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Raymond Pierre Hylton

naval officer, was born in Richmond, Virginia, the son and eldest child of Samuel Lee Gravely Sr. and Mary George Simon Gravely. The family resided in Fulton's Bottom, one of the city's older and poorest neighborhoods, and the elder Gravely supported his family on a modest income as a U.S. postal worker in the mail-handling department. Mrs. Gravely was a homemaker who died when Samuel was fifteen years old. The couple had four other children.

Gravely worked at various jobs and ran errands to save for college, and after graduation from Armstrong High School he enrolled at Virginia Union University in Richmond in fall 1940. Athletically talented, he aspired to become a football coach, but he put those plans on hold following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 After having completed only two years of college he enlisted in the Naval Reserve ...


Kyra E. Hicks

naval officer, was born in Washington, D.C., to Coleman Leroy Hacker, an author, army chaplain, and Baptist minister, and Alzeda Crockett Hacker, a public school music teacher and former director of girls at Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach, Florida. The Hackers placed a premium on academic excellence. In a prophetic move they named the eldest of three children after personal friends, the Morehouse College president Benjamin Mays and the theologian Howard Thurman.

Benjamin Hacker spent his childhood years in Daytona Beach and in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated in 1957 with a BA degree in science from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. In 1958 Hacker married Jeanne Marie House, a Springfield native who later became a public school teacher. Their forty-five-year marriage produced three children, Benjamin Jr., Bruce, and Anne, and seven grandchildren.

Hacker forged a remarkable thirty year naval career which included ten ...