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General H. F. Hodges (AP-144)

(Ap-144: dp. 9,950 (lt.); l. 522'10"; b. 71'6"; dr. 24' s. 16 k.; cpl. 356; trp. 3,823; a. 4 5", 4 40mm., 16 20mm.; cl. General G. O. Squier; T. C4-S-A1)

Harry Foote Hodges, born at Boston, 25 February 1860, graduated from the Military Academy in 1877. Between 1877 and 1901 he served as an engineer at various posts, including a tour of duty as instructor in engineering at the Military Academy. In 1901, Hodges became Chief Engineer, Department of Cuba, and later assisted in building the Panama Canal. In 1917, after the United States entered World War I, he was appointed a division commander and sailed with the American Expenditionary Force in 1918. After serving with distinction in the Ypres and Avocourt Defensive Sectors, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Following the war, General Hodges commanded divisions at several American posts before retiring in 1921. Major General Hodges died 24 September 1929 at Lake Forest, Ill.

General H. F. Hodges (AP-144) was launched 3 January 1945 under Maritime Commission contract by Kaiser Co., Inc., Yard 3, Richmond, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. Hodges Dickson; acquired by the Navy and commissioned 6 April 1945, Comdr. C. H. Hilton, USCG, in command.

After shakedown training, General H. F. Hodges sailed from San Francisco 10 May 1945 with over 3,000 troops and a contingent of Army nurses. In the ensuing two months, she steamed to Hollandia, Manila, Leyte, and Biak in support of the accelerating push toward Japan before returning to San Francisco on Independence Day 1945. The transport departed 8 July for New York via the Panama Canal; and, after stopping there briefly, departed 5 August for Naples on a troop rotation voyage. While at sea she received word of the Japanese capitulation.

She returned to Boston 31 August with passengers from Naples. General H. F. Hodges then made two long voyages through the Suez Canal to India bringing home American troops, ending the second cruise when she reached New York Christmas Eve. The transport departed New York 31 January 1946 for Ceylon and India, continuing by way of the Pacific Islands to the United States, arriving 28 March 1946. She remained at Seattle until decommissioned 13 May 1946 and was returned to the Maritime Commission for transfer to the Army Transport Service.

Reacquired by the Navy 1 March 1950, General H. F. Hodges was assigned to the MSTS under a civil service crew. In the years that followed, the ship sailed between New York and European ports, supporting American ground units helping to deter Communist aggression in Europe, and transporting refugees from Bremerhaven to New York. She carried troops, their dependents, and supplies to most of the ports in northern Europe and the Mediterranean. In 1958, the versatile ship took time out from her 'busy schedule of voyages to participate in a giant amphibious exercise on the North Carolina coast, demonstrating the ease with which MSTS ships could be integrated into regular navy combat operations when and where the need arises. After two more passages to Europe, General H. F. Hodges was returned to the Maritime Administration 16 June 1958, and was placed in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River, N.Y., where she remains.

Published: Fri Jul 10 09:26:50 EDT 2015