Louis McHugh

Louis McHugh







Louis McHugh







Lou McHugh enlisted in 1942 at age 19, a few months after his father died. He had great uncles, uncles, and a sister in the Navy. He later went to college and earned a master's degree and then served as a commissioned army officer in Korea. When we were kids, he talked most often about his Navy days - even though he was in the army at the time. I think we saw every episode of Victory at Sea and I also remember a show called Navy Log. I think he referred to his service as being in the Armed Guard more often than being in the Navy. Eventually, my younger brother, Dan, enlisted and served as a sonarman, and I was commissioned near the end of the Vietnam war and served with a Navy attack squadron (VA-196) on the USS Enterprise - thankfully the war was over by the time I got to the South China Sea.

In the first picture taken on the SS Hat Creek, note the name on the gun - Nanty Glo, a small coal-mining town in western PA where Lou grew up. As I remember, there were two gunners from Nanty-Glo on the ship, so they got naming rights.

Lou served on the following vessels:
SS Lou Gehrig 29 Jan 1943 - 8 Dec 1943
SS Hat Creek 29 Dec 1943 - 17 Jul 1944
SS Thaddeus Kosciuszko 22 Sep 1944 - 2 May 1945
SS Marine Falcon 12 Aug 1945 - 18 Sep 1945
In the second picture (date unk, place unk), you get a sense of the youthfulness and optimism of those young guys who served on the ships. He was honorably discharged at Mare Island, Vallejo, CA in December 1946.

Through his service in the Navy and the Army, Lou earned the right to wear the following decorations:

Good Conduct Medal
Meritorious Unit Emblem
American Campaign Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal - bronze service star
European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal - bronze service star
WW II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal - bronze service star
Philippine Liberation Ribbon
United Nations Service Medal
Honorable Service Lapel Button WW II


In his later years, he wrote for his service records, but was told they burned in a fire at the repository. Lou died in January of 2002, 60 years to the hour after his own father. I recently wrote again to the NPRC and hit the jackpot. Not only did they forward his army records, but also the missing Navy records as well as all the actual medals and ribbons he earned. Hard to believe there are still copies of WWII medals in a warehouse somewhere.



Picture of Louis McHugh aboard the SS Hat Creek and the gun called Nanty Glo


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Picture of Louis McHugh aboard the SS Hat Creek


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Picture of the SS Marine Falcon


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