Hugh Sams

Hugh was born on base at Fort Benning, Georgia, and lived on several Army bases while growing up. Although his father was a retired Army Colonel, Hugh broke family tradition by choosing a career in the Navy as a naval aviator, thinking it would suit him better. After graduating from Gonzaga High School in Washington, DC, he entered the Academy with our class. While at the Academy, Hugh could be found running cross-country on his company team during the fall and in the spring competing as a half-miler on the Varsity Track Team. Hugh's academic interest was mathematics and he often spent time wrestling with difficult differential equations. "For sheer enjoyment" he used to say.


Upon graduation Hugh married his sweetheart Mary and then earned his Navy Wings through flight training at Pensacola and NAS Hutchinson, Kansas. His subsequent assignment was to VQ-1 where he flew A3D Skywarriors. Hugh was killed on 13 January 1961 when his aircraft crashed while landing at NAS Atsugi, Japan. He was given a funeral with military honors and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Hugh was survived by his wife Mary, three daughters and one son. His son, Hugh Porter Sams, Jr. was born in July 1961, after his father's death.