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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Don McGrogan, BMCS, USN Ret. - Popular Patch

USS Solace (II) (AH-5)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Charlie - Foxtrot - Papa
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (Pearl Harbor) - Navy Unit Commendation - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp)
Bottom Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (7) - World War II Victory Medal

Solace Class Hospital Ship:
  • Built in 1927 as SS Iroquois at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Newport News, VA.
  • Acquired by the Navy from her owners, Clyde Mallory Steamship Lines, 22 July 1940
  • Converted to a Hospital Ship at Atlantic Basin Iron Works, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Solace (AH-5), 9 August 1941, CAPT. Benjamin Perlman (MC) USN in command
  • During World War II USS Solace was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following actions/campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941 Western Caroline Islands operation
    Capture and occupation of southern Palau Islands, Peleliu, 5 September to 14 October 1944
    Gilbert Islands operation
    Abemama Island, 24 to 26 November 1943
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 23 February to 10 March 1945
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 3 to 4 February 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 27 March to 27 June 1945
    Marianas operation,
    Capture and occupation of Saipan, 18 to 2 July 1944
    Capture and occupation of Guam, 24 July to 15 August 1944

  • Decommissioned, 27 February 1946, at Norfolk, VA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 21 May 1946
  • USS Solace earned seven battle stars for World War II service
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal, 18 July 1946
  • Sold to Turkish Maritime Lines, 14 August 1947, for $300,000.00. Renamed SS Ankara, rebuilt as a passenger liner
  • Final Disposition, SS Ankara was laid up in 1977 and scrapped at Aliaga, Turkey, in 1981
    Displacement 8,900 t.(fl)
    Length 409' 4"
    Beam 62'
    Draft 20' 7" (limiting)
    Speed 18 kts. (trial)
    Patient Capacity
    Officers 55
    Enlisted 411
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 9,985 bbls
    Diesel 102 Bbls
    two Newport News geared turbines
    three Foster and Wheeler header-type boilers 275psi 575°
    single Newport News Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two 500Kw 240V D.C.
    two 150Kw 240V D.C.
    one 75Kw 240V A.C.
    twin propellers, 8,500shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Pre-War Merchant Service Eastern SS Co.
    244k SS Iroquois aground on Bald Porcupine Island, Bar Harbor, ME., Sunday July 19, 1936. She is in the colors of the Eastern Steamship Line, and was pulled off with minimal damage by the USS Owl (AM-2). Owl was in port at that time acting as a seaplane tender for two mail planes servicing Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt on vacation at Campobello Island.
    Photo 09120512 from the collection of Acadia National Park.
    Photo 09120517 from the collection of Jefferson Dobbs
    Jonathan Eno
    USS Solace (AH-5)
    Solace 310k USS Solace (AH-5), formerly the Atlantic Coast Liner SS Iroquois, moored to a buoy, 21 October 1941, at Los Angeles. Solace was en-route to join the Pacific Fleet. Note: All her lifeboats are not yet in place.
    Photo by Acme News Pictures
    Bill Gonyo
    Solace 110k USS Solace (AH-5), with CAPT. Benjamin Perlman,(MC), USN, Commanding Officer, (left), Navy Nurse LT. Grace B. Lally, USNR, (center), and CAPT. Harold Jenseon, (MC), USN, (right). March 1942.
    US Navy photo # 80-G-44575
    National Museum of the US Navy
    Solace 39k USS Solace (AH-5) under way, date and location unknown
    US Navy photo
    Solace 48k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor, date and location unknown. Hyperwar US Navy in WWII Web Site
    Solace 78k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor, date and location unknown. Russ Padden
    Solace 93k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor in Hawaiian waters, circa 1941. She arrived at Pearl Harbor, 27 October 1941 and handled hundreds of casualties on 7 December 1941 during the Japanese attack there.
    A US Navy Bureau of Ships photo # 19-N-26324 now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Solace 95k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor in Pearl Harbor, 6 December 1941
    Photo and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman. Photo first appeared in "Our Navy" magazine, 1 June 1943 issue.
    Chester Morris and Robert Hurst
    Solace 141k Navy surgeon Dr. Howard Owen Smith Jr. treating a patient aboard USS Solace (AH-5), date and location unknown.
    BUMED photo # 09-5069-41 from the BUMED Library and Archives.
    Tommy Smith
    Solace 175k Navy surgeon Dr. Howard Owen Smith Jr. caring for burned and injured patients aboard USS Solace (AH-5) following the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December 1941.
