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USS Comfort (AH-6) circa May 1944
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class:        COMFORT (AH-6)
Design:        MC C1-B
Displacement (tons):        6,000 light, 11,250 lim.
Dimensions (feet):        416.0' oa, 395.0' wl x 60.0' e x 24.5' lim.
Original Armament:        None
Later armaments:        --
Complement:        --
Speed (kts.):        15
Propulsion (HP):        4,000
Machinery:        J.-H. turbine, 1 screw

Construction:
AH Name Acq. Builder Keel Launch Commiss.
6 COMFORT 18 Mar 43 Consolidated Steel, Wilm. 25 Jan 43 18 Mar 43 5 May 44
7 HOPE 30 Aug 43 Consolidated Steel, Long B. 31 May 43 30 Aug 43 15 Aug 44
8 MERCY 25 Mar 43 Consolidated Steel, Wilm. 4 Feb 43 25 Mar 43 7 Aug 44

Disposition:
AH Name Decomm. Strike Disposal Fate MA Sale
6 COMFORT 19 Apr 46 1 May 46 19 Apr 46 Army 17 Apr 67
7 HOPE 9 May 46 21 May 46 9 May 46 Army 16 Feb 78
8 MERCY 17 May 46 25 Sep 46 25 Jun 46 Army 23 Nov 70

Class Notes:
FY 1942. On 29 Jun 42 the JCS directed the Navy to acquire three Liberty ships to be operated for the Army as hospital ships in accordance with the Geneva Convention. They were to be used by the Army for the evacuation of sick and wounded from overseas and were to be converted in accordance with plans supplied by the Army and under their supervision. On completion, they were to be manned by the Navy except for the medical complement which was to be provided by the Army. (They essentially amounted to Navy-operated ships with an Army hospital on board under its own Commanding Officer.) The Auxiliary Vessels Board ratified this arrangement on 21 Jul 42 with the qualification that, in view of the Navy's responsibility for these ships, all plans and specification should be submitted to the Navy Department for approval prior to conversion. On 5 Sep 42 VCNO reported that conferences between the Bureau of Ships and the War Department had determined that C1 type hulls were more suitable for this purpose because the C1 hull offered greater stability because of its greater beam. On 9 Sep 42 the Auxiliary Vessels Board concurred with the substitution of C1 hulls. In late December 1942 the Navy and Army agreed that the involvement of the Army in the conversion of the ships was to be considered as fulfilled by the plans and specifications it had delivered in October and November and that the Navy would manage the subsequent technical aspects of the conversions. MC hull 1015, from a different shipyard, was transferred in lieu of MC hull 1023, which was completed as a merchant ship. The conversion work was extensive, as the ships were delivered only about half built with no structures above the main deck. Work also proceeded more slowly than expected--as of late 1943 the scheduled completion dates for AH 6-8 were January, May, and March 1944 respectively.

The identification marks on these ships were described as follows: Horizontal green band whole length of ship on each side, red cross painted in middle of both sides, red cross on deck illuminated electrically at night, red cross painted on funnel illuminated electrically at night. Nonetheless COMFORT while illuminated was struck by a kamikaze on 28 Apr 45 off Okinawa and suffered personnel casualties.

Ship Notes:
AH Name MC# Notes
6 COMFORT 1021 Delivered at launch, 55.5% complete. Converted by Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro, Cal. To NDRF from Army 25 Nov 49. Withdrawn from NDRF on 24 Aug 53 for conversion to a training ship. Merc. training ship STATE OF MAINE 1953. Returned to NDRF 28 Jun 62. Sold by MA 17 Apr 67, to buyer 2 Oct 67, scrapped by 25 Apr 68.
7 HOPE 1015 Delivered at launch, 49.5% complete. Converted by U.S. Naval Dry Docks, Terminal Is., Cal. To NDRF from Army 5 Jan 50. Sold by MA 16 Feb 78, to buyer 10 Mar 78.
8 MERCY 1022 Delivered at launch, 55.5% complete. Converted by Los Angeles SB & DD, San Pedro, Cal. To NDRF from Army 6 Feb 50. Withdrawn from NDRF on 24 Mar 56 for repairs and conversion to a training ship. Merc. training ship EMPIRE STATE III 1956. Returned to NDRF 28 Dec 59. Sold by MA 23 Nov 70, to buyer 11 Feb 71, scrapped by 9 Oct 71.

Page Notes:

AH        1943
Compiled:        26 Oct 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008