Edwin H. Hammond

1919 - 2010

Ed Hammond, age 91, passed away in April. Born on January 8, 1919 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he was raised in Columbia, Missouri near the campus of the University of Missouri, where his father was a Professor of Physics. He entered the University of Missouri in 1935 and graduated with a degree in geography in 1939. Hammond was pursuing graduate study at the University of California, Berkeley when Pearl Harbor came under attack on December 7, 1941. Overtaken by world events, Hammond accepted a position in Washington, D.C., as a geographer in the Office of Strategic Services, where he participated in intelligence and mapping exercises that preceded U.S. and allied military activities in both the European and Pacific theaters of war. In November 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve and was trained in 1943 at the U.S. Naval Academy as a meteorologist for the Navy. In July 1944, Hammond began service as an Aerology Officer, Division Officer, and Watch Officer on the seaplane tender U.S.S. St. George, “mothership” to a squadron of 15 seaplane reconnaissance bombers supporting the Pacific Fleet. His ship endured attacks by Japanese fighter planes, torpedo bombers, and kamikazes, one of which hit the St. George. Hammond flew combat area reconnaissance missions as weather and intelligence analyst for sea/ air operations, for which he was awarded the Naval Air Medal. His missions included flights over Nagasaki and Hiroshima within days after the dropping of the atomic bombs. On returning to civilian life, Hammond resumed studies and teaching at UC Berkeley, where he completed his doctoral dissertation in physical geography. His career in university teaching and research subsequently took him to University of Nebraska (Lincoln) from 1948-49, the University of Wisconsin (Madison) from 1949-1964, Syracuse University from 1964-1970, and the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 1970, where he remained until his retirement in 1987. At Wisconsin, Hammond was co-author of major revised editions of a leading college geography textbook, published numerous maps, and served on the editorial board of the Britannica Atlas. At UT, he served for six years as Chair of the Geography Department, assisting in its development and growth. Hammond was known to be a passionate teacher of undergraduate and graduate students.

Edwin H. Hammond (Necrology). 2009. AAG Newsletter 45(6): 18.