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Hull Number: DD-428

Launch Date: 05/16/1940

Commissioned Date: 09/05/1940

Decommissioned Date: 03/18/1946



Data for USS Benson (DD-421) as of 1945

Length Overall: 347' 10"

Beam: 36' 1"

Draft: 13' 6"

Standard Displacement: 1,620 tons

Full Load Displacement: 2,525 tons

Fuel capacity: 2,912 barrels


Four 5″/38 caliber guns
Two 40mm twin anti-aircraft mounts
Two 21″ quintuple torpedo tubes


16 Officers
260 Enlisted


4 Boilers
2 Bethlehem Turbines: 47,000 horsepower

Highest speed on trials: 36.7 knots



Wikipedia (as of 2024)

Charles Frederick Hughes (14 October 1866 – 28 May 1934) was an admiral in the United States Navy who served as Chief of Naval Operations from 1927 to 1930.

Born in Bath, Maine, Hughes was appointed to the United States 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 was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on 27 April 1898.

During the Spanish–American War, Hughes fought in Commodore George Dewey‘s Asiatic Squadron. He was promoted to lieutenant on 3 March 1899. While serving ashore at the Bureau of Equipment from 1904 to 1906, he was promoted to lieutenant commander on 1 July 1905. During a tour of duty as recorder for the Board of Inspection and Survey between 1909 and 1911, he was promoted to commander.

Hughes assumed command of USS Birmingham (Scout Cruiser No. 2) in 1911 and plied the troubled waters along the Mexican gulf coast in that ship and, later, in command of USS Des Moines (Cruiser No. 15). In 1913, Hughes became chief of staff to the Commander, Atlantic Fleet, and served in that capacity during the occupation of Veracruz, 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. Hughes took command of USS New York (Battleship No. 34) in October 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 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, 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, Rhode Island, on 1 July. A year later, 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 person 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, Maryland. He died in 1934 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

USS Charles F. Hughes (DD-428) and USS Admiral C. F. Hughes (AP-124) were named in his honor.


Sunk as target 03/26/1972 at 36 deg 30 min N., 73 deg 15 min W., in 1700 fathoms of water as a result of gunfire from KIOWA (ATF-72), after being damaged by air and surface attack.


Wikipedia (as of 2024)

USS Charles F. Hughes (DD-428) was a Benson-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Charles Frederick Hughes.

Charles F. Hughes was launched 16 May 1940 by Puget Sound Navy YardBremerton, Washington; sponsored by Mrs. C. F. Hughes; and commissioned 5 September 1940.

After training operations in the CaribbeanCharles F. Hughes reported at Newport, Rhode Island 3 April 1941 to join in the U.S. Navy’s support of Britain. In September 1941, Hughes and other American destroyers took up the responsibility for providing convoy escort in the western Atlantic.

Twice during this period, Hughes rescued survivors from sunken merchantmen. The first rescue came as she steamed escorting the Marine forces bound for the occupation of Iceland in July 1941, when she saved fourteen survivors, including four American Red Cross nurses, from a torpedoed Norwegian freighter. On 16 October, she rescued seven men from a lifeboat, survivors of the British Freighter SS HATASU, a straggler form convoy ON19, sunk a few days previously by U-431.

When the United States entered the war, Hughes guarded merchant shipping in coastal convoys, Caribbean sailings, and from the midocean meeting points to Iceland and New York. Between 30 April and 19 May 1942, she made her first complete crossing of the Atlantic in a convoy to BelfastNorthern Ireland, returning to Boston to resume western Atlantic duty. From August 1942, transatlantic convoy duty was her service, with Northern Ireland her usual destination. On 2 November, she sailed from New York to escort the first reinforcement convoy UGF 2 for the North African landings to Casablanca, arriving 18 November. Here she remained on patrol for a month before returning to her usual escort duties.

In 1943, Hughes joined in regular UC and CU convoys of tankers from the Bristol Channel to the Netherlands West Indies. The first of these, on which she sailed from Londonderry Port 15 February, was almost constantly under attack or shadowed by “wolfpacks“. Hughes and the other escorts kept losses low by their aggressive attacks, and only one submarine attack, on the night of 23/24 February, was successful in penetrating the alert screen.

Hughes escorted a convoy to Casablanca, returning to New York, in November and December 1943, and on 4 January 1944, sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, to join the 8th Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. After convoy operations in North African waters supporting the buildup of forces on the bitterly contested Anzio beachhead, on 7 February she moved north to base at Naples.

Through early March, she returned to Anzio again and again, to provide shore bombardment, screening, and patrol services. For the American troops dug in under almost constant German counterattack, the whistle of shells over head from such ships as Hughes was a most comforting sound. From 3 March to 4 April, the destroyer resumed convoy escort duties in north African waters and patrol at Gibraltar, then returned to operate off Anzio until just before the final breakout from the beachhead late in May.

