May 22, 1981
down: August 26, 1983
Launched: February 18, 1984
Commissioned: February 9, 1985
Decommissioned: December 10, 2010
decommissioning ceremony - Norfolk, Virginia
- December 2010
Atlantic Ocean - July 2010
Atlantic Ocean - September 2008
Atlantic Ocean - September 2008
Norfolk, Virginia - August 2007
Persian Sea - June 2005
Norfolk, Virginia - May 2005
RADM HAWES was a recognized Naval War Hero
during World War II.
When American entered World War in 1917, Hawes enlisted in the Navy as a
Fireman Second Class. Fifteen months later he accepted a temporary
appointment as an Ensign, but reverted to Boatswain (Warrant Officer) in
In March 1926 Hawes joined USS FALCON (ASR 2) as Executive Officer.
While onboard FALCON he played a key role in salvage of USS S-51 off Block
Island. Rhode Island in September 1925. For his part in that
difficult and dangerous operation, Boatswain Hawes received First Navy
Cross. He also assisted in the salvaging of USS S-4, which sank off
Provincetown, Massachusetts in December 1927.
On February 18, 1929, Hawes was commissioned an Ensign by a special act of
Congress in recognition of his services in salvaging the S-51 and S-4.
In January 1940 Lieutenant Hawes assumed command of USS PIGEON (ASR 6) and
was serving in that role when the United States entered World War II.
On December 10, 1941 the PIGEON was docked at the Cavite Navy Yard on Manila
Bay for repairs to her steering gear when Japanese warplanes attacked.
Since Pearl harbor three days before, Hawes had main steam pressure up and
the full crew aboard, ready to get underway to an instant. Lashed to the
minesweeper QUAIL (AM 15), which provided steering for both, PIGEON cleared
the docks and headed for the relative safety of the bay to dodge the enemy
bombs. By this time Cavite had become a hellish inferno. After
separating from QUAIL, Hawes could see the submarine SEADRAGON (SS 194) was
about to be engulfed by bombs and fire in her berth. Through heavy
bombing and strafing, Lieutenant Hawes maneuvered the 187 foot PIGEON back to
the flaming dock to haul the helpless submarine stern first from her berth.
Another submarine and minesweeper had just been sunk there by direct
hits. The heat and flames were so intense that they blistered the
ship’s pain, signed off body hair, and melted the brim of Hawes’ cap.
But PIGEON’s crew managed to rig a line on the SEADRAGON and tow her to
safety. For this heroic action, Hawes received his second Navy Cross
and Pigeon was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the first warship to
receive the award in World War II. SEADRAGON went on to distinguished
service, earning eleven battle stars before the war ended.
Immediately after the attack, Hawes found and mounted on his ship two 3 inch
guns and twelve .50 caliber machine guns from the wrecked Navy Yard. By
the end of December, the new “gunboat” had received her second Presidential
Unit Citation for shooting down several enemy planes and bombarding enemy
troops. She was the only surface warship to win two Presidential Unit
Citations in World War II.
It was during this period that Hawes designed and flew his battleflag, the
“JOLLY RODGER”. The four red stripes represent engagements he and his
crew fought in during World War II. Today the USS HAWES flies this
battleflag along with its National Ensign with pride and daring. The
“JOLLY RODGER” represents the zeal and tenacity that the ship’s crew
accomplishes its missions and USS HAWES is the only U.S. Naval Warship
authorized to fly this flag.
Except for the brief period when he was in transit or putting USS
CHANTICLEEER (ASR 1) and USS ANTHEDON (AS 24) into commission. Hawes
spent virtually all World War II at sea in the Pacific in command of his
three ships. Like Hawes himself, his ships always had a reputation for
efficiency and readiness. When he put CHANTICLEEER into commission, he
had depth charge racks installed so he could prosecute Japanese
submarines. When he put ANTHEDON into commission, 92% of his crew were
inductees and had never been to sea, but he sailed directly from
commissioning to the Pacific War and within two hours of his arrival was
servicing submarines. He received the Bronze Star for “undaunted
courage and professional skill” for his command of that ship. As he
left the Western Pacific Theater in January 1945, the Commander, Submarines,
Philippine Sea Frontier sent ANTHEDON a message of thanks and good wishes,
describing Commander Hawes and his men as “Ever Ready, Ever Fearless.”
Hawes was promoted to Captain on March 25, 1945. On December 1, 1952 he was
transferred to the retired list and promoted to Rear Admiral.
Rear Admiral Hawes died at his home in Thomson, Georgia, on December 30,