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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1947-1948, 131X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
Service Years
1927 - 1948
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Iwo Jima
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Steven Loomis (SaigonShipyard), IC3 to remember HAMILTON, Thomas (Tom), RADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Hoopeston, Vermilion County, Illinois
Last Address
Chula Vista, San Diego County, California

Date of Passing
Apr 03, 1994
Location of Interment
U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery - Annapolis, Maryland
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Dragon Blue Star

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Rear Admiral Thomas James Hamilton, Ex-Navy Coach

Thomas Hamilton, was an All-America halfback on Navy's undefeated football team in 1926. He went on to become a head football coach and athletic director at the academy.

Hamilton coached four seasons at Navy (1934-35 and 1947-48), compiling a 15-20-1 record. One of the losses -- to undefeated Army in 1946 -- led to one of sport's most quotable lines. After time expired as Hamilton's scrappy 1-8 Navy team was driving toward the goal line while trailing Army, 21-18, the coach justified his decision not to go for a game-tying field-goal by saying, "A tie is like kissing your sister."

During World War II, he and other coaches developed a 12-week physical training program for prospective Navy pilots. He participated in the invasions of the Philippines and the Gilbert and Marshall islands, Battle of Leyte Gulf, Battle of Iwo Jima, and other invasions and raids in the Pacific. His decorations include the Bronze Star and the Legion of Merit.

Hamilton, a rear admiral, retired from the Navy in 1948, and went to the University of P
ittsburgh as its athletic director from 1949-59.

Under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, he served on the Youth Fitness Programs. He was also chairman of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Committee on Physical Fitness, served for 16 years on the executive board of the United States Olympic Committee and was inducted into the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame in 1956. He died April 3, 1994 and was buried in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery at Annapolis, MD.
Other Comments:
US Navy Rear Admiral, College Football Coach. Hamilton graduated from the United States 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 again 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 to 1971 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1965. During World War II Hamilton served on the Enterprise initially as the flight deck officer and later as the Executive Officer and in mid 1944 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 ever 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, it's greatest effect was the most thorough and complete unarmed training the Department of the Navy had ever seen. Hamilton received the Theodore Roosevelt Award from the NCAA, the Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association, and the Gold Medal from the National Football Foundation, the Corbett Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. 

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings
Command at Sea

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)USS Maryland (BB-46)Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FLNAS Pensacola
VT-1 EagletsUS NavyVS-6VP-9 Golden Eagles
VP-12 Black CatsUSS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1927-1928, 120X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1927-1929, 118X, USS Maryland (BB-46)
  1929-1929, 139X, Naval Aviation Preflight Indoctrination (API), NAS Pensacola, FL
  1929-1930, 131X, NAS Pensacola
  1931-1932, 131X, VT-1 Eaglets
  1933-1934, 131X, USS Milwaukee (CL-5)
  1933-1934, 131X, VS-6
  1934-1936, 131X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
  1937-1939, 131X, VP-9 Golden Eagles
  1939-1940, 131X, USS Wright (AV-1)
  1939-1940, 131X, VP-12 Black Cats
  1940-1943, 131X, Pensacola
  1943-1944, 132X, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1944-1944, 111X, USS Enterprise (CV-6)
  1947-1948, 131X, US Naval Academy Annapolis (Faculty Staff)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1943 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Marshall Islands Operation
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Philippine Sea
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Leyte Campaign (1944)
  1945-1945 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Iwo Jima Operation
 Colleges Attended 
United States Naval Academy
  1923-1927, United States Naval Academy
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Apr 03, 1994, Rear Admiral Thomas James Hamilton, Ex-Navy Coach2
  Jun 08, 2016, General Photos
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