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Comfort Class Hospital Ship
417' 9" x 60' x 27' 8"
USN May 4, 1944
USN May 3, 1945
Built by Consolidated Steel, Corporation in Wilmington, CA. Laid down under a Maritime Commission C1-B (MC hull 1021) under a Maritime Commission contract. Launched March 18, 1943 sponsored by sponsored by 1st Lt. E. Hatchitt, USAMC and the same day assigned to the U. S. Navy (USN) for conversion into a Comfort Class Hospital Ship at Bethlehem Steel Company at San Pedro.
When completed, painted white with red cross markings to designated it as an unarmed, non-combatant hospital ship. The smoke stack had a red cross on three sides and both sides of the ship had a red line with a large red cross at the center. Commissioned May 5, 1944 as USS Comfort (AH-6) the second ship with that name with Commander Harold Farnham Fultz in command and underwent brief sea trials with a U. S. Navy crew and embarked a complement of U. S. Army doctors and nurses to operate the hospital facilities aboard.
On June 21, 1944 departed San Pedro across the Pacific to Brisbane. Next, steamed to Hollandia. During October 1944 and November 1944 departed Hollandia on trips to Leyte to pickup patients then departed across the Pacific to San Pedro arriving in December 1944.
Afterwards, departed across the Pacific again via Leyte then back to Hollandia arriving February 6, 1945. During March 1945, steamed northward to Subic Bay and Lingayen Gulf. Next, proceeded northward arriving off Okinawa on April 2, 1945 to pickup wounded until April 9, 1945 departed evacuating patients to Guam then back to Okinawa. On April 23, 1945 returned to station off Okinawa and continued to serve as a hospital ship for wounded.
On April 29, 1945 hit by a kamikaze plane hit below the smoke stack and penetrated three decks before exploding demolishing a surgery room with doctors and nurses at work. Aboard, twenty-nine were killed including six Army doctors, six Army nurses, nine Army medical corpsmen, one Navy crewman, and seven patients were killed in the attack (other sources list twenty-eight killed). Another 38 Army and Navy enlisted men were wounded (other sources list the number of wounded as 48 wounded).
Afterwards, Comfort withdrew across the Pacific via Guam then arrived Los Angeles on May 28, 1945. Next, departed Los Angeles across the Pacific arriving Subic Bay on September 5, 1945 to continue serving as a hospital ship. On October 11, 1945 departed via Okinawa to Yokohama then returned via Guam arriving San Pedro on December 11, 1945. On January 1, 1946 departed overseas with stops at Manila, Yokohama, Incheon and Okinawa then returned to San Francisco on March 4, 1946. For her World War II service, USS Comfort earned two battle stars.
On April 16, 1946 decommissioned from the Navy at San Francisco and the same day transfered to the U. S. Army.
On August 24, 1953 loaned to the Maine Maritime Academy and renamed TS State of Maine and used as a training ship for students. On June 28, 1962 returned to the Maritime Administration at Beaumont, Texas.
On October 2, 1967 sold to Southern Scrap Material Co. of Beaumont, Texas and broken up for scrap afterwards.
NavSource - USS Comfort (II) (AH-6)
Naval History and Heritage Command - Records Relating to Hospital Ships and USNS Comfort during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 1906-1991
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