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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Tommy Trampp

USS Benevolence (AH-13)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Kilo - Delta - Mike
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended) - American Campaign Medal
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (1) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)

Haven Class Hospital Ship:
  • Laid down, 26 July 1943, as SS Marine Lion, a Maritime Commission type (Cf-S-B2) hull, under Maritime Commission (MC hull 744) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA.
  • Launched, 10 July 1944
  • Acquired by the US Navy from the Maritime Commission, 31 July 1944
  • Converted to a Hospital Ship at Todd-Erie Basin Shipyard, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Commissioned USS Benevolence (AH-13), 12 May 1945, CAPT. Clyde C. Laws in command
  • During and after World War II USS Benevolence was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates
    3rd Fleet operations against Japan, 12 to 15 August 1945

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

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    2 September to 27 November 194514 October 1946 to 3 March 1947

  • USS Benevolence was assigned to Joint Task Force 1, Task Unit 1.8. (Service Group - Medical Unit for Operation Crossroads the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946
  • Decommissioned, 13 September 1947, at San Francisco, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Mare Island, Vallejo, CA.
  • Withdrawn from the Reserve Fleet in 1950, assigned to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS)
  • Final Disposition, sunk by collision with SS Mary Luckenbach, 25 August 1950, off San Francisco's Golden Gate while on sea trials prior to being placed in service with MSTS
  • USS Benevolence earned one battle star for World War II service
  • MSTS was given the responsibility for crewing two hospital ships being deployed to Korea. While undergoing her initial sea trials, and before her full civilian crew could be embarked, the Benevolence (AH 13) was rammed and sunk by the SS Mary Luckenbach (ex-Waukesha (AKA-84) off San Francisco on August 25, 1950. Out of a crew of 505, 23 died including the prospective master of the ship, Captain William "Pineapple Bill" Murray.
    Displacement 15,400 t.(limit)
    Length 520'
    Beam 71' 6"
    Draft 23' 6"
    Speed 18.3 kts (trial)
    Officers 70
    Enlisted 498
    Patient Capacity 800
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Armament none
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 13,170 Bbls
    Diesel 280 Bbls
    one General Electric combination HP/LP steam turbine geared engine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450Psi 745°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gear
    Ship's Service Generators
    three turbo-drive 500Kw 450V D.C.
    three turbo-drive 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller 9,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Benevolence (AH-13)
    Tranquility 590k Exploded view of USS Benevolence (Haven Class AH-12 to 17) - Compartment & Access Diagram by J.M. Hobson, PHM/3c. (USS Tranquility. Benevolence was one of six 15,0000 ton US Navy hospital ships to be converted from Maritime Commission C-4 hulls at shipyards in the New York Area. Known as the HAVEN class, these vessels are completely air conditioned and provide medical facilities equal to those of a modern shore hospital.
    BUMED 16-0020-004
    Michael Rhode Archivist / Curator US Navy BUMED Communications Directorate (M09B7) Office of Medical History
    Benevolence 121k USS Benevolence (AH-13) anchored at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 13-16 July 1945. USS Solace (AH-5) is in the background, at left.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-354888, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Benevolence 80k Aboard USS Benevolence (AH-13) released prisoner of war Alfred Sorenson, US Army, contemplates a full meal in one of the hospital ship's wards, 30 August 1945. Navy Nurse LTjg. Asplan is assisting. Sorenson had been captured at Corregidor, 6 May 1942. He was rescued from a POW camp in the Tokyo area.
    US National Archives photo # 80-G-490452, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Benevolence 194k Port bow view of USS Benevolence (AH-13) in the Mare Island Channel, 29 January 1946.
    File name: AH 13 333-46, Navy Photo, 1/29/46
    Darryl Baker
    Benevolence 97k USS Benevolence (AH-13) seen here moored amid the "Crossroads" target fleet, at Bikini Atoll, 13 July 1946. Ship at far left is USS Saratoga (CV-3). Closest ship in right background is either Pensacola (CA-24) or Salt Lake City (CA-25).
    US Navy photo K-20264 now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Benevolence 130k USS Benevolence (AH-13) moored in Bikini Atoll lagoon, during Operation "Crossroads", mid-July 1946. Several of the operation target ships are visible in the background.
    US Navy photo # K-17386 now in the collections of the US National Archives
    US Naval Historical Center
    Benevolence 58k USS Benevolence (AH-13) probably arriving at Tsingtao, China, 14 October 1945. Paul Webb for his father ENS. Ronald H. Webb, USNR USS LST-1102
    Benevolence 81k USS Benevolence (AH-13) at anchor, date and location unknown. Naval Hospital Corps School Web Site
    Benevolence 292k USS Benevolence (AH-13) steaming into San Francisco Bay, in 1945-47 or in mid-1950.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 56374. Courtesy Donald M McPherson, 1967.
    Mike Smolinski
    Benevolence 114k USS Benevolence (AH-13) underway in San Francisco Bay, in 1945-47 or in mid-1950.
    US Navy photo # NH 56375 courtesy Donald M McPherson, 1967
    US Naval Historical Center
    Benevolence 195k USS Benevolence (AH-13), at anchor, as seen from the Amphibious Force Command ship USS Appalachian (AGC-1), 27 May 1947, location unknown.
    US Navy photo # USN 386500, BUMED photo # 09-5061-1
    Robert Hurst
    Benevolence (AH-13)
    Benevolence 330k Benevolence (AH-13) at Mare Island near the end of her overhaul at the shipyard, 20 August 1950. Note: Her life boats at seen in the foreground.
    File name: AH 13 6777-8-50, Navy Photo, 8/20/50
    Darryl Baker
    Benevolence 106k Benevolence (AH-13) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard during overhaul, 29 August 1950. Tommy Trampp
    Benevolence 65k Benevolence (AH-13) off San Francisco's Golden Gate after being sunk by collision with SS Mary Luckenbach. "New York Times" photo from 27 August 1950. Mike Green
    Benevolence 259k Benevolence (AH-13) off San Francisco's Golden Gate after being sunk by collision with SS Mary Luckenbach, 27 August 1950.
    BUMED Library and Archives photo # [1950] 09-5061-4z.
    Bill Gonyo

    USS Benevolence (AH-13)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

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    Last Updated 5 January 2018