Returning to antisubmarine patrol and escort duties in the western Mediterranean, Hughes arrived at Naples 30 July 1944 to prepare for the invasion of southern France. While protecting the eastern flank of the shipping off the beachhead from attack on the night of 19/20 August, she spotted three German E-boats attempting to penetrate the screen, and forced two of them to beach while she sank the third by gunfire. With the beachhead secure, Hughes resumed patrol and escort services throughout the western Mediterranean, particularly in the Gulf of Genoa. Between 7 and 16 December, she provided call-fire support off Monaco, previously bypassed because of its neutrality, but now under attack because German forces had invested it.

Hughes returned to Brooklyn for overhaul 12 January 1945, and after a final convoy escort voyage to Oran, got underway for duty in the Pacific. She arrived at Ulithi 13 June, and through the remainder of the war escorted convoys to Okinawa. Was present in Tokyo Bay for the signing of The Japanese Instrument of Surrender which took place aboard the USS Missouri (BB-63) 2 September 1945. Through September and October, she sailed with convoys from Ulithi and the Philippines to Japanese ports, and on 4 November, was homeward bound from Tokyo. She arrived at Charleston, South Carolina, 7 December, and on 18 March 1946 was placed out of commission in reserve.

Hughes was sunk as a target off Virginia on 26 March 1969 and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1969.

Charles F. Hughes received four battle stars for World War II service.

As of 2005, no other ship in the United States Navy has been named Charles F. Hughes.

A Tin Can Sailors Destroyer History


The Tin Can Sailor, July 1997

USS CHARLES F. HUGHES would be the first BENSON-class destroyer to be built at a West Coast Navy yard. She was launched at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington, on May 16, 1940 and commissioned four months later.

The new destroyer was named for Charles Frederick Hughes. ADM Hughes would serve in the U.S. Navy for forty-six years. His outstanding service in command of USS NEW YORK (BB-34) while on assignment with the British Grand Fleet won him a Distinguished Service Medal. ADM Hughes would complete his career as Chief of Naval Operations from 1927 to 1930.

DD-428 transited the Panama Canal soon after commissioning and participated in Caribbean training and fleet operations. Reporting to Newport, Rhode Island, on April 3,1941, USS CHARLES F. HUGHES was immediately assigned to escort service in the western Atlantic. She was frequently called upon to rescue survivors of merchantmen torpedoed by marauding U-boats.

When war was finally declared in December, 1941, DD-428’s area of operations expanded to convoys along the East Coast, in the Caribbean, and to the mid-ocean meeting point in the North Atlantic, where escorts from the British Isles turned their charges over to fresh destroyers from the West. By May, the destroyer completed her first “full” passage, conducting her charges to Belfast, Northern Ireland. During the spring of 1942, DD-428 was pressed into service in protecting troop convoys being funneled into the North African landings, but her destiny seemed drawn to Atlantic escort work, and she reverted to her usual role for much of the rest of the year. The destroyer was instrumental in protecting tanker traffic in the central Atlantic as well, participating in the epic baffle with a large wolf pack off the Azores while protecting convoy UC-1. Although the escorts were pressed repeatedly, DD-428 and other destroyers kept losses to a single tanker and prompted the British escort commander to commend the Americans on their effective anti-submarine tactics.

On January 4, 1944, USS CHARLES F. HUGHES left Norfolk, Virginia, for assignment with the 8th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Invasions were planned for both Italy and southern France where the destroyer’s expertise would be useful. Initially, she escorted coastal convoys before being based in Naples, Italy, where she would be close to the Anzio beachhead should her services be needed. They were.

With a brief respite to provide security for an important convoy to Gibraltar, DD- 428 would patrol off Anzio until May, providing vital fire support to the troops ashore. More than one strong German counter-attack was broken up by the accurate fire of the destroyer. She would be reassigned in May, just before the successful breakout of the beachhead freed her for service elsewhere.

Operation ANVIL was the plan to invade southern France. It was intended to help relieve pressure from the Allied Troops now engaged in northern France. By all accounts, the invasion was textbook perfect, in large part due to the efforts of destroyers like USS CHARLES F. HUGHES. Between fire support missions and convoy duties, DD-428 helped provide security to the eastern flank of the landing area. The task provided a number of challenges.

On the evening of August 19-20, 1944, the destroyer spotted three German E-boats, the Nazi equivalent of the American PT (patrol torpedo vessels). Accompanied by three other destroyers, DD-428 sped after the small craft, sinking one and forcing the other two aground in shallow coastal waters. The destroyer would spend much of the remaining months of 1944 in gunfire support roles off Monaco and in conveying reinforcements to the successful invasion.

Like her sisters in the Mediterranean, USS CHARLES F. HUGHES was ordered to the States at the beginning of 1945 for refit and training in preparation for the final assault on Japan. She would reach New York in January and, aside from a single convoy assignment back to the Mediterranean, was able to leave for the Pacific by early summer. She would spend the remaining months of the war escorting convoys to Okinawa. With the Japanese surrender, she convoyed troops between the Philippines and the Japanese islands.

USS CHARLES F. HUGHES returned to the United States and was placed out of commission and in reserve at Charleston South Carolina on March 18, 1946. The destroyer was stricken from the Navy List in 1968 and expended as a target.