John Hamilton

John D. Hamilton

Sunday, September 15th, 1935 - Sunday, February 19th, 2023
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1. Scope

This Policy covers the Site in part and as a whole. However, it does not apply to entities that Company does not own or control, including without limitation, Campaign, advertisers or developers of content. Company may include third-party links on the Site. These third-party sites are governed by their own privacy policies and NOT this Policy. Company therefore has no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these third-party sites. Please check the privacy policy of any third-party site you interact with on or off the Site.

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  1. Definitions

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Company collects your Personal Information because it helps deliver a superior online experience, gives you convenient access to the Site for browsing, and allows key features of the Site to function properly. In order to better provide you with this superior level of customer service, our Site collects two types of information (referred to in this policy as "Personal Information") about our visitors: Personally Identifiable Information and Non-Personally Identifiable Information. In addition, your Personal Information helps Company keep you informed about the latest announcements, special offers, and events that you might like to hear about.

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When you access the Site from a computer, mobile phone, or other device, Company may collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information, which does not identify individual users, to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track users’ movements around the site and to gather demographic information about the user base as a whole. Company will not use the information collected to market directly to that person.

Company keeps track of some of the actions you take on the Site such as member profiles and pages you view. Even if you do not provide certain information, Company may obtain it from you profile or the pages of its Site that you visit. Company may retain the details of connections or transactions you make on the Site.

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To become a User, Company shall collect certain Personally Identifiable Information, which you are required to provide. Information that is not required shall be deemed voluntary and you may provide such information, although not mandatory.

While using the Site, you may provide text, files, images, photos, videos, location data, or any other materials (collectively “Content”) to Company by uploading, posting, or publishing the Content on the Site. Frequently, Content you place on the Site will contain a picture of your face. Company may retain the details of connections or transactions you make on the Site.

Where applicable, when you interact with other Users on the Site, you may provide other information about yourself, such as political or topical views, religious affiliation, or marital status. Any information in a public forum is accessible by anyone, including people who are not members of the Site. Please be aware they may share information you give them with other Users you may not know. They may also share the information outside the Site without your prior approval. Company does not have control over the actions of its Users and accepts no responsibility or liability for their actions. Please keep this fact in mind when using the Site, and use care when disclosing Personal Information to other Users of the Site.

Company may also collect information from ads you click on when using the Site. Company may also keep track of links you click on in e-mails you receive from Company. This is done to increase the relevancy of the ads you see.

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Company uses the information you are required to provide to become a User in order to insure you are over the age of thirteen (13). THE SITE IS NOT MEANT TO BE USED BY ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF THIRTEEN (13). If you are under thirteen, please do not attempt to register with the Site or send Company any Personal Information. Company may also use your age information to be sure you receive an age appropriate experience while using the Site.

Company will use the information it collects to provide, without limitation, services and features to you and facilitate payment for any Donations between Campaign Organizers and Donors and provide information to Campaign Organizers and Campaign beneficiaries. Company will also use the information to measure and improve the Site, and to provide you with customer support.

Company may contact you with new or updated products or services, designs, routes, surveys, or other related announcements from time to time. You may opt-out of all communications except essential updates. Company may include Content in the e-mails sent to you.

Certain software applications and applets transmit data to Company. Company may not make a formal disclosure if it believes its collection of and use of the information is the obvious purpose of the Site or its related application. If it is not obvious that Company is collecting or using such information, it will disclose its collection to you the first time you provide the information.

Company may use the information collected to prevent potential illegal activities. Company may also use a variety of methods to detect and address anomalous activity and screen content to prevent abuse.

Company may use your information to serve you personalized advertising. Company does not share your information with advertisers without your consent. Company allows advertisers to choose the characteristics of Users who will see their advertisements. Company may use any of the Non-Personally Identifiable Information it has collected in any fashion to select the appropriate audience. Company will not tell the advertiser who you are as part of this process. When you interact with an advertisement there is a possibility that you may receive a cookie from the advertiser.

7. How Company Shares Your Information

Company shares your Personal Information with third parties when it believes you have permitted such sharing, that it is reasonably necessary to offer services, or when legally required to do so. Company will not share your Personally Identifiable Information with third parties in a way that it thinks violates your privacy. The following non-exhaustive list contains examples of how Company shares or could share your information:

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  2. Certain information you provide to Company may be shared by using the Site’s search function. This allows other Users to locate your profile and it allows new Users to find people they know on the Site.

