Charles A. Doyen, born in New Hampshire 3 September 1859, was a member of the Naval Academy class of 1881, later commissioned second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He organized and commanded the 5th Regiment in World War I, and in France took command of the 4th Brigade, composed of the 5th and 6th Regiments and the 6th Machine Gun Battalion. His devoted service training this brigade broke his health, and he was forced to return to the United States, where he died on 6 October 1918. His brigade went on to win historic victories at Chateau Thierry and in Belleau Wood. Doyen's contribution to these victories was recognized by the posthumous award of the Distinguished Service Medal.
(APA-1: displacement 4,351; length 414'6"; beam 56'; draft 19'; speed 19 knots; complement 453; armament 4 3-inch; class Doyen)
The second Doyen (AP-2) was launched on 9 July 1942 by Consolidated Steel Co., Los Angeles, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Miss. F. D. Johnson, grand-daughter of Brigadier General Doyen; reclassified APA-1 on 1 February 1943; acquired by the Navy on 20 April 1943 and converted at Bethlehem Steel Co., San Pedro, Calif.; and commissioned on 22 May 1943, Cmdr. P. F. Dugan in command.
Doyen sailed from San Francisco on 29 July 1943 carrying troops to the Aleutians for the invasion of Kiska from 14 to 21 August, then returned by way of Pearl Harbor to San Francisco, arriving on 11 September. A week later she got underway from San Diego to embark Marines at Pearl Harbor for New Zealand. She arrived at Wellington 24 October and on 1 November sailed with men of the 2nd Marines for the assault on the Gilbert Islands. From 20 to 24 November she landed her troops at Tarawa and embarked casualties under attack from enemy shore batteries and torpedo planes. After bringing her passengers to Pearl Harbor, Doyen returned to the west coast for training duty, arriving at San Diego on 18 December.
Doyen got underway on 13 January 1944 for the invasion of Kwajalein, landing her troops the last day of the month and receiving casualties and prisoners of war for transportation to Pearl Harbor where she arrived on 15 February. She remained in the Hawaiian Islands on training duty until 30 May when she sailed for Eniwetok thence to the invasion of Saipan from 15 to 22 June and Guam from 22 to 28 July.
Doyen arrived at Manus on 3 October 1944 to join up for the invasion of the Philippines. She put her troops ashore in the assault in Leyte Gulf on 20 and 21 October, then sailed to Humboldt Bay, New Guinea, for reinforcements whom she landed in Leyte Gulf on 18 November. Returning to Manus on 24 November Doyen loaded Army troops at Cape Torokina, Bougainville, and trained them at Huon Gulf, New Guinea, for the amphibious assault at Lingayen Gulf on 9 and 10 January 1945. After repairs at Ulithi, she loaded cargo and embarked Marines at Guam. On 16 February she sailed for the initial assault on Iwo Jima on 19 February. She lay off the island to receive casualties whom she landed at Saipan 9 March, then carried naval constructors to Guam before arriving at Noumea on 23 March for repairs and training.
Doyen left Noumea 3 May 1945 to carry troops to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, then sailed to Guam to embark patients, with whom she arrived at San Diego on 17 June. After a complete overhaul, she carried troops and returning veterans between the west coast and Pearl Harbor from 28 September to 30 December. On 4 January 1946 she put out from Seattle for the east coast, arriving at New York on 4 February. Doyen was decommissioned on 22 March 1946, and transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 26 June 1946.
Doyen received six battle stars for World War II service.