Capt. John Fore Hines

Captain John Fore Hines (1870-1941) was superintendent of the Pennsylvania State Nautical School and commander of the school ship Annapolis from 1927 to 1937. As such, most of the PNS men that served in World War II were trained under his watch.

He was born in Bowling Green, KY on September 20th, 1870. He was the first born son of Henry Clay Hines Jr. (1841-1895) and Sarah Scott "Sallie" Fore (1844-1875). He had two younger brothers, grocer Arthur Scott Hines (1873-1942) and Henry Clay Hines III (1875-1876). Judging by the date of death for his mother and the date of birth for his youngest brother, his mother may have passed from complications during childbirth. His little brother Henry only lived 20 months. His father re-married in 1878 to Emily Bailey Moore (1851-19??) and they had a remarkable eight more children over a span of fourteen years.

His family had a long military history. His father Henry served in Company E of the 9th Kentucky Cavalry for the Confederate States Army during the Civil War, and according to documents submitted by his brother Arthur to the U.S. Sons of the American Revolution shortly before he died, they were descendants of Henry Hines Sr. (1732-1810). Henry, who was apparently also known as “fighting Henry” served as a private in Lieutenant Horatio Claggett’s Company, 3rd Maryland Regiment commanded by Colonel Mordecai Gist.


1892 - Graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.

1898 - Served aboard the USS Dorothea during the Spanish-American War.

1900 – Served aboard the USS Hartford.

1905 - Served aboard the cruiser Cincinnati (C-7).


1910 - Graduated from the U.S. Naval War College.

1910 - Executive Officer (XO) on the armored cruiser North Carolina (ACR-12).


1913 – Returned to Naval Academy as an Instructor.


1914 - Temporarily commanded the Battleship Idaho (BB-24)

1917 – Promoted to rank of Captain

1917 - Commanded a series of four cruisers during WWI, including convoy service.

1918 – (September) Chief of Staff to the Commander of the Newport News Division of the Cruiser and Transport Service.

1918 – Earned Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Medal for WWI service.

1919 – (January) Commander of the Newport News Division of the Cruiser and Transport Service.

1919 – (October) Commander of the Battleship Louisiana (BB-19).


1923 – Great Lakes NTC, Commander of Battleship Pennsylvania (BB-38).


1927 – Retired from the U.S. Navy

1927 – Superintendent of the Pennsylvania State Nautical School


His commendation for the Navy Cross shed some light on the cruisers he commanded: “for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the U.S.S. CLEVELAND [C-19] and the U.S.S. CHARLESTON [C-22], engaged in the important, exacting, and hazardous duty of escorting convoys of troops and supplies to European ports through waters infested with enemy submarines and mines during World War I, also for duty as Chief of Staff to the Commander, Newport News Division, Cruiser and Transport Force and Harbor Floating Equipment.”

John married Mary Dudley Breckinridge (1869-1939) around 1900, and they had four children; Joseph Breckinridge Hines (15 Feb 1901- 18 Feb 1901), Louise Dudley Kneass (1903-19??), John Fore Hines Jr. (1906-1982) and Mary Breckinridge Hodge (1909-2005).

After a year long illness, John passed away on October 19th, 1941 at his daughter Louise’s house in Daylesford, PA at the age of 71.