  3. Company provides some public information to search engines. This information allows search engines to locate the Site. It also allows people to locate you on the Site using a major search engine. This does not mean all information you post on the Site may be accessed using a search engine.

  4. There are also times when Company may make certain Personal Information about you available to strategic partners or third parties. These companies may help Company process information, render services to you, manage and enhance customer data, provide customer service, assess your interest in products and services, or conduct research or satisfaction surveys. Without such information being made available, it would be difficult for you to use Company's Site and services.

  5. Company may also share Personal Information when it has a good faith belief it is necessary to prevent fraud or other illegal activity, to prevent imminent bodily harm, or to protect itself and you from people violating the Terms and Conditions of the Site. This may include sharing information with other companies, lawyers, and courts or other government entities.

  6. Company may disclose information pursuant to subpoenas, court orders, or other requests (including criminal and civil matters) if it has a good faith belief that the law requires such a response. This may include requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States if Company has a good faith belief that the response is required by law under the local laws in that jurisdiction, is applicable to users from that jurisdiction, and is consistent with generally accepted international standards.

  7. Company may disclose analyzed data in the form of purchasing trends or statistical data. No Personally Identifiable Information will be attached to this disclosure.

8. Business or Asset Transfer or Sale

Company may be sold, sell or buy businesses or assets of businesses, or merge with another business. In such transactions, Personal Information generally is one of the transferred business assets. Also, in the event that Company, a line of business of Company, or substantially all the assets of Company are transferred, Personal Information may well be one of the transferred assets. Company will make a reasonable effort to provide notice on the Site, and to notify you via e-mail to the most recent e-mail address that you have provided of any such change in ownership or control of your personal information.

9. Miscellaneous

  1. Privacy of Children


    Protecting children’s privacy is especially important to Company. Company does not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under 13, but because some information is collected electronically, it can appear to be the Personal Information of someone over the age of 13, and will be treated as such by this Policy. If a child under 13 submits Personal Information and Company learns that Personal Information pertains to a child under 13, it will attempt to delete the information as soon as possible. It is Company’s policy to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 and all other applicable laws. Therefore, Company restricts the Site and all other provided services to persons 18 years or older.

  2. Agreement with Policy and Continued Use of Site

    Unless stated otherwise, Company’s current Policy applies to all information that Company has about you, your account, and access to the Site. By using the Site, you consent to this Policy and having your Personal Information and data transferred and processed as described.


Please share your favorite memory of John to be included in a special keepsake book for the family.
CORINTH - John D. Hamilton, 33° Mason, 87, passed away February 19, 2023, at a Bangor hospital. He was born on September 15, 1935, in Buffalo, New York, the son of Kenneth and Ione (Brown) Hamilton.

John attended Amherst Central High School and graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1958 with a degree in American History. During his high school and college years he was an active AFLA (Amateur Fencing League of America) fencer, skier in winters, raced 6-meter sailboats on Lake Ontario in summers. Upon college graduation, he attended Naval O.C.S. at Newport, RI and served twelve years in the U.S. Navy as a line officer with a communications sub-specialty.

His first service as a communications officer for Com Service Squadron Force 3 (there were twelve of us junior officer under the Adm. ships (USS Haleakala AE-25 ammunition ship, as ship’s navigator, and Viet Nam service as circuit control officer aboard the major communications relay ship USS Arlington (AGMR-2) on Yankee station in the Gulf of Tonkin as assigned by Congress in its Gulf of Tonkin Resolution of August 7, 1964. Yankee station was in the northern sector of the Gulf, almost opposite Hanoi, and Zulu station in the southern sector, which was covered by our sister ship whose capabilities were considerably less than the Arlington’s. The Arlington also participated as a recovery vessel in the Apollo 10 (several hundred miles off American Samoa) and Apollo 11 Manned Spacecraft Recovery Missions (July 24/25, 1969) for which the crew received the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and John later also received the Navy Achievement Medal. As the primary recovery vessel for Apollo 10’s “splashdown” (near American Samoa) the Arlington crossed the equator in King Neptune’s’ Realm for which John was made a Trusty Shellback. As the Vietnam war ended the Arlington was ordered into mothball status in San Diego. John’s next duty assignment was as Executive Officer of the Navy’s largest Reserve Training Center in Boston.

