Carey V. Hodgson
Major, United States Army
Coast & Geodetic Survey
a contemporary account: May 1929
Major Carey V. Hodgson, hydrographic and geodetic engineer and assistant chief of the division of geodesy, and his son William, aged 10, were drowned while canoeing in Chesapeake Bay, near Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday, May 19, 1929. A sudden squall, such as is common over the bay region, is supposed to have caused the tragedy, though no one seems to have seen the accident, owing to the rain and mist which accompanied the squall. Major Hodgson's body was recovered on Wednesday, May 22, and he was buried with military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, May 25. At the time of this writing the body of his son is still missing.
Major Hodgson was born in Wilmington, Ohio, July 11, 1880. He was a graduate of Wilmington College, Ohio, and Haverford College, Pennsylvania, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree from both of these institutions. He was married April 17, 1916, to Miss Edith Hockett, of Westboro, Ohio.
He entered the Coast and Geodetic Survey as an aid in the field service March 31, 1904, remaining in the service until his death, except between December 18, 1905, and October 20, 1906, when he was in private engineering work, and during the World War, when he was transferred to the Corps of Engineers, United States Army.
He was commissioned a Captain of Engineers
on his transfer, and after training in this country and service with troops,
went to France with the 29th Engineers and served overseas until the close
of the war. While in France he was promoted to the rank of
During his many years' service in the Coast and Geodetic Survey, Major Hodgson was in hydrographic, topographic, and geodetic parties. He served in the Philippine Islands and had command of the RESEARCH, engaged in surveying those waters. He also served aboard ship in Alaska. He had charge of many geodetic parties engaged principally in triangulation, base measurement, and the astronomic determinations of latitude and longitude. In all branches of his field work he was most efficient and showed splendid executive and technical ability.
In 1920 Major Hodgson was appointed assistant
chief of the division of geodesy and served in this capacity until his
death. He made a notable record in this position, and at the same time
took an active interest in outside engineering lines. He had been
In addition to the above organizations, Major Hodgson was a member of the American Geographical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Washington Academy of Sciences, the Philosophical Society of Washington, the Cosmos Club, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He was the author of a number of reports and manuals of the Coast and Geodetic Survey dealing with geodetic subjects and of papers on surveying and mapping subjects which appeared in technical journals.
Due to his universally recognized ability as
an engineer, his writings, and his activities in engineering societies,
Major Hodgson was one of the most widely known members of the Coast and
Geodetic Survey. In addition to his high professional qualifications, he
possessed a personality and character that impressed, most favorably, every
one with whom he came in contact. The respect and affection in which he
was held were attested by the many telegrams and letters received at the
offices of the survey expressing sorrow at his death. No member of the
Coast and Geodetic Survey has ever been held in higher esteem by his coworkers
than was Major Hodgson.
Posted: 12 May 2002 Updated: 7 March 2003 Updated: 23 April 2006