Charles Hughes-Hallett was born on 6 April 1898 and entered the Royal Navy in 1911. He went to sea as a midshipman in HMS Vengeance in August 1914 and was present at both the Dardanelles, where he commanded a landing craft and also at the Battle of Jutland.
After the war, Hughes-Hallett spent a period at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, before specialising in gunnery in 1921 and spending a year on the experimental staff of HMS Excellent. He received an award from the Lott Naval Trust Efficiency Fund in 1931 for his invention of a foot pedal firing gear for gyro firing. He was promoted to commander in 1932, taking up staff duties in 1933 before being given command of a destroyer (1934-35). Between 1936 and 1938 Hughes-Hallett returned to gunnery at the Naval Ordnance Department, where he was responsible for the anti-aircraft rearmament of the Fleet. He was made captain in 1939 and in 1940 took command of the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curacoa, defending convoys off the east coast of Scotland. In 1942 he returned to the Admiralty as Director of Administrative Plans and Joint Planning Staff and until 1944 was involved in planning for amphibious operations, from Madagascar to the D-Day landings, also accompanying Winston Churchill [Prime Minister] to the conferences at Casablanca [Morocco], Washington [United States], Quebec [Canada] and Cairo [Egypt]. He returned to the sea in 1944 as commander of the aircraft carrier HMS Implacable, assisting in raids on German convoys off Norway and then joining the first Aircraft Carrier Squadron for the final phase of operations against the Japanese mainland in 1945.
Leaving Implacable in 1946, Hughes-Hallett took on the position of Deputy Chief of Naval Air Equipment, (1946-48), remaining in the Admiralty for Special Duty (1948-50). He had been promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1949 and next served as Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet [Admiral Sir Philip Vian], from 1950 to 1951. Made Vice-Admiral in 1952, Hughes-Hallett's final posting was as Admiral, British Joint Services Mission, Washington [United States] (1952-54), before his retirement in February 1955.
Hughes-Hallett was mentioned in dispatches twice and also awarded the CBE. He died on 2 December 1985.
The papers include correspondence with naval historians and with colleagues on the Naval Review, some personal papers, reminiscences and records and also narratives from Japanese prisoner of war camps.
The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Professor A J Hughes-Hallett in August 1992.
The papers are owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.