Henry Kent Hewitt

Henry Kent Hewitt bigraphy, stories - United States admiral

Henry Kent Hewitt : biography

February 11, 1887 – September 15, 1972

Henry Kent Hewitt (February 11, 1887 – September 15, 1972)http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=10315 was born in Hackensack, New Jersey on February 11, 1887 and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1906. He is best remembered as the United States Navy commander of amphibious operations in north Africa and southern Europe through World War II.

Early career

Hewitt served aboard USS Missouri in the Great White Fleet’s circumnavigation of the globe from 1907-1909. His sea duty continued as a division officer aboard USS Connecticut and executive officer of the destroyer USS Flusser. In 1913 he was promoted to lieutenant, married Floride Louise Hunt, and began three years of shore duty as a Naval Academy mathematics instructor. He returned to sea in 1916 commanding the yacht Eagle in the Caribbean. Hewitt was awarded the Navy Cross commanding the destroyer USS Cummings escorting Atlantic convoys during World War I. His citation read:

Hewitt was an instructor of electrical engineering and physics at the Naval Academy from 1919 to 1921 before returning to sea as gunnery officer aboard USS Pennsylvania. After spending three years at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, he commanded Destroyer Division Twelve with the battle fleet from 1931 to 1933. He then chaired the Naval Academy mathematics department for three years while the Naval Academy developed the Keuffel & Esser Log Log Trig slide rule.Atkinson, Rick The Day of Battle, the war in Sicily and Italy, 1943-44 p.31 He returned to sea commanding the cruiser USS Indianapolis and transported President Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Pan-American Conference at Buenos Aires following the 1936 elections.

Awards & Decorations

number=1|type=award-star|ribbon=Navy Cross ribbon.svg|width=80}} Navy Cross with one gold award star
number=1|type=award-star|ribbon=Navy Distinguished Service ribbon.svg|width=80}} Navy Distinguished Service Medal with one gold award star
number=1|type=oak|ribbon=Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg|width=80}} Army Distinguished Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=Navy Expeditionary ribbon.svg|width=80}} Navy Expeditionary Medal
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=Dominican Campaign Medal ribbon.svg|width=80}} Dominican Campaign Medal
number=1|type=service-star|ribbon=World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg|width=80}} World War I Victory Medal with one bronze service star
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=American Defense Service ribbon.svg|width=80}} American Defense Service Medal with Atlantic "A" device
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg|width=80}} American Campaign Medal
number=4|type=service-star|ribbon=European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg|width=80}} European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze service stars
number=0|type=service-star|ribbon=World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg|width=80}} World War II Victory Medal
number=0|type=award-star|ribbon=Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg|width=80}} Legion of Honor, degree of Officer
number=0|type=oak|ribbon=Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm.jpg|width=80}} Croix de Guerre, 1939-45 with one bronze Palm device
number=0|type=award-star|ribbon=Order of the Southern Cross Commander (Brazil) Ribbon.png|width=80}} Order of the Southern Cross, degree of Commander
number=0|type=award-star|ribbon=NLD Order of Orange-Nassau – Knight Grand Cross BAR.png|width=80}} Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau

He is also entitled to decorations from, among others, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and Italy.


Hewitt remained in this post until 1945, when he chaired a Pearl Harbor investigation. Following World War II, he commanded U.S. Naval Forces Europe, advised the Naval War College, and served as a Navy representative to the United Nations. Hewitt retired from active duty to Orwell, Vermont in 1949. and died at Middlebury, Vermont in 1972. USS Hewitt was named in his honor.

Flag rank during World War II

Hewitt was promoted to rear admiral in 1939, and commanded Atlantic Fleet Task Groups in neutrality patrols and convoys from 1941 until becoming Commander, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet, in April 1942. This force, also called Task Force 34, became the U.S. component of the Operation Torch landings in November 1942. Hewitt was then assigned as Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest Africa Waters or COMNAVNAW. His flagships included USS Augusta while he commanded American naval forces at the Battle of Casablanca,Sean Maloney, To Secure Command of the Sea, thesis, 1991, p. 25 Monrovia while he commanded the western task force during the invasion of Sicily, and Ancon while he commanded all Allied amphibious forces during the invasion of ItalyPotter, E.B. & Nimitz, Chester W. Sea Power (1960) Prentice-Hall p.595 and later Anzio landings and invasion of southern France.

Hewitt was awarded both the Army and Navy Distinguished Service Medals for his part in the invasion of North Africa. The Navy Distinguished Service Medal citation read:

The Army Distinguished Service Medal citation read:

Hewitt was awarded a second Navy Cross for his part in the invasion of Italy. The citation read:

Hewitt was awarded a second Army Distinguished Service Medal for his part in the invasion of southern France. The citation read:

Hewitt was awarded a second Navy Distinguished Service Medal as commander of the United States Eighth Fleet for the last two years of the war. The citation read: