Hugh W. McKee, born in Lexington, Ky., was appointed to the Naval Academy 25 September 1861. Graduated in 1866, he had attained the rank of lieutenant by March 1870, and was serving in the Asiatic Squadron. He was mortally wounded 11 June 1871, while leading a company of bluejackets over the walls of a Korean fort on Kang-wa Island close by the Inchon beaches during a punitive expedition. He died on board Colorado and was buried at his birthplace.
(TB-18: dp. 65; 1. 99'3"; b. 12'9"; dr. 4'3"; s. 20 k.; cpl. 12; a. 2 1-pdr., 2 18" It.; cl. Dahlgren)
The first McKee (TB-18) was laid on 11 September 1897 by Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore, Md. launched 5 March 1898 sponsored by Mrs William H. Humrichouse; and commissioned 16 May 1898, Lt. C. M. Knepper in command.
McKee under went sea trials in Chesapeake Bay and then sailed to New York to assume coastal defense duties during Spanish-American War. Reassigned to Torpedo Station Newport, R.I., the coal-burning torpedo boat operated along the New England coast until returning to New York 13 December 1903, where she decommissioned 22 December 1903.
Eight months later, 6 August 1904, she recommissioned and steamed back to Newport From 1907 to 1910 she operated from New York, then was assigned special duty in the reserve at Newport. On 29 January 1912 she arrived New York and decommissioned. Struck from the Navy list a April 1912, McKee was towed to Norfolk and used as a target. On 24 September 1920 she was ordered sunk near Craney Island, an order carried out later that fall.