Francis Colton Hammond


Francis Colton Hammond
November 9, 1931 – March 27, 1953

Francis Colton Hammond was born November 9, 1931, in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of
Harry C. Hammond and Elvira Jenkins Hammond. While still in high school, Francis Hammond
worked for his future father-in-law’s construction company and played guitar in a band.
After graduating from George Washington High School in Alexandria, he worked with his father
at Timberman’s Pharmacy, an Alexandria landmark owned by his uncle. Although planning to
become a pharmacist, Francis Hammond decided to join the Navy on March 20, 1951. With the
realization that he would soon be shipped out to Korea, he requested and was granted permission
to marry his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Ann Jenkins on June 19, 1952.

Hospitalman Francis Hammond received his orders to Korea and arrived there on February 1, 1953.
He was assigned to a United States Marine Corps unit in the 1st Marine Division. On the night of
March 26, 1953 Hospitalman Hammond was wounded during a counter attack against an entrenched force.
His unit was ordered to fall back when a relief unit arrived but Hammond remained in the area helping
evacuate cassualties and treat the wounded. After heroic efforts, Francis Hammond was killed by motor
fire on March 27, 1953, two weeks prior to his scheduled rotation out of the combat area. His son,
Francis C. Hammond, Jr., was born seven months later. Hospitalman Francis Colton Hammond was laid to
rest with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.The Medal of Honor was presented to
his wife and infant son on December 30, 1953.

Hammond's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond
the call of duty as a HC serving with the 1st Marine Division in action against enemy
aggressor forces on the night of 26–27 March 1953. After reaching an intermediate objective
during a counterattack against a heavily entrenched and numerically superior hostile force
occupying ground on a bitterly contested outpost far in advance of the main line of
resistance, HC Hammond's platoon was subjected to a murderous barrage of hostile mortar
and artillery fire, followed by a vicious assault by onrushing enemy troops. Resolutely
advancing through the veritable curtain of fire to aid his stricken comrades, HC Hammond
moved among the stalwart garrison of marines and, although critically wounded himself,
valiantly continued to administer aid to the other wounded throughout an exhausting
4-hour period. When the unit was ordered to withdraw, he skillfully directed the evacuation
of casualties and remained in the fire-swept area to assist the corpsmen of the relieving
unit until he was struck by a round of enemy mortar fire and fell, mortally wounded.
By his exceptional fortitude, inspiring initiative and self-sacrificing efforts,HC Hammond
undoubtedly saved the lives of many marines. His great personal valor in the face of
overwhelming odds enhances and sustains the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
He gallantly gave his life for his country.

A high school in Hammond's hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, was named in his honor in 1956.
The upper grades of this school and Hammond's alma mater, George Washington High School,
were consolidated into T. C. Williams High School in 1971, while the lower grades eventually
became Francis C. Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School.

The frigate USS Francis Hammond (FF-1067) was named in his honor and commissioned on July 25, 1970.

Francis C. Hammond Middle School

Francis C. Hammond Middle School

Portrait of Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond

Memorial Plaque

Francis Hammond Display

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Citation

Commisioning Picture of the USS Francis Hammond

Decommisioning Program from the USS Francis Hammond

Portrait of the USS Francis Hammond

Picture of the 1959 Francis Hammond Majorettes

Picture of Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond

Comic About Francis Hammond
By Mario A. DeMarco

Grave of Hospitalman Francis C. Hammond

A special thanks to Kassy Benson for providing information and pictures of Francis Hammond and the Francis C. Hammond school in Alexandria, Virginia.