    BUMED photo # 09-5043-31 from the BUMED Library and Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Solace 102k USS Solace (AH-5) dockside at Auckland, New Zealand, circa August 1942, carrying wounded troops from the Soloman Islands. They were transferred from the ship to the waiting ambulances.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-10639, and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Solace 81k A patient aboard USS Solace (AH-5) turns and grins at the camera as doctors place a cast on a compound fracture of his right femur, 31 December 1942.
    Associated Press photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Solace 106k Undated wartime photo of USS Solace (AH-5) showing her funnel well lit at night.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-47216, a US Navy photo from the collections of the US National Archives. Photo and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Solace 162k an undated wartime photo of USS Solace (AH-5)'s bow showing the red cross on the forward deck which was painted on an awning that provided one of the few shady spots on the ship.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-472124, a US Navy photo from the collections of the US National Archives. Photo and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Solace 92k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, March 1986.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Solace 45k USS Solace (AH-5) at anchor, location unknown, circa 1942.
    US Navy photo from ONI 54-R.
    Tommy Trampp
    Solace 154k USS Solace (AH-5) Nurse Unit, date and location unknown. Front row: (Left-right) ENS.Mary Border; ENS. Pauline Toy; LTjg. Nell Seroka; LTjg. Ruth Toenberg. Middle Row: ENS. Hilda Smith; LTjg. Constance McDonald. Back Row: ENS. Katherine Tasker; LTjg. Frances Beck; ENS. Antoinette Bianchi; LTjg. Louise Bucher; LTjg. Eda Morgan; LT. Jane Lynch - head nurse, (ENS. Lucille Tucker is absent from this picture). This picture shows the Solace nurses in Army "nurses slacks". Trunks and foot lockers with extra uniforms had failed to arrive (it took nearly three months) Most of the remaining uniforms were destroyed in a laundry accident. The seer-sucker "slacks" obtained as emergency substitutes won great favor. They are neat, easily laundered and allow great freedom of movement in handling casualties in the crowded wards, in upper as well as lower bunks.
    US Navy photo, BUMED Library and Archives, Solace (AH-5) Folder 1, Number 49; 09-5069-29.
    Bill Gonyo
    Solace 86k One of the wards aboard USS Solace (AH-5), date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Solace 51k Wounded and severely burned sailors as a direct result of their ship being struck by a Kamikaze aircraft somewhere in the Pacific are being treated aboard USS Solace (AH-5). This sailor is fed by his fellow shipmate while aboard the hospital ship during his recuperation period from his wounds.
    US Navy photo.
    Bill Gonyo
    Solace 150k USS Solace (AH-5) anchored in Havannah Harbor in September 1943.
    US National Archives Photo No. 80-G-425616, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Solace 322k USS Solace (AH-5) disembarked wounded from Iwo Jima to waiting army ambulances at Saipan, 16 April 1945.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-311473, and text from "Hospital Ships of World War 11: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Solace 403k USS Solace (AH-5) moored pierside in Apra Harbor, Guam, 15 April 1945. Navy hospital personnel offloaded 595 patients (and the remains of one soldier who died enroute) from the fight raging on Okinawa. Solace also disembarked Navy photographer LTjg. Victor Jorgenson who was assigned temporarily to the ship. He is very likely the source of these photos. Solace, “The Workhorse of the Pacific” then took on fuel and other supplies in preparation for a return to Okinawa for more casualties. This was one of seven trips Solace made from Okinawa, delivering over 4000 casualties to base hospitals throughout the Marianas. Note USS LST 646 in the background, she was undergoing a very extensive overhaul following a month of heavy action at Iwo Jima. Brian Miller
    Solace 517k
    Solace 165k USS Solace (AH-5) arrives at Guam, 4 June 1945, bringing casualties from Okinawa.
    US US National Archives Photo # 80-G-K-5631, by PhoM2c J.G. Mull, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Solace 125k USS Solace (AH-5) alongside USS Haven (AH-12) at Pearl Harbor between 13 and 16 July 1945.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # 80-G-354889, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Solace 1052k USS Solace (AH-5) underway in harbor, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    Post-War Merchant Service
    Solace 252k Ex-USS Solace (AH-5) in merchant service as the as the Turkish flagged SS Ankara, date and location unknown. Ankara was owned and operated by Deniz Nakliyati T. A. O., Istanbul.
    Photo ©The World Ship Society (W.S.S.), England.
    Gerhard Mueller-Debus

    USS Solace (II) (AH-5)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Perlman, Benjamin9 August 1941 - 16 February 1943
    02CDR. Waters, Cecil Latham16 February 1943 - 10 June 1944
    03CDR. Peterson, Edward Burke10 June 1944 - 27 February 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Pearl Harbor Action Report
    The Story of a Great White Ship
    MARAD Vessel Histroy Database

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    Last Updated 13 September 2019