Special Collections

Collection ID: SP-22
Location: SP-22

(Description ID: 594113)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

U.S.S. President Hayes Association


Agency History
Scope and Content

The U.S.S. President Hayes Association Collection was donated to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1985. Additional material was donated in 1999 and 2006.

Agency History
The President Hayes AP-39 was laid down by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. on December 26, 1939 and launched October 4, 1940, Mrs. Cordell Hull sponsoring. The ship was turned over to the American President Lines in February, acquired by the U.S. Navy July 7, 1941, and commissioned December 15, 1941 with Comdr. F. W. Benson in command.

January 6, 1942 President Hayes sailed for San Diego via the Panama Canal. During February and March she evacuated civilians and dependents from Pearl Harbor. On July 1 she embarked for the Tonga Islands loaded with Marines. On the evening of August 7 President Hayes landed units of the 2nd Marine Regiment on Guadalcanal and spent the next several months shuttling supplies and reinforcements from Tonga, Noumea, and New Zealand. The ship was re-designated APA-20 effective February 1, 1943. President Hayes also participated in the Rendova landings at the end of June, shooting down 7 enemy planes. President Hayes, President Adams, President Jackson, and Crescent City were nicknamed the "Unholy Four." 

The rest of the war President Hayes continued to move troops and supplies from island to island in the Pacific. At Manus, November 1944, she witnessed the explosion of the ammunition ship Mount Hood and dispatched fire and rescue parties to the stricken ships. At the end of the war President Hayes served with the "Magic Carpet," returning 1400 discharged soldiers to Los Angeles on each  of two round trips. She earned 7 battles stars for World War II service.

President Hayes continued to serve with the Pacific Fleet until decommissioned June 30, 1949. She was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet in 1950 and her name was struck from the Navy List and transferred to the Maritime Commission October 1, 1958.

Scope and Content
This collection contains material regarding the U.S.S. President Hayes, her service during World War II, and the veterans' organization of the men who sailed on the ship. The bulk of the material consists of newsletters regarding veterans' reunions from 1989 to 2000 and correspondence of these veterans with reminiscences of their service. Other items found in this collection include the ship's plans, a copy of the ship=s log from 1941 to 1952, memoranda and plans of the day, military guides to identification of ships and planes, and maps of the South Pacific, where President Hayes served. There is also a large quantity of photographs of the ship and the sailors.

Artifacts transferred to the museum collection include a ship's bell, pieces of a >Homeward Bound= pennant, a piece of a Japanese Zero shot down at Pearl Harbor, a large collection of currency and coins, and other items of daily life aboard ship.

Ac. 4752, 5532, 5698
1.5 linear ft.


1. Photos - Ships & Harbors
2. Photos - Sailors & Mascots
3. Photos – Sailors
4. Copies of Photos
5. Crossing the Equator, Crossing the 180th Meridian Certificates, etc.
6. Ship History
7. Ship's Plan
8. U.S.S. Mount Hood Newspaper Clippings
9. Plan of the Day, Memoranda, etc.
10. Radio Press News
11. Copy of Ship's Log July 15, 1941
12. Copy of Ship’s Log 15 December-31 December, 1941
13. Copy of Ship’s Log 01 January-31 January, 1942 (Incomplete)
14. Maps
15. Military Guides to the Western Pacific and Philippines
16. U.S. Naval Auxiliaries - Identification of Ships and Planes
17. Japanese publication on Burma Shin Seiki Sept. 1943
18. Carrier War by Lt. Oliver Jensen
19. Top Secret by James Martin Davis
20. Theodore Rzempoluch - Service Record, Notebook./Diary
21. Materials re Lantz's service on U.S.S. President Hayes
22. Noumea Diary by Bill Biddy
23. Reminiscences of W. R. Glasson
24. Correspondence of Veterans Including Reminiscences of Service
25. Letters from Frank J. Cuspilich
26. Letters from John Benedicks
27. Letters from John Spann
28. New Zealand
29. 1989 Reunion/Newsletters
30. 1990 Reunion/Newsletters
31. 1991 Reunion/Newsletters
32. 1992 Reunion/Newsletters
33. 1993 Reunion/Newsletters
34. 1994 Reunion/Newsletters
35. 1995 Reunion/Newsletters
36. 1996 Reunion/Newsletters
37. 1997 Reunion/Newsletters
38. 1998 Reunion/Newsletters
39. 1999 Reunion/Newsletters
40. 2000 Reunion/Newsletters
41. Roster 1991 - 1999
42. "Unholy Four" Association
43. U.S.S. President Adams APA-19 History
44. U.S. Navy Salvage Divers Reunion
45. Miscellaneous
46. Video Tape, Audio Tapes of Reunion Business Meetings


  • Maps and photographic prints of the crew and the vessel
  • Booklet of general plans, 1942
  • Booklet of general plans, 1942
  • Booklet of general plans, 1942
  • Booklet of general plans, sheet 12
  • Banner, “U.S.S. President Hayes APA 20” 

Artifacts transferred to Museum:

  • Ship's Bell app. 12" x 10" x 10"
  • Homeward Bound pennant fragment, donated by Frank M. Cox
  • Homeward Bound pennant fragment donated by Stanley Rzempoluch
  • Piece of Japanese Zero shot down at Pearl Harbor, donated by Stanley Rzempoluch
  • Leather key chain marked "Master Key B"
  • Leather hand strap with metal insert
  • Knotted picture frame w/unidentified couple
  • Metal whistle
  • Torpedo-shaped pen
  • Pair of puttees marked "Lantz, W. S."
  • Commission pennant fragment
  • Piece of shrapnel
  • Dog-tag, Wilfred S. Lantz 723-27-38 T/3-44
  • Naval insignia - black diamond patch with gold circle and gold eagle
  • Japanese stamp, value 2?
  • 2 cent postcard "Victory" with 8 stamps of U.S.A.
  • "Victory" the Philippine Islands for 2,4,6,8,12,16, and 20 centavos


  • (3) five yen notes
  • (3) ten yen notes
  • five franc note of Indo-China
  • one franc note of New Caledoni


  •  ten shilling note
  •  one pound note
  •  five   pound note

U.S. Treasury Certificate, one peso note, The Philippines

Dutch New Guinea

  • One cent note
  • ten Gulden note

Japanese Government - the Philippines:

  •   one centavo note, PU in red ink
  •    (6) one centavo notes, PK in red ink
  •    five centavo note, PG in red ink
  •    (4) five centavo notes, PP in red ink
  •    (2) fifty centavo notes, PI in red ink
  •    ten pesos note, PD in red ink
  •    one peso note
  •    one hundred pesos note


Canadian, one cent, 1903

Honolulu, Rapid Transit Token, 1924

Philippines (U.S.A.)

  •    one centavo, 1944
  •    five centavo, 1944

New Zealand, one penny, 1941


  •    one penny, 1939
  •    one penny, 1944
  •    one penny, 1936
  •    florin, 1943
  •    1/2 penny, 1927
  •    one shilling, 1943
  •    one shilling, 1911
  •    sixpence, 1938
  •    three pence, 1943

Great Britain

  •    three pence, 1937
  •    one penny, 1936

Japan, seven coins