Hoagland, Edgar D. (?)-2004
HOAGLAND, Edgar D. (?)-2004
(Edgar Day Hoagland)
PERSONAL: Died July 16, 2004, in East Hampton, NY.
CAREER: Naval officer. Also managed a catering business. Military service: U.S. Navy, lieutenant commander during World War II.
AWARDS, HONORS: Bronze Star and Silver Star, U.S. Navy.
The Sea Hawks: With the PT Boats at War (memoir), Presidio Press (Novato, CA), 1999.
SIDELIGHTS: Retired U.S. Naval officer Edgar D. Hoagland wrote The Sea Hawks: With the PT Boats at War to document his experiences during World War II on the small, fast motorboats employed to carry torpedoes, depth bombs, and light anti-aircraft weapons for the U.S. military. Hoagland, who passes away in 2004, was twenty-four years old in 1940 when he joined the U.S. Navy as an officer candidate. He was assigned to a destroyer after receiving his commission and participated in the 1942 North African Invasion known as Operation Torch. He then volunteered for duty with the patrol torpedo, or PT boats, and spent the remainder of the war as a captain and squadron commander.
PT boats were eighty feet long, constructed with laminated wooden hulls, and armed with cannons and machine guns. Due to their agility, they were used in a variety of military operations, including reconnaissance, landing support, and rescues. Reviewing The Sea Hawks in the Naval War College Review, William Cooper wrote that, "Perhaps the best part is Hoagland's retelling of the PT operations in the Philippines in 1945, when the boats acted as light littoral warships, scouting pockets of Japanese resistance and engaging shore batteries with their ever-increasing gun armament."
In addition to discussing various military operations, Hoaglund also chronicles daily life aboard the boats and recounts the valiant efforts of his fellow sailors. "While the book is essentially a personal memoir—including in-depth descriptions of his destroyer experiences as well as some charming romantic interludes—it is also a paean to the entire PT-boat war, replete with anecdotes of the general history of those vessels," observed Roderick S. Speer in Military History. Reviewing The Sea Hawks, a Publishers Weekly contributor described the author's narrative as "matter-of-fact, with neither retrospective swagger nor false modesty."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Hoagland, Edgar D., The Sea Hawks: With the PT Boats at War, Presidio Press (Novato, CA), 1999.
Library Journal, August, 1999, William D. Bushnell, review of The Sea Hawks, p. 113.
Military History, April, 2000, Roderick S. Speer, review of The Sea Hawks, p. 66.
Naval War College Review, spring, 2000, William Cooper, review of The Sea Hawks, p. 238.
Publishers Weekly, July 19, 1999, review of The Sea Hawks, p. 176.
New York Times, July 18, 2004, p. 36.