John and his wife Martha, nee Martha Wendy Wilson of Chatham, Ontario are the proud parents of son Kenneth who was born at the U.S.N. Naval Depot, Concord, CA, and is now resident of Corinth, ME, and daughter Kathryn Mary who was born at U.S.A.F. base at South Ryslip, England. John took early retirement from the Navy while serving as Executive Officer of the Boston Naval Reserve Training Center in 1970. Of his twelve years in the naval service eight of it was spent “at sea”. It was time to get reacquainted with his family again.

As a civilian, John returned to his interest in museum work with a curatorship at the National Park Service’s Minute Man National Park in Concord, MA. His next position was as Director of an empty new local historical museum in High Point, North Carolina. After achieving a viable museum operation for High Point’s Historical Society, three years later he was hired as Curator of Exhibits by the Museum of Our National Heritage, a new American history museum in Lexington, Massachusetts. This museum was funded by the Scottish Rite Freemasons of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. John remained there for nearly twenty-five years leaving as Curator of Collections and interim Director. He left Lexington to assume the directorship of the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum at Springfield, Massachusetts where they had just received the entire Smith & Wesson Firearms Company collection of over 1,600 firearms, which had always been his area of special interest. John resigned from Connecticut Valley in 2000, after more than four decades in the museum profession having held a number of curatorial positions and the directorships of three American history museums. He was raised a Master Mason in Simon W. Robinson Lodge, Lexington, Mass. in 1979 and was conferred with the honorary 33rd degree in Scottish Rite in 1997.

John Hamilton is a past president of the Massachusetts Arms Collectors, a founding trustee of the Rifled Arms Historical Association, and a 35-year member of the American Society of Arms Collectors. He is the author of The Ames Sword Company, 1829-1935; Catalogue of Japanese Sword Guards in the Collections of the Peabody Museum; Material Culture of the American Freemasons; The American Percussion Schuetzen Rifle; The American Fraternal Sword, An Illustrated Reference Guide; Frank Wesson, Gunmaker of Worcester Massachusetts, (Vol. 1) and a contributor to Colonial Wars of North America, 1512-1783 An Encyclopedia. He has been a competitive marksman since high school and written numerous articles on arms and militaria, and is a recognized authority on historic American swords. He currently resides in Corinth, Maine with his wife Martha, who is a recognized published authority “Silver in the Fur Trade, 1690-1820.” on silver ornaments made for the North American fur trade.

Surviving John, are his wife of 63 years, Martha W. Hamilton; son, Kenneth Hamilton and his wife, Nikki Johnson, of Corinth; grandsons, Neil Hamilton, of Old Town, Sam Johnson, of Corinth, and Nathan Hamilton, of Corinth; and granddaughter, Andrea Lydick, of Amherst, Massachusetts. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his daughter, Kathryn Hamilton.

A Celebration of John’s Life will be celebrated at a date and time to be announced. Those who wish to remember John in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the Olympic USA Shooting Team, ATTN: USA Shooting, 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909 or, by visiting Condolences to the family may be expressed at

John D. Hamilton Background

Education: University of Buffalo, B.A. History, 1958
Officer Candidate School, Newport, RI - Commissioned 1958
Instructor School, Naval Schools Command, 1967

Personal: Born September 15, 1935: Buffalo, NY
Married to wife Martha Wendy Wilson of Chatham, Ont., two adult
children son Kenneth and Daughter .

Military: Offficer Candidate School, Newport, R.I., commisioned Ensign
21 May 1958, LTJG May 1, 1960, LT. Dec 1, 63.
Released from active duty Oct 1, 1970.

Awards: National Defense Service, Vietnam Service Medal (2 Stars Tet offensives),
Navy Achievement Medal, Sec. Nav. Meritorious Unit Commendation,
Navy Pistol Expert Medal with Silver “E”.

Experience: Military: extensive sea duty in western Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean serving variously as an under-way Officer of the Deck watch stander, Ship’s Navigator, and Staff Communications Officer for an Amphibious Squadron Commander. Ordained a “Trusty Shellback” while on Apollo 10 and 11 Recovery missions, and responsible for drafting surface and air Communications Operation Plan for amphibious Navy/Marine Corps deployment in support of NATO operations. Shore duty included residency in Sasebo Japan, London England, Norfolk, VA, and Boston, MA as Executive Officer of the Naval Reserve Training Center.

Museum Profession:
Director: Connecticut Valley Historical Museum, Springfield, MA
Initiated and implemented administrative and curatorial policies and procedures to achieve AAM re-accreditation, and installation of new mobile storage systems. Expanded schedule of exhibitions
and exhibit installation shop capabilities. Responsible for oversight of all museum operations including facility and storage upgrades, collections management, exhibition installations, and research reference library operations.

