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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Sanctuary (AH-17)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Xray - Xray - Foxtrot
NXXF
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons




Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Unit Commendation
Second Row - Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal
Fourth Row - Vietnam Service Medal (12) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal


Haven Class Hospital Ship:
  • Laid down, 28 June 1944 as Marine Owl a Maritime Commission type (C4-S-B2) hull under Maritime Commission contract (MC hull 748) at Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Chester, PA
  • Launched, 15 August 1944
  • Acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 30 September 1944
  • Converted to a Hospital Ship at Todd Shipbuilding Co., Hoboken, N.J.
  • Commissioned USS Sanctuary (AH-17), 20 June 1945, CDR. John M. Paulsson in command
  • During World War II USS Sanctuary was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater
  • Following World War II USS Sanctuary was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 3 September to 3 October 1945
  • Decommissioned, 15 August 1946 at League Island, Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Philadelphia Group
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 September 1961
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for lay up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet
  • Reacquired and Reinstated on the Naval Register, 1 March 1966
  • Recommissioned, 15 November 1966, CAPT. John F. Collingwood in command
  • During the Vietnam War USS Sanctuary (AH-17) participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    9 April 1966
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase VI
    2 November to 8 November 1968
    16 November 1968 to 22 February 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase II
    9 April to 31 May 1967
    Tet 69/Counteroffensive
    23 February to 14 March 1969
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase III
    1 June to 3 June 1967
    16 June to 18 July 1967
    25 July to 27 August 1969
    4 December 1967 to 6 January 1968
    14 January to 29 January 1968
    Vietnamese Summer-Fall 1969
    12 June to 21 August 1969
    2 September to 31 October 1969
    Tet Counteroffensive
    30 January to 2 March 1968
    Vietnamese Winter-Spring 1970
    1 November to 15 November 1969
    28 November 1969 to 14 February 1970
    27 February to 25 April 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase IV
    2 April to 1 May 1968
    9 May to 30 June 1968
    Sanctuary Counteroffensive
    8 May to 30 June 1970
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase V
    1 July to 8 August 1968
    16 August to 1 November 1968
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive-Phase VII
    1 July 1970
    7 August to 8 October 1970
    10 October 1970
    31 December 1970 to 8 February 1971
    22 February to 2 May 1971

  • Decommissioned, 15 December 1971, at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA.
  • Laid up at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA.
  • Recommissioned, 18 November 1972
  • Decommissioned, March 1975, at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Struck from the Naval Register 16 February 1989
  • Transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal, sold to Project Life Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
  • Laid up at Locust Point Marine Terminal, Baltimore, MD. awaiting disposition
  • Sold at pubic auction in Baltimore, MD., 21 August 2007, for $50,000
  • Final Disposition, for scrapping to ESCO Marine, Brownsville TX., departed Port Baltimore, 19 August 2011
  • USS Sanctuary earned twelve campaign stars for service in the Vietnam War
    Specifications:
    Displacement 11,141.t(lt) 15,226 t.(fl)
    Length 520'
    Beam 71' 6"
    Draft 30'
    Speed 17.5 kts. (trial)
    Armament none
    Complement
    Officers - 70
    Enlisted - 498
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 t.
    Patient Accommodations 796
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO - 13,170 Bbls
    Diesel - 280 Bbls
    Propulsion
    one General Electric geared turbine
    two Babcock and Wilcox header-type boilers, 450psi 745°
    double Falk Main Reduction Gear
    Ships Service Generators
    three 500Kw 450V A.C.
    three 300Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 9,000shp
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    USS Sanctuary (AH-17)
    Haven 96k USS Wichita (CA-45) in Nagasaki Harbor, Japan, in September 1945, a few weeks after the end of World War II. The hospital ships in the left background are USS Sanctuary (AH-17) and USS Haven (AH-12).
    US Navy photo # NH 65834 from the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command, collection of Admiral Harry W. Hill, USN, 1968.
    Robert Hurst
    BB-44 California 138k Reserve Fleet Basin, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pennsylvania. Photographed on 19 May 1955 with numerous cruisers, escort carriers, and auxiliaries in reserve. The nearest ship is the never-completed
    Hawaii (CB-3), which lacks her previously-installed three 12" gun turrets.
    The cruisