The Vietnam Graffiti Project Ships

The USNS General John Pope

John Pope was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on 18 March 1822. From Illinois he entered the Military Academy at West Point in 1838, graduating in 1842. Pope served in the United States Army during the Mexican War and the Civil War, earning several brevets. During the Mexican War, Pope fought at Monterey and Buena Vista. During the Civil War, his campaigns included New Madrid, Island #10 in the Mississippi River, and Second Manassas. After the war, Pope continued to serve in the Army, where he took part in campaigns against Native Americans in the West until he retired in 1886. Pope died at the Old Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Sandusky, Ohio, on 23 September 1892.

On 21 March 1943, the Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company launched the General John Pope (AP-110) at Kearney, New Jersey. The United States Navy acquired the ship on 2 July 1943 and sent it to Baltimore for conversion into a troop ship. The General John Pope received full commission on 5 August 1943, with Captain George D. Lyon commanding.

After a shakedown cruise, the General John Pope steamed for Scotland with 6,000 civilians and troops. Upon her return from Europe, the General John Pope steamed for Brisbane, Australia in October and November with more troops. She returned to San Francisco where she embarked 5,000 more troops bound for the Pacific. The General John Pope returned to San Francisco in January 1944 with 2,500 Pacific veterans. The General John Pope continued to ferry troops back and forth across the Pacific for the remainder of 1944, and participated extensively in the campaign along the northern coast of New Guinea. In addition to American fighting men, the General John Pope also hauled international troops, including Filipinos and New Zealanders. As World War II came to a close, the General John Pope remained active, bringing veterans home to West Coast ports from stations in the Pacific. She was decommissioned in New York on 12 June 1946.

Reinstated in July 1950, and assigned to Military Sea Transport Service (MSTS), the General John Pope again transported troops across the Pacific, this time for the Korean War. Throughout the conflict, the General John Pope sailed from the West Coast of the United States to Japan with troops bound for Korea. After the war, she continued to sail between Japan and Korea on troop rotation duties. In May 1955, the General John Pope was placed on reduced operational status at Seattle. The Maritime Administration placed the General John Pope in the National Defense Reserve Fleet in 1958, where she remained until recalled to duty for the Vietnam War.

The General John Pope became reactivated again in August 1965. As a civilian-manned MSTS ship based in San Francisco, the General John Pope carried thousands of soldiers to destinations throughout Asia and the Far East. She participated in the deployment of the US Army's 9th Infantry Division to Vietnam in late 1965 and early 1966. The General John Pope continued ferrying troops to Vietnam until 1970, when she was placed out of service. In October 1990, the General John Pope was struck from the Naval Register. Later, the Maritime Administration transferred her to Suisun Bay, in Benicia, California, where she is in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.


  • Displacement 11,450 t. (lt) 20,175 t. (fl)
  • Length: 622' 7"
  • Beam: 75' 6"
  • Draft: 25' 6"
  • Speed: 20.6 kts.
  • Complement: 465
  • Troop Accommodations: 5,142
  • Armament: four single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, sixteen 1.1" AA guns, twenty 20mm AA guns
  • Propulsion: steam turbines, twin shafts, 17,000hp

USNS General John Pope Collection Finding Aid

The USNS General Edwin D. Patrick

Edwin Daviess Patrick, born on 11 January 1894 in Tell City, Indiana, joined the Indiana National Guard in 1915 and received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry in 1917. Patrick served in France during World War I in the St. Mihiel and Muese-Argonne offensives. Upon returning to the US in 1919, Patrick continued to serve in the military. In 1926 he went to China and served until 1929. In 1942, Patrick received a promotion to Brigadier General, and then followed orders to serve in the Southwest Pacific during World War II. In the Philippines, while liberating Luzon, General Patrick was mortally wounded by Japanese machine gun fire in March 1945.

Charles Frederick Hughes, born 14 October 1866 in Bath, Maine, graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1888. Hughes served in the Spanish American War with the Asiatic Squadron. During World War I, Hughes commanded the USS New York, an American battleship attached to the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet serving in the Orkney Islands. Before Armistice Day, Hughes received a promotion to Rear Admiral. Throughout the 1920s Admiral Hughes served in a variety of positions ashore and at sea. He served as president of the Naval War College at Newport, Rhode Island, and as the fourth Chief of Naval Operations (1927-1930). He retired in 1930 and passed away 28 May 1934 in Maryland. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The USS Admiral C.F. Hughes (later to be renamed the General Edwin D. Patrick) was built in Alameda, California. She was launched 27 August 1944, and served primarily in the Pacific ferrying troops to Hawaii, the Philippines, and other destinations in the Western Pacific. In May 1945, the USS Admiral C.F. Hughes sailed for Europe to embark troops for redeployment to the Pacific. She made a few more trips across the Pacific after World War II ended before being decommissioned and turned over to the United States Army in May 1946.

The Army renamed the ship General Edwin D. Patrick and utilized her as a transport vessel until March 1950, when the United States Navy reacquired her and turned her over to MSTS. Retaining the name the Army gave her, the General Edwin D. Patrick served for nearly twenty more years as a troop transport ferrying soldiers and cargo across the Pacific to destinations throughout Asia. Early in 1967, after serving in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the General Edwin D. Patrick was placed in ready reserve status and laid up at the Maritime Administration's National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California.


  • Displacement: 9,676 t.(lt), 20,120 t.(fl)
  • Length: 608' 11"
  • Beam: 75' 6"
  • Draft: 26' 11"
  • Speed: 19 kts.
  • Complement: 35 officers, 400 enlisted
  • Troop; Accommodations 5,200
  • Cargo Capacity: 100,000 cu. ft.
  • Armament: four single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, four 1.1" quad-mount AA guns replaced by four twin 40mm gun mounts, 16 twin 20mm gun mounts
  • Propulsion: turbo-electric, two propellers, 19,000shp

USNS General Edwin D. Patrick Collection Finding Aid

Resources used to compile these ships histories can be found on the Graffiti Project links page