Interim Director: Museum of our National Heritage, Lexington, MA
Oversight of $2.3 million annual operating budget of a general American history museum, research reference library, and eight major exhibit galleries of changing exhibitions, and staff of nearly twenty. Responsible for acquisition, research, exhibition, management and conservation of all collections, supervised museum and library collections management staff. Conceptualized major exhibits. Oversight of a $297,000 budget for curatorial and library operations. Participated in MAP 1, 2 and 3 assessment programs for successful AAM accreditation, and winning NEH and IMS grants.

Curator of Exhibits: Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, MA
Commenced with “empty-building” facility and developed inter-museum networks and a team approach in creating cooperative exhibitions pertaining to all phases of American history. Mounted and installed more than 170 exhibitions; including the conceptualization of themes, identification and loan of artifacts, research and preparation of label copy, coordination of gallery schedules with design and construction personnel, and photography of artifacts for publication.

Chief Curator of Collections: Museum of Our National Heritage Lexington, MA
Responsible for developing a collection of material (stuff) related
to the history of Freemasonry, with a particular emphasis on masonic Americana. Collecting scope was expanded to include all American fraternal organizations while maintaining the main effort focused on masonic material. Duties included identifying, cataloging and researching acquisitions and acquiring artifacts by gift and purchase, or short/long term loans to support exhibition themes. Insure that exhibition techniques being utilized to display artifacts securely and according to current professional museum guidelines.

Director: High Point Historical Society, High Point, NC
Developed a new “empty-building” facility into a 3.5-acre history museum complex that included three 18th century buildings. Obtained funding for restoration projects from the private sector. Supervised craftsmen in the restoration of historic buildings (1784 John Haley House placed on National Register of Historic Houses and recipient of AASLH Award of Merit). Developed interpretation and furnishing scheme for historic buildings. Established guild of volunteers and directed their efforts in providing varied support activities for museum and historic properties, including creation of docent programs and museum store. Identified local history themes, obtained loans of related materials, and constructed exhibits.

Other Museum Experience:
Curatorial Intern, Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, Buffalo, NY Historian/Registrar, Minute Man National Historic Park, Concord, MA
Honorary Curator Arms and Armor, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Curatorial Advisor, USS Constitution, Boston Navy Yard, Boston, MA

In John’s Words

While attending the University of Buffalo I had an opportunity to visit the U.S. Naval Academy on an athletic trip there with the UB fencing team for the 1956 NCAA fencing tournament. I met a fraternity brother, Ron Figuero, who was in his second year there. It seemed a neat place to be. The Annapolis coach at that time was the famous Deladier, who I just knew would like to have me on his team, since I had beaten every saber fencer on the Navy’s team! I applied for entrance to the U.S. Naval Academy, but was given an alternate appointment to the Coast Guard Academy, which I declined. After graduating from UB in February 1958, I applied for U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School at Newport, Rhode Island and was accepted for the Summer 1958 class starting June 1st of that year. I was commissioned an Ensign (Army equivalent of 2nd Lieutenant), and an officer and gentleman by Act of Congress.

My twelve-years of naval service, extending from October 1958 until October 1970, included the following assignments:
COMSERVRON 3 (afloat) Staff, communications, 2 yrs. - Sasebo, Japan.
USS HALEAKALA (AE-25) Communications Officer – Home-ported out of Naval Ammunitions Depot Concord, California, 2 WESTPAC deployments.
CINCUSNAVEUR Staff, communications – London, England.
USS SABINE (AO-22) Ship’s Navigator – Home-ported out of Mayport, Florida
(6 mo. Mediterranean cruise).
COMPHIBRON 4 (afloat) Staff Communications Officer - Little Creek, Virginia
1 Mediterranean cruise, 1 Caribbean cruise.
NAVSCHOOLSCOM, Communications Department Head - Norfolk, VA.
USS ARLINGTON (AGMR-2) Circuit Control Officer/Communications Dept. Head Home-ported out of San Diego, Indefinitely deployed to Western Pacific (1 yr. Viet-Nam, Apollo 10 and 11 Recovery Missions, Decommissioned 1969).
NAVRESTRACOM, Reserve Training Center, Executive Officer - First Naval District Headquarters, Boston, MA.

