Admiral W.L. Capps
Born in Portsmouth, Va., 31 January 1864, Washington Lee Capps graduated from the Academy in 1884. He served on the staff of Admiral Dewey during the Spanish-American War and later as Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, 1903-10. He served as senior member of the Compensation Board of the Navy during World War I as well as General Manager of the Emergency Fleet Corporation, July-October 1917. Retired in 1928, Admiral Capps died in Washington, D. C., 31 May 1935.
(AP-121: dp. 9676; l. 608'11"; b. 75'6"; dr. 26'611; 19 k.; cpl. 618; a. 4 5"; cl. Admiral W. S. Benson)
Admiral W. L. Capps (AP-121) was launched 20 February 1944 by Bethlehem-Alameda Shipyard, Inc., Alameda, Calif., under a Maritime Commission contract; sponsored by Mrs. James Reed, widow of Captain Reed; transferred to the Navy 18 September 1944; a nd commissioned the same day, Captain N. S. Haugen in command.
Between 23 November 1944 and 4 August 1945 Admiral W. L. Capps made three trans-Pacific voyages with troops. Between September and 15 December 1945 she made three trans-Atlantic voyages returning troops from Europe. She then returned to the Pacific for two voyage to Okinawa and Japan (29 December 1945-April 1946) Leaving San Francisco in April, she arrived at New York on the 24th; was decommissioned 8 May 1946; and returned to the Maritime Commission the same day. [She was then t ransferred to the Army and renamed]
Reacquired from the Army 1 March 1950 as General Hugh J. Gaffey, she has since served as a civil service manned transport with the Military Sea Transportation Service.
General Hugh J. Gaffey
A former name retained. Hugh Joseph Gaffey, born 18 November 1895, in Hartford, Conn., attended Officers Training School at Fort Niagara, N.Y., and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery Reserve 15 August 1917. Assigned to the 312th F ield Artillery at Fort Mead, Md., he went to Europe in August 1918 and served in France and Germany before returning to the United States in August 1919. During the next two decades he served at various posts in the United States and served with t he 15th and 18th Field Artillery and the 7th Cavalry Brigade. Assigned to the I Armored Corps in July 1940, he served with them until July 1942 when he was assigned to the 2d Armored Division. Appointed Brigadier General 5 August 1942, he was sent to th e European Theater in November; and, in April 1944, he was designated Chief of Staff for General Patton's 3d Army fighting in France. He then assumed command of the 4th Armored Division in December. Major General Gaffey was killed in a B-25 crash at Goo dman Meld, Ky., 16 June 1946.
Admiral W. D. Capps (AP-121) (q.v.), was reacquired by the Navy from the Army Transport Service as General Hugh J. Gaffey 1 March 1950 and assigned to MSTS. With a civilian crew on board, she operated on West Coast-Far East cruises a nd throughout the Korean conflict transported troops and equipment to the Pacific staging areas.
After the hostilities in Korea ceased, General Hugh J. Gaffey continued runs to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa, and the Philippines. From 1954 to 1965 the transport made almost 100 cruises to these countries. In the summer 1965 she made her fir st cruise to Cam Ranh Bay, South Vietnam, during the intensified American buildup in Southeast Asia. Continuing her Pacific crossings, General Hugh J. Gaffey made seven more voyages throughout 1966. After carrying Korean troops to Vietnam in Janu ary, 1967 to join the fight against Communist aggression, she arrived San Francisco late in February for overhaul to prepare for future action.
[Deactivated and stricken from the Navy List 9 October 1969; laid up in Maritime Administration reserve. Reacquired by the Navy and reinstated on the Navy List 1 November 1978 as a barracks hulk; designated IX 507.
Again stricken 26 October 1993, sold 25 October 1995 and currently being scrapped at San Francisco.]