Luke Hoskins
Fictional Character
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front;
Walk in Hell;
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: Late 19th century
Occupation: Sailor
Military Branch: United States Navy (Great War)

Luke Hoskins was the Number Two Shell Jerker at the starboard bow five-inch gun aboard the USS Dakota. When battle stations was called just before the U.S. Navy attacked Pearl Harbor at the start of the Great War, he was using the head and slow getting to his station. His CPO, Cap'n Kidde, chewed him out and told him next time to not to bother to wipe.[1]

After the U.S. captured the Sandwich Islands, the Dakota and her crew would go out on patrols to make sure neither the British nor the Japanese could approach the islands undetected. On one such patrol, Cap'n Kidde and Seaman Sam Carsten were discussing the improvements in aeroplanes during the course of the war with Carsten suggesting they might eventually be able to threaten battleships with bigger bombs or even torpedoes. Kidde conceded the point and added that while they could outrun submersibles they couldn't outrun aeroplanes. Hoskins chimed in with the point that aeroplanes were easier to shoot down than sinking hidden submersibles. Before either could respond, the all-clear from the battle stations alert sounded and the group returned to their other duties.[2]

In 1915, an enemy aeroplane was spotted over Pearl Harbor, battles stations were sounded among the moored warships, and Hoskins arrived at his post quickly enough to satisfy Kidde. He did get into an argument with Pete Jonas, another shell jerker, over whose aeroplane it was. Hoskins maintained it was Japanese while Jonas said he heard it was English. Lieutenant Commander Grady, in charge of the starboard secondary armament, didn't know which when he checked the status of the gun. After he left, Carsten pointed out that if Grady didn't know which then the shell jerkers couldn't know either. The two stopped arguing about this and then started again on how much of the fleet had sortied out after the enemy fleet.[3]

The enemy turned out to be Japanese, to Hoskins' glee, but it was also a trap. The aeroplane had lured the American fleet into the path of a number of hidden submersibles, one of which fired a torpedo that hit the Dakota blowing a large hole in the hull at the waterline. Hoskins stood very still and quiet and then said he thought the ship was listing slightly to port. Carsten did the same and confirmed the sensation. Grady came by, telling the gun crew that the compartmentalizing was holding up, the engines were safe and that they were slowly returning to Pearl Harbor probably for drydock repairs.[4]


  1. American Front, pgs. 59-60, HC.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 272-274.
  3. Ibid., pgs. 370-372.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 372-374.