Thomas Fredrick "Tom" Hahn, (Class of 1948)

(11/6/1926 5/23/2007)


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Thomas Frederick “Tom” Hahn, CAPT USN (Ret) passed away May 23, 2007.  He was born on November 6, 1926  in Topeka, Kansas to Walter Frederick “Walt” Hahn and Florence Vivian Torgeson.

In October 1944 Tom began his Naval career by enlisting in Kansas City, MO, to serve with a combat air crew. He attended boot camp in Millington, TN, the aviation radio and radar schools after that. He completed those in April 1945 then went to the 8th Naval District Headquarters in New Orleans, LA, to take exams for officer training. He was given a choice of the Naval Academy, the V-5 (Aviation) program or the V-12 program. He felt the V-12 program would result in a more well-rounded co-ed education so he chose that option.

Tom started the V-12 program at SMU in Dallas, TX, majoring in engineering for 14 weeks. Then he was transferred to UT Austin in November of 1945 to complete his training and education as a Midshipman. Tom spent 35 more weeks at UT earning his degree in engineering. While at UT he played in the Navy’s swing band. His first class cruise was on the battleship, USS IOWA (BB-61), out of San Francisco, CA. On June 1, 1948 Tom was commissioned an Ensign. He then embarked on a 24 year career in the Navy.

His first post was as a Naval Research Analyst in Washington, DC. He then attended the Naval Intelligence School to learn the Russian language and become an interpreter. In April of 1950 he went to Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and spent time onboard several ships serving in that area of operations. In 1952 he was stationed in San Diego, CA, as Communications Officer aboard Fleet Minesweeper, USS Gladiator (AM-319). In 1953 he was assigned to the USS PCEC-886 in the Pacific Fleet, operating in the Korean Theater, mostly out of Yokosuka, Japan.

In 1954 he went back to the Atlantic Fleet as Operations Officer of the USS Benner (DDR-807), operating out of Boston, MA. Later that year Tom accepted a Reserve commission as a LTJG and started a career in the Naval Reserves. In 1955 he was promoted to LT. From 1956 to 1959 Tom expanded his training into other languages such as Chinese and Japanese. This brought him back to the Naval Intelligence community. He was promoted to LCDR in 1959. He spent much of this part of his career in Security Groups and on Special Projects, making CDR in 1964. He attended the Navy Space and Astronautics Orientation Course at Point Magu, CA, in 1967, but still stayed connected with Naval Security Groups. He was promoted to CAPT in 1968 and retired at that rank in 1972. He received the Legion of Merit Medal for his involvement in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (1964-1965).

During his reserve years Tom was also a GS-rated government employee and worked at jobs related to his expertise in the Navy. He also worked for the National Park Service and was a Supervisory Ranger. This job got him involved in historical research and industrial archaeology.


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