Special Collections

Collection ID: 287
Location: SP 22

(Description ID: 594113)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

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 AUnholy [email protected]


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 AMagic 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. AUnholy [email protected] 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 AMaster Key [email protected]

Leather hand strap with metal insert

Knotted picture frame w/unidentified couple

Metal whistle

Torpedo-shaped pen

Pair of puttees marked ALantz, W. [email protected]

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 [email protected] with 8 stamps of U.S.A.


[email protected] 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 Caledonia


                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

    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