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Bill Thayer

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[image ALT: A photograph, profile left, of a middle-aged man with a handlebar mustache and a serious if somewhat bland air, wearing a very plain jacket on the collar of which are the letters 'U.S.V.' He is Henry Hutton Landon, a West Point graduate whose career is detailed on this webpage.]

Henry Hutton Landon

The preceding image, and the text that follows, are reproduced from (the report of the) Sixtieth Annual Reunion of the Association of the Graduates of the United States Military Academy, June 12, 1929.

 p207  Henry Hutton Landon
No. 2464 Class of 1872
Died November 8, 1926, at New York City, aged 76 years.

Henry Hutton Landon was born in New York City March 7, 1850. He was the eldest child of Charles Griswold Landon of New York City and his wife, Susan Gordon, of Virginia. He was educated in private schools, including the Otis Bisbee Military Academy, College Hill, Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and prepared for the examination at West Point at the Anthon Grammar School, New York City. He was appointed a cadet at the Military Academy July 1, 1868, and graduated with his class June 14, 1872. As a cadet, he was distinguished for his gentlemanly deportment and was one of the Hop Managers for the class in the Third Class Year, Camp McPherson, 1869, and in the First Class Year at Camp Belknap, 1871. On graduation, he was promoted to the Army and assigned as Second Lieutenant, 25th U. S. Infantry.

After graduation leave, Landon joined his regiment at Fort Davis, Texas, October 10, 1872. The eight years of his service in the Army, except for two periods of leave of absence, were principally spent at Fort Davis, Texas, with short periods of detached service at Fort Clark and Fort Duncan, Texas. He was promoted to First Lieutenant, U. S. Infantry, June 8, 1878, and resigned from the Army June 1, 1880. His duties in the Regiment were concerned at times with scouting for hostile Indians and Mexican bandits; and he was placed in charge of building an extensive mountain roadway. On one of his trips by stage from San Antonio to the Post, the stage was held up by road agents but he was not injured.

Returning to New York after resignation, Landon was engaged in banking, real estate and insurance business until after the death of his father in 1893. He was married in 1883 to Caroline Lesher. Six children survived at the time of his death, namely: Stephen L., Henry H., and Nathaniel R. Landon; Mrs. Eugene M. Sawyer, Mrs. M. Taylor Pyne, and Mrs. William M. Evarts. His three sons and one daughter, Cornelia Landon, served in the World War.

The first son, Stephen L. Landon, enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve May 1917, and sailed for France on U. S. S. Guinevere in July. He was commissioned Ensign in November, 1917, and transferred to a destroyer fleet convoying troops to France. He returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard January 1, 1919, and was put on the inactive list with the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade, and received his discharge in May, 1921.

The second son, Henry H. Landon, Jr., enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps, March 23, 1917, was commissioned Ensign in  p208 September, 1917, and sailed for France. He was engaged in patrolling and bombing duty in England, France, and Italy; was commissioned Lieutenant, Junior Grade, in March, 1918, and Lieutenant in February, 1919. He was relieved from active service in March, 1919, and received his discharge in March, 1921.​a

The third son, Nathaniel R. Landon, enlisted in the U. S. Naval Reserve March 26, 1917, and reported at the Naval Training Station, Newport, R. I., April 19, 1917. He was transferred to the Naval Aviation and reported at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology January 1, 1918. He was assigned to Lighter-than‑Air Service and to the training station at Akron, Ohio, April 22, 1918. He reported to Naval Air Station, Rockaway, Long Island, for active duty July 27, 1918. He was commissioned Ensign, August 22, 1918, and discharged February 25, 1919.

The daughter, Cornelia Landon (later Mrs. William M. Evarts), served with the Y. M. C. A. from November, 1917, to May, 1919, spending eight months in France with various units of the First Division.

On February 20, 1882, Henry Hutton Landon was commissioned a Major in the 71st Regiment, New York National Guard, and served for three years. In the war with Spain he was appointed a Major of the Fourth U. S. Volunteer Infantry (Immunes) on June 13, 1898. He served with his regiment in camp at Fredericksburg, Va., Jacksonville, Fla., Manzanillo, Cuba, and Bayamo, Cuba. At the latter Post he was in command and served as Military Governor for some months. He resigned his Volunteer Commission December 7, 1898, and resumed his business in New York City until 1910, when he retired from active business and devoted himself to the care of his property.

Landon always retained an active interest in the Military Academy and in his class. He was one of the two members of the class (Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Blunt being the other), who attended every class reunion. It may be interesting to note that these reunions were held as follows: in 1882 at Martinelli's, 110 Fifth Avenue, New York City; in 1892 and 1897 at Muschenheim's (The Arena), 41 West 31st St., New York City; in 1902, the University Club, New York City; in 1907, Hotel Astor, New York City; in 1912 and 1922 at West Point, N. Y.

A sister of Landon was the wife of Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.Leander T. Howes, Class of 1867. Landon's ancestors came from England in 1641 and settled at Southold, Connecticut. The family has always been prominent in the military history of the country. David Landon, Captain U. S. Navy, fought in the Revolutionary War, and seventeen other members of the family were engaged in the same war. In the World War, fifteen members of the family were engaged. Besides his four children, these included two brothers, Edward H. Landon, who was secretary of the Red Cross in Paris, and Francis G. Landon, a Major in the Adjutant General's Department.

 p209  Landon was a member and constant attendant of the services at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York City. His father was for many years Senior Warden of Grace Church, New York City.

Landon's death occurred after an illness of more than a year. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in the family vault. He was a member of numerous clubs and societies, among them being the University, Metropolitan, and Army and Navy Clubs; and Sewanhaka and Corinthian Yacht Clubs; and of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution, Military Order of Foreign Wars, and Society of Colonial Wars; and he was a member in perpetuity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The address of Mrs. Henry Hutton Landon is: 417 Park Avenue, New York City.

Classmate, Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.R. B.

Thayer's Note:

a A simplification — after all, it's not the son's, but the father's obituary — but Henry Landon, Jr.'s career as a naval aviator is of particular interest. It started before there were such people and well before his March, 1917 enlistment: he was one of a small group of friends at Yale University who trained for the war they saw coming, and can to some extent be considered among the founders of American naval aviation. The fascinating story is well told by Ralph D. Paine in The First Yale Unit. Links to the sections of the book specifically germane to "Hen" Landon's war career are given in my note to his father's entry in Cullum's Register.

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Page updated: 8 Jul 14