U.S. Naval Academy Class Rings

Graduates Remembered

Commander Robert Bell Hilliard

Midshipman Robert Hilliard

Commander Hilliard’s class ring was donated to the Naval Academy by his widow Mrs. Grace (Powe) Hilliard following his death while on active duty. His ring was manufactured by Black, Starr & Frost-Gorham.[1]

Naval Constructor, Commander Robert Bell Hilliard was born November 25, 1881 in New York, New York. On July 2, 1900 Hilliard entered the Naval Academy. Midshipman Hilliard was a member of his class crest committee. He was a varsity letter holder in fencing and wore stars on his collar indicating that he was an exceptional student. [2] Midshipman Hilliard graduated 6 of 62 midshipmen on February 1, 1904. During World War I, he was assigned to Fore River Ship Building Company, Quincy, Possessor of a wonderfully winning smile and a system of grease that has no parallel. Imitate him and you can’t go wrong. Hitch your wagon to a star. Massachusetts.

On June 7, 1924, Naval Constructor CDR Hilliard was assigned to Navy-yard Boston, Massachusetts as Head of Production Department. On January 13, 1925, submarine USS S-19 (SS-124) ran aground on Nauset Beach near Orleans, Massachusetts, on the eastern shore of Cape Cod. CDR Hilliard left Boston Navy-yard aboard USS Wandank (AT-26) to assist in her recovery. On October 15, 1928, while on active duty assigned to the Navy-yard Puget Sound, Washington, CDR Hilliard died. He was 47 years old and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


[1] United States Naval Academy Museum card file of Curator James Cheevers, retrieved January 7, 2014.

[2] United States Naval Academy Alumni Association, Inc., 2013 Register of Alumni, (Chesapeake, VA: Harris Connect, 2012), A8.