My first set of orders sent me to San Francisco for Cryptographic school to learn how to operate various coding machines and systems. I was destined to join the communications staff assigned to Commander Service Squadron Three, home-ported in Sasebo, Japan. Upon completion of Crypto school, I left for the western pacific.

I flew out of California from Travis Air Force Base and arrived at Tachikowa, AFB, Japan. From there I eventually got transportation to Sasebo on the southern Japanese island of Honshu where SERVRON 3, commanded by Rear Admiral John A. Tyree, was home-ported. I checked into the base BOQ and had a room right on the water overlooking Sasebo Bay (and kept it for two years). The other communicators and staff junior officers were also billeted there, and it was like living in a fraternity house. There were twelve of us junior officer “communicators” assigned to COMSERVRON 3, In addition to permanent rooms in the B.O.Q. we also were assigned bunks in ”Boys Town” (a large Junior Officer bunkroom) aboard the flagship, which was always an AR (heavy repair ship). There were three ARs homeported out of the West Coast that rotated for four-month deployments to SERVRON 3.

The Service Force supplied logistical support (Bullets, Beans & Black Oil) to the combat fleet in the western Pacific through various auxiliary ships such as oil and aviation gas tankers (AOs), ammunition ships (AEs), refrigerated food ships (AFs), Personnel carriers (AKs), heavy repair ships (ARs), various diving salvage vessels and minesweepers. When not standing communications watch aboard the flagship, we were assigned to ride the various service force ships under the Admiral’s command as exercise observers grading ship’s performance of various underway drills in gunnery, damage control, engineering, and communications, as well as administrative record keeping. I became familiar with quite a number of different types of ships. To me riding the mine sweepers were the most fun, because every once in a while they would pull up a mine left over from WWII or the Korean War, which we would detonate by gun fire. Periodically, the Admiral would order the flagship to visit his various service force detachments in Yokosuka or Iwakuni, Japan; Subic Bay in the Philippines, or Kaohsiung on Taiwan. On these trips there was always an opportunity to make a port visit into Hong Kong – I must have been there at least four times.

From the staff, I was assigned to my first sea duty Communications Officer billet aboard a newly constructed, new class of ammunition ship, the HALEAKALA (AE-25), which I reported to when they arrived in Sasebo. It was faster than the other support ships (max. speed about 27 kts.), and qualifying as OOD underway was the most fun I ever had in the Navy. In driving the ship, it handled like a destroyer – almost. All our transfers of munitions, including atomic weapons, were done at sea while underway steaming at about 10 kts. By a method called FAST. This was done by running the containers across the intervening space between the vessels via a special constant-tensioning highline rig while keeping the two hulls about 60-80 feet apart. If they got too close, the hulls created a venturi effect suction that would bring the two together into collision. It was a newly developed method and we were the trial horse for the fleet.

Because naval vessels were, and still are, prohibited from entering ports with atomic weapons aboard, they had to be off-loaded at sea in international waters. Sometimes we would receive the weapons from an aircraft carrier about to enjoy a port visit. We would steam around holding them until the visit was over, then we would re-transfer them back to the carrier again. Neither denying nor acknowledging that we had them, but because we had lots of other munitions in our holds, we would normally be ordered to anchor waaaay out in any harbors we visited - like lepers. The standing joke aboard ship was that we had to take leave to get liberty ashore.

While assigned to the HALEAKALA, I received a message from the Red Cross stating that my father had a heart attack and “serviceman’s presence was required.” When I got Home to Buffalo, My Dad was fine, my mother had used her pull at the Red Cross HQ to get me home, even if for a short time. Having nothing else to do, I drove up to the University of Michigan where Martha was going to school. Between classes, on October 17, 1960, we got married. We had both gotten blood tests before hand and that was how my mother found out we were married because the receipt was mailed to the house. I left immediately afterward to return to the ship. By the time the ship had finished its deployment and returned to CONUS I was ready to have Martha join me, but first I had to go back to Detroit to get her because her father (Douglas) strongly desired that, after the fact, we had to have a ”church blessing.” Life in NAD Concord, California was frugal (being Ensigns and at the bottom of the food chain), but fun. I did make Lt. JG. while aboard the “Hockey Locker.” Our best friends from the ship were Pudge and Mare Ingebritson. While in Concord, Martha gave birth to our son Kenneth Avery Hamilton and Mare was Kenny’s God-Mother.

