Naval War College Review


Adm. William V. Pratt was sworn in as the fifth Chief of Naval Operations on 1 7 September 1930. The occasion capped a professional career spanning 40 years and should have been cheerful, but the simple ceremony in "Main Navy" was, instead, solemn and tense. The retiring CNO, Adm. Charles F. Hughes, was correct but abrupt. Pratt remembered later that following the change of command, Hughes "told me I would find the Secretary I of the Navy 1 in the office, and left the room without further demonstration." 1 From this comment many historians have con­cluded that Hughes refused to shake the hand of the new CNO.