Vice Admiral John Madison Hoskins the Navy's only peg-leg Admiral, was born on 22 October 1898 in Pineville
He was reared in Pineville graduated from Pineville High School. He was the youngest of six children born to
Thomas Jefferson and Lucy Renfro Hoskins.
He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1921. Following a period of serving on surface ships he entered
flight school in 1925. After earning his wings, Hoskins served in observation and scouting units. He attain
squadron command in 1937. His ship was in charge of trying to find Amelia Earhart when she was lost. His ship
Memphis brought Charles Lindberg and the Sprite of St Louis back from France after his famous flight. He was
Air Officer and Executive Officer of USS Ranger (CV-4) during 1941-42. During 1943-44 he served in
Washington D.C., and as Chief of Staff to Commander, Fleet Air, at Quonset Point Rhode Island.
Captain Hoskins was assigned as prospective commanding officer of USS Princeton (CVL-22) in September
1944 and lost a right foot when that ship was bombed on 24 Octber 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
Despite the loss of his foot, he continued on active duty, becoming commanding officer of the new USS
Princeton (CV-37) in November 1945. Promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, he became Commander, Carrier
Division Seventeen in December 1946. After serving as Chief of Staff to Commander, Air Force, Pacific Fleet
he assumed command of Carrier Division Three in March 1950. He was the first person to take off and land a
jet airplane on an aircraft carrier. The Navy said it couldn't be done because jets were too heavy. He proved
them wrong and was place over out fitting all carriers to land jets.
When the Korean War broke out on 25 June 1950, Rear Admiral Hoskins' flagship USS Valley Forge (CV-45)
was the only U.S. carrier in the Western Pacific and launched the first U.S. Navy air strikes of the conflict. He
was awarded the Navy Cross for his action in Korea. He also was awarded the following medals: Purple Heart,
Legion of Merit, China Service Medal, Order of Military Merit, from the Philippine Government, the
Philippine Liberation Medal, Atlantic Fleet Clasp, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, plus others.
In 1955 a movie was made of his 10 years of WW2 and Korea, The Eternal Sea. This was shown at the Bell
Theater during the Mountain Laurel Festival.
Admiral Hoskins married the former Sue Waters of Gaithersbury, Maryland and had three children, John
Madison Jr, Renfro Waters and Mary Sue. His brothers and sisters were Mrs Bess Williams of Cincinnati,
Ohio, J.K. Hoskins of Pineville, Kentucky, Mrs Charles Gragg, Pineville, Mrs George Hodges, Pineville and
Carl B. Hoskins, Williamsburg, Kentucky. His wife and children live in Falls Church, Virginia.
Admiral Hoskins died in March 1964, and after a funeral with full Military Honors was buried in Arlington