Our next duty station was USNAVFOREUR, headquarters at Grosvenor Square, London, W1 (directly across the square from the U.S. Embassy). As a “newbe” attached to the communications center I began on rotating duty shifts (three on two off, then a whole day off) - until an administrative day job opened as others departed. Martha found a mews flat in “posh” Knightsbridge. It seemed as though every one we ever knew visited us while we were in London. We found that the best time to sightsee in London was Sunday morning when the city was like a ghost town. Our back yard wall backed onto that of the local pub (an institution). Rudoph Nuriev was one of our near neighbors (his amour, Dame Margo Fontaine, would visit him in her chauffeur-driven Morris Mini-Minor, which would get parked in front of our flat). Nicholas Tate and his wife (Tate Art Gallery Tates) were on one side of us, and Carl Ames, harpist for the London Symphony, was one the other side. Through the walls, we enjoyed free morning concerts. We could see old Brompton Oratory from our “loo” (bathroom) window. We were on a side street almost across from Herrod’s department store, and just about a block away from the Victoria & Albert Museum. On the next street behind ours was Bonham’s & Bonham’s Auction gallery. On my lunch hours I could get to a number of nearby antique arms dealers shops from the headquarters building on Grovesnor Square, where the American Embassy was, also across the square was Purdy’s (the gun makers), and not far away was Old Bond Street and Sotheby’s Auction Galleries. It was while we were in London, that JFK was assassinated on November 22nd, and 7 No. Audley St. went into “lockdown” until it became clear that the assassination was not a prelude to war with Russia. Our daughter Kathryn was born at the U.S. Air Force base hospital at South Ruyslip. We returned stateside via an MSTS passenger ship. The crossing was marked by my being designated an officer courier for obsolete “Bacchus” cryptographic machines, which were to be jettisoned over the side in the Atlantic somewhere beyond the 1,000 fathom curve. The crates were to be sunk by rifle fire. I was on deck for that... like sinking mines.
I hated those machines when I had to use one. It was so easy to make a typo that required a de-coder to restart all over again. The weather was a bit rough during the week-long crossing, but Kate gained her sea legs as she first learned to walk in the ship’s rolling passageways.

USS Sabine (AO-22)
Arriving stateside, I was assigned to the USS SABINE (AO-22)
The Sabine was a service fleet oiler, homeported out of Mayport, Florida. I was ordered aboard as a designated replacement for the ship’s navigator, Tom Gainer, an Annapolis graduate. Sabine’s mission was to refuel underway carrier task forces and other navy vessels as required. Prior to a scheduled Mediterranean deployment, we were required to go through underway training (simulated wartime conditions) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After each daily or night session, there was a critique by the fleet inspection team. We passed – that’s about all I can say.

Shortly after having returned from our Mediterranean deployment, the captain received orders from BUPERS for me to report immediately to Little Creek, Virginia, as an emergency replacement for the staff communications officer of Commander Amphibious Squadron 4, who had suddenly gone blind at his desk, just two weeks before the squadron was scheduled to deploy to the Med. Eventually I learned that I was selected because I had been a ship’s communications officer on the HALEAKALA, and had NATO “experience” in the communication center at CINCUSNAVEUR. Martha was not too happy about being left to shift for herself and the kids and to oversee our move to the Norfolk area. Within 48 hours, I was in Norfolk.

The staff of Commander Amphibious Squadron 4, located at the Amphibious Naval Base at Little Creek, Virginia. The Commodore was Capt. Neil Almgren, a very senior Captain. As the squadron’s communications officer, I was responsible for creating the communications section of the deployment Operation Plan, which included not only U.S. naval operations, but also joint NATO operations as well. Part of my job was to devise appropriate radio circuits necessary to carry out ship operations, amphibious landings of our embarked Marine Corps battalion, and tactical air support operations. This required obtaining European frequency allocations for U.S. military use for our ships, aircraft, and Marine Corps tactical nets throughout the Mediterranean. The plan also required meshing our squadron comm plan with the NATO joint forces plan. Fortunately most of the drafting of the communications plan had already been completed by the time I arrived in Norfolk. As staff Commo, I was also responsible for conducting administrative inspections of the communication departments of the various ships assigned to the squadron.

From PHIBRON 4 the next assignment sent me to the Fleet Training Center in Norfolk as Officer-in-Charge of the Communications School. Since we were already living in Norfolk, the change of duty did not require moving our household, and disrupting Ken and Kate’s schooling.

