson survivors, were able to get the fire under control and begin
towing the ship out of danger.
Despite continuous air attacks, the Lamson’s crew managed to keep their ship afloat
and bring their over fifty wounded shipmates to medical treatment. Among the injured
was Ensign Charles W. Hogue. Due to the severity of his wounds he was transferred to
the Hospital Ship USS Mercy (AH 8) for transfer to a hospital in Hollandia, New Guinea.
Unfortunately, at 0130 on December 10, 1944 Charles Hogue died of his wounds. He
was buried at sea the following day. Ensign Charles W. Hogue was posthumously
awarded the Purple Heart and the Asiatic – Pacific Campaign Medal.
At the time of his death Charles W. Hogue was married to Barbara Rosina Hogue, who
was living in Portland, OR. Charles was the youngest child of Abner E. Hogue and
Florence Hogue of Memphis, TN. In 1930 Charles, his parents and older sister Maxine
were living with his grandfather in Memphis, TN.
Photo of USS Lamson (DD 367) Off Vallejo, CA 1944
Photo ofUSS Lamson (DD 367) with USS ATR 31 alongside, December 7, 1944 Ormoc Bay, Phillippines