b. 12/09/1904 Albany, New York. d. 02/02/1938 off California Coast.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 02/02/1938 off California Coast.
Hutchins was born in Albany, New York, September 12, 1904, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1926, the same class as Howard Gilmore, Lofton Henderson, Max Leslie, and Wade McClusky. After serving on battleship Pennsylvania until 1928, he underwent flight training at the Naval Aeronautical Station in Pensacola, Florida and was designated a naval aviator in February 1929. During the early 1930s Hutchins flew fighters from Saratoga, scout planes from Concord, and studied aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.
In 1937, he served with a seaplane squadron in the Caribbean and in November was transferred to Patrol Squadron 11 based on the tender USS Langley (AV-3). During fleet exercises, on February 2, 1938, off the coast of southern California, Lieutenant Hutchins’ seaplane collided in mid-air with another PBY. Lieutenant Hutchins lost his life in the crash and received the Medal of Honor posthumously. His Medal was presented to his widow.
For extraordinary heroism as the pilot of the U.S. Navy seaplane PBY-2 No.0463 (11-P-3) while engaged in tactical exercises with the U.S. Fleet on 2 February 1938. Although his plane was badly damaged, Lt. Hutchins remained at the controls endeavoring to bring the damaged plane to a safe landing and to afford an opportunity for his crew to escape by parachutes. His cool, calculated conduct contributed principally to the saving of the lives of all who survived. His conduct on this occasion was above and beyond the call of duty.
BURIAL LOCATIONS: REMAINS NOT RECOVERED.
IN MEMORY OF MARKER AT ALBANY RURAL CEMETERY, ALBANY, NEW YORK. SECTION 42, LOT 27.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: BELIEVED TO BE FAMILY.