I was at the Fleet Training School, Norfolk when I received orders to the USS ARLINGTON AGMR-2 (major communications relay ship), which was in the western pacific on station in the Gulf of Tonkin, Viet-Nam. Martha was not happy facing a one-year separation. She and Kenny and Kate stayed in our house in Norfolk. I caught up with the ship in Yokosuka, Japan. I soon discovered that the Arlington’s navigator was the same Tom Gainer who I had relieved aboard the Sabine. I was assigned to the communications department as circuit control officer. The communications department, being the major workforce of the ship, contained about 280 men whose ratings were in telecommunications, electronics maintenance, or satellite communications. The ship was usually on station (Yankee Station) in the Gulf of Tonkin off the shores of South Vietnam and since the Vietcong had earlier attacked one of our Destroyers there. The Arlington always had a Destroyer escort in as much as we had no armament that would have interfered with our transmitting radiation patterns. We were responsible for relaying all communications from HQ Saigon to the JCS in Washington via radio and satellite transmissions. We also provided Presidential and Press communication services for the conference at Midway Island, between President Nixon and Vietnam’s Pres. Thieu, as Nixon maneuvered to wind down U.S. participation in the conflict. Then we were assigned to act as the primary capsule recovery vessel for Apollo 10 off American Samoa [in the middle of nowhere]. Because of our transmission capabilities, we were privileged to broadcast reports of the historic mission and splashdown, narrated in Russian and directly transmitted by us to the people of Russia, as Voice of America coverage. This mission entailed crossing the equator and the obligatory “pollywog” meeting with King Neptune, and being made a “trusty shellback.” In the Navy, a crossing the equator ceremony is a lot more disgusting and painful than on a civilian cruise ship. We also did an Elint (electronics intelligence) survey in the Sea of Japan off the Russian coast, of their electronic transmissions, particularly those emanating from their missile site on the Kamchatka peninsula. Then we were reassigned to Apollo 11 (Moon walk) recovery operations, 800 miles N.W. off the Hawaiian Islands, acting as the primary communications relay ship for the whole recovery task force. President Nixon stayed aboard overnight to observe the splashdown. After that the Arlington had fulfilled its western Pacific mission and was slated for the reserve fleet (decommissioning and mothballing), which took place in San Diego. For all that the Arlington accomplished in the way of special missions, we crew received the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation. When the Arlington was decommissioned and mothballed, I was also awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.

I returned to Norfolk, and Martha, Kenny and Kate, and we all got ready to move to the next duty station at the Boston Fleet Reserve Training Center located in the headquarters building of the Commandant of the First Naval District. I was to be the Executive Officer of the Training Center under Commander Harry Remson.

Medals authorized:
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (two bronze campaign service stars)
Sec. Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal
(Apollo 10 - 1 July 1967; Apollo 11 - 26 July 1969)
Sec. Navy Achievement Medal
Navy Pistol Expert Medal (with silver “E”)

The Ames Sword Company 1829-1935. Providence: Mowbray Publishing Co., 1983. Second printing, 1994.

Material Culture of the American Freemasons. Hanover and Lexington: University Press of New England and Museum of Our National Heritage, 1994.

The American Percussion Schuetzen Rifle. Rochester, New York: Rowe Publications, 2004.

American Fraternal Swords, A Reference Guide. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. - Publishers, 2008.

Contributing Author:

Colonial Wars of North America 1512-1786: an Encyclopedia. Alan Gallay, ed. New York and London: Garland Publishers Inc., 1996.

George Washington: American Symbol. Barbara J. Mitnick, ed. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1999.

American Folk Art Canes: Personal Sculpture. George H. Meyer, ed. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan: Sandringham Press, 1992.

Silver in the Fur Trade 1680-1820. Martha W. Hamilton. Chelmsford, Massachusetts: Martha Hamilton Publishing, 1995. Also published in The American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin No. 73, Oct. 1995.

Frank Wesson, Gunmaker of Worcester Massachusetts. Sugar Grove, VA: Tom Rowe Publications, 2012. 3 vols. Author of Vol. 1, (Edwin Wesson and associated gunmakers).


The Peabody Museum Collections of Japanese Sword Guards, With Selected Pieces of Sword Furniture. Salem, Massachusetts: The Peabody Museum, 1975.
“Schuetzenfest: A German American Tradition.” Lexington, Massachusetts: Museum of Our National Heritage, 1991.

Articles, Semi-annual

"A Roland for an Oliver: Swords Awarded by the State of New York During the War of 1812." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 57, pp.2-11, October 1987.

"The Bay State Arms Company Match Rifle, An Update." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 60, pp. 20-28, May 1989.

