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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Don Mc Grogan

USS Comfort (AH-6)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Oscar - Charlie
NAOC
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (retroactive, Okinawa, 29 April 1945) - American Campaign Medal - Asian-Pacific Campaign Medal (2)
Bottom Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippine Liberation Medal (1)

Personnel Awards

Purple Hearts (28 KIA, 48 WIA, Okinawa, 29 April 1945)

Comfort Class Hospital Ship:
  • Laid down in 1943 as a Maritime Commission type (C1-B hull) under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 1021) at Consolidated Steel, Corp., Wilmington, CA.
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Delivered to the Maritime Commission and acquired by the Navy, 18 March 1943
  • Converted to a Hospital Ship at Bethlehem Steel Co., San Pedro, CA.
  • Commissioned USS Comfort (AH-6), 5 May 1944, CDR. H. F. Fultz in command
  • During WWII USS Comfort was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 24 October 1944
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 2 to 28 April 1945

  • Following World War II USS Comfort was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal
    12 October to 18 November 1945
    27 January to 17 February 1946

  • Decommissioned, struck from the Naval Register and returned to the War Shipping Administration, 19 April 1946, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Title retained by US Army for further use as a hospital ship
  • Laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group
  • Title transferred to the Maritime Commission, 25 November 1949
  • Declared surplus to Maritime Commission needs, 18 December 1949
  • Loaned to the Maine Maritime Academy, 24 August 1953 and renamed TS State of Maine
  • Returned to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) at Beaumont, TX, 28 June 1962
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping to Southern Scrap Material Co., Beaumont, TX, 2 October 1967.
  • USS Comfort received two battle stars for World War II service
    Specifications:
    Displacement 6,000 t(lt), 11,250 t.(lim)
    Length 416'
    Beam 60'
    Draft 27' 8"
    Speed 15 kts (trial)
    Complement
    Officers 80
    Enlisted 436
    Patient Capacity 400
    Largest Boom Capacity 5 t.
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 12,010 Bbls
    Diesel 610 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one J.H. geared steam turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 750°
    double J.H. Main Reduction Gear
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    single propeller, 4,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Comfort 110k USS Comfort (AH-6), on the right, undergoing conversion to a hospital ship at Bethlehem Steel, San Pedro, CA., 31 December 1943. Note she has yet to be painted in hospital ship colors. The destroyer to the left is USS Preston (DD-795). The destroyer in the center is USS Cassin Young (DD-793) which was commissioned on this date.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-117682, from the US Navy BUSHIPS collection now in the collections of the US National Archives..
    Stephen P. Carlson, Preservation Specialist, Boston NHP, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA
    Comfort 84k USS Comfort (AH-6) under construction at the Bethlehem Steel yard at San Pedro, CA.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-381457 from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 112k USS Comfort (AH-6) in the outer harbor at San Pedro, CA., 29 May 1944, soon after completion.
    US National Archives RG-19-LCM, photo # unknown, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    Mike Green
    Comfort 81k USS Comfort (AH-6) after completing her trials, gets underway at San Pedro, California, 29 May 1944, heading for the war zone.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-381457-A from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 157k USS Comfort (AH-6) crew and medical staff pose for a crew photo on deck prior to departing for the war zone on 29 May 1944 from San Pedro, CA. Tommy Trampp
    Comfort 82k USS Comfort (AH-6) arrives at Hollandia, New Guinea in December 1944. A US Army Base (Base "G") was set up at Hollandia in mid-January 1944 primarily to prepare and support future operations in the Philippines. By 30 June 1944, the 27th Hospital Center had been developed, including 4 General Hospitals, 2 Station and 1 Field Hospital with an aggregate bed capacity of 3,650, which was increased to 8,930 by October 1944, and further expanded 9,502 by spring 1945.
    Photo from World War II U.S. Medical Research Center.
    Tommy Trampp and
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 172k USS Comfort (AH-6) underway in May 1945 off-shore during the Battle for Okinawa.
    US Navy photo from the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery collection.
    Bill Gonyo
    Comfort 53k USS Comfort (AH-6) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    US Navy Hospital Ships
    Comfort 80k USS Comfort (AH-6) at anchor off Okinawa, date unknown.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-311384 from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 138k USS Comfort (AH-6)'s operating room after Kamikaze hit, 29 April 1945, while off Okinawa. All the doctors and nurses in the operating room were killed when the plane hit the ship.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-315912 from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 113k Army nurse 1st Lt. Frances M. LaJeric sitting on a hatch on USS Comfort (AH-6)"s deck as she weeps for her slain friends and patients. Six doctors, six nurses, nine army medical corpsmen, one navy crewman, and seven patients were killed in the attack; 38 army and navy enlisted men were injured.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-315875 from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 102k A group of USS Comfort (AH-6)"s nurses gather around to examine wreckage of the Japanese kamikaze plane that struck the ship..
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-315914 from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Comfort 360k USS Comfort (AH-6), 3 May 1945, at Guam. Army Nurse 1st LT Mary Jensen looks up through the hole in the concrete and steel deck of the ship punctured when a Japanese suicide pilot crashed dived into the ship off Okinawa with his bomb-laden plane. Nurse Jensen, who had stepped out of the main surgery supply room less than one minute before it was completely demolished by the explosion, is standing three decks below where the crash occurred.
    Photo courtesy of the Pacific War Museum.
    Bill Gonyo
    Comfort 111k USS Comfort (AH-6) moored pierside, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Comfort 1203k USS Comfort (AH-6) at anchor near the end of World War II, location and date unknown. Darryl Baker

    USS Comfort (AH-6)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Fultz, Harold Farnham, USN5 May 1944 - 15 April 1945
    02LCDR. Tooker, Adin, USNR15 April 1945 - 21 November 1945
    03CAPT. Richard T. Whitney, USNR21 November 1945 - 19 April 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
    Tribute to David C. Burns US Army Tech 5 (Medical Corpsman) submitted by his daughter Dorene Lynch
    Maine Maritime Academy
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Hospital Ship (AH) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 24 June 2014