(AP-124: dp. 20,120 dim.); 1. 608'11"; b. 75'6"; dr. 26'6" dim.); s. 19.0 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 5,217; a. 4 5", 4 40mm.; cl. Admiral W. S. Benson; T. P2-SE2-R1)
Charles Frederick Hughes, born on 14 October 1866, was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1884. Upon graduation on 8 June 1888, he went to the Fleet for the customary two years at sea preceding a commission as an ensign. He received that commission on 1 July 1890, and his promotion to lieutenant (junior grade) came on 27 April 1898. During the Spanish-American War, Lt. (jg.) Hughes fought in Commodore Dewey's Asiatic Squadron. He made lieutenant on 3 March 1899. While serving ashore at the Bureau of Equipment from 1904 to 1906, he became Lt. Comdr. Hughes on 1 July 1905. During a tour of duty as recorder for the Board of Inspection and Survey between 1909 and 1911, he received his promotion to commander.
He assumed command of Birmingham (Scout Cruiser No. 2) in 1911 and plied the troubled waters along the Mexican gulf coast in her and, later, in command of Des Moines (Cruiser No. 15). In 1913, Comdr. Hughes became chief of staff to the Commander, Atlantic Fleet, and served in that capacity during the occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, in the spring of 1914. Promoted to captain on 10 July 1914, he returned to shore duty later that year to serve with the General Board. Capt. Hughes took command of New York (Battleship No. 34) in October of 1916. His ship served in the American battleship squadron that operated with the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands through World War I.
Hughes, however, left New York just before the Armistice. On 10 October 1918, he was promoted to rear admiral. His first assignment as a flag officer was as commandant at the Philadelphia Navy Yard from late 1918 to 1920. Between 1920 and 1921, Rear Admiral Hughes was Commander, 2d Battleship Squadron, Atlantic Fleet. From the latter part of 1921 to 25 June 1923, he commanded Divisions 7 and 4 of the Battle Fleet. Coming ashore again in 1923, he became president of the Naval War College at Newport, R.I., on 1 July. A year later, Rear Admiral Hughes moved to the job of Director of Fleet Training.
That assignment lasted until 10 October 1925. Soon thereafter, Hughes was appointed Commander in Chief, Battle Fleet. On 14 November 1927, Admiral Hughes became the fourth man to occupy the office of Chief of Naval Operations. He completed his tour of duty in that post on 11 September 1930 and, on 14 October 1930, retired to his home in Chevy Chase, Md., where he died on 28 May 1934. Admiral Hughes was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Admiral C. F. Hughes (AP-124) was laid down under a Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 682) on 29 November 1943 at Alameda, Calif., by the Bethlehem-Alameda Shipyard, Inc.; launched on 27 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Louise Nimitz, the wife of Capt. Otto Nimitz and the sister-in-law of future Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz; delivered to the Navy on 31 January 1945; and commissioned that same day, Capt. John Trebes, USCG, in command.
Following shakedown training along the west coast, Admiral C. F. Hughes embarked naval officers and Marines at San Diego for transportation to Hawaii. She departed San Diego on 13 March and arrived in Pearl Harbor on the 18th. There, she took on another group of passengers bound for the United States and then got underway on the 23d. The transport arrived in San Francisco on 28 March, disembarked her passengers, and then set sail for San Diego on 9 April. Admiral C. F. Hughes reached her destination the following day and began taking on more travelers. On the 14th, the transport left San Diego and set a westward course. The ship entered Pearl Harbor on the 19th, and some passengers left her while others came on board. Three days later, she put to sea on her way to the Mariana Islands. Admiral C. F. Hughes put in at Guam on 30 April, and all her passengers disembarked. After taking another group on board, including 221 Japanese prisoners of war, she stood out of Apra Harbor on 3 May. The transport made a two-day stop at Pearl Harbor from 10 to 12 May to disembark the prisoners and then continued her voyage back to the west coast. She moored at San Francisco on 17 May.
On 26 May 1945 the transport sailed for Europe by way of the embarked troops from the European theater for redeployment to the Pacific. The transport retraced her route through the Panama Canal and reached Manila on 20 July. Admiral C. F. Hughes embarked troops at Leyte, Biak in the Schouten Islands, and Hollandia, New Guinea, before leaving the latter port on 4 August to return to the United States. She delivered the returning servicemen at San Francisco on 17 August.
The ship put to sea on 31 August with replacements for western Pacific garrisons. Steaming via Ulithi, she arrived at Tacloban, Leyte, on 17 September. Admiral C. F. Hughes visited Manila again before heading back to North America on the 24th. She paused at Victoria, Canada, on 9 October to repatriate former prisoners of war from various Commonwealth nations, and arrived at Seattle, Wash., later that day. The transport made one more round-trip voyage to Yokohama before she was decommissioned on 3 May 1946. She was returned to the War Shipping Administration which, in turn, transferred her to the Army. Her name was struck from the Navy list in June 1946.
The Army renamed the ship General Edwin D. Patrick (q.v.), and she served the Army Transport Service until 1 March 1950 when the Navy reacquired her. Retaining her Army name, she was assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and was manned by a civil service crew. Operating out of San Francisco, USNS General Edwin D. Patrick (T-AP-124) spent almost two decades transporting troops and cargo to American bases throughout the western Pacific, and supported American arms in the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Early in 1967, the transport was placed in a ready reserve status. On 30 September 1968, the ship was to be laid up at the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet facility at Suisun Bay, Calif. On 31 August 1969, title to the ship was transferred to the Maritime Administration. As of 1 July 1988, the transport was still berthed at Suisun Bay.
Under the name General Edwin D. Patrick, Admiral C. F. Hughes earned three battle stars during the Korean conflict.