"Schuetzenfest: A German-American Tradition." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 63, pp. 3-17, October, 1990.

"Jacob Hurd and the Boston Smallsword." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 70, pp. 9-15, April-May 1994.

"Alvan Clark and the False Muzzle." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 79, pp. 31-37, October 1998.

"The St. Albans Raid. The Confederate Raid on St. Albans, Vermont October 19, 1864." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin 90, pp. 48-52, October 2004.
"Arms Makers in the Pioneer Valley." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin No. 94, pp. 17-32, September 2006.

"The National Projectile Works - Grand Rapids, Michigan 1897-1906, 1906-1917." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin No. 102. pp. 34-44, September 2010.

"Samuel Gardiner's Explosive Bullet." American Society of Arms Collectors Bulletin No. 120. , pp. 21-31, Fall 2019. Reprinted: International Ammunition Association, Inc. Journal, Issue 537, January/February, 2021.p.16-22, (Part I).

Articles, Quarterly

"Congressional Swords for the Battle of Lake Erie Sailing Masters and Midshipmen." Journal of Erie Studies, Fall 1988. Erie: Erie County Historical Society.

"Masterpieces of the Clockmaker's Art." Decorative Arts at Amherst College, Mead Museum Monograph, Vol. 3, Winter 1981/82, edited by Frank Trapp, Amherst: Mead Art Museum, 1982.

"Carver Rifle Sights and Shooting Accessories." John D. Hamilton & Tom Rowe. The Black Powder Cartridge News, Winter 2021 — Issue No. 116. P. 28-35.

Articles, Magazine

"Swords of the Masonic Orders." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, May/June 1979.

"Christopher Roby and the Chelmsford Sword." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, January/February, 1980.

"The Elegant Elite: Volunteer Militia Companies and their Social Significance, 1790-1860." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 3 May/June, 1980.

"Ugly Ducklings: Iron-hilted Swords of the Federal Republic 1795-1815." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4, July/August, 1983.

"The Isaac Hull Collections." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 3, May/June, 1983.

"The Indian Princess and the Neoclassic Sword." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 4, July/August, 1984.

"So Nobly Distinguished: Congressional Swords for Sailing Masters and Midshipmen in The War of 1812." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 2, March/April, 1985.

"A Swan Among the Ugly Ducklings: Daniel Pettibone's 1812 U.S. Sword Contract." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 5, September/October, 1985.

"Elegant Continentals: Swords Presented by the Continental Congress." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 5, July/August, 1992.

"Thoughts on the German Schuetzen Rifle." Man At Arms Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 3, May/June, 1992.

"The New Hampshire Mushroom Pommel Sword." Man At Arms Magazine, April, 2007.


American Colonial Silver- Hilted Small-swords (1640-1800)
Elements of Military Discipline 1640-1840 James W. Carver (1853-1932)
.22 Slide-Action Rifles Cyrus B. Allen (1807-1841)
Gallery Guns Edward E. Redfield (1864-1922)
Henry B. Febiger & the Batavia Rifle No. 1 Emerson Gaylord (1817-1899)
Guns of April 19th, 1775 James Warner (1817-1869)
Massachusetts Arms Makers Joshua Stevens (1814-1907)
Reloading Tools Edwin Wesson (1811-1849) et. al.
Reloading Patentees
Metallic Target Sights
American Telescopic Sight Makers 1841-1940
German Schtitzenfests
Cartridge Box Patents
Whaling and Darting Guns & Bomb Lance Patents
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    In Loving Memory Of

    John Hamilton

    September 15, 1935 - February 19, 2023

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cay mccaughey

Posted at 01:40pm
An amazing Navy sailor!

Fran Day

Posted at 01:51pm
My condolences to Martha and family for your loss. Sending you all big hugs and prayers during this difficult time. Treasure all the wonderful memories. Your Maine Herb Society friend, Fran Day, Bangor

John Spangler

Posted at 09:58pm
John will be missed by his many collecting friends. But, he leaves a huge legacy in the form of his written works, and his museum work which will hare his vast knowledge with others.
I always enjoyed his talks at meetings of the American Society of Arms Collectors and learned a lot from them, and I have repeatedly referred to his Ames Sword Company book.
As a fellow former Naval officer, I salute him for his service, and his family for their part in supporting that service.
Best wishes to his family and friends.
John Spangler

A Memorial Tree was planted for John Hamilton

Posted at 12:35pm
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Brookings-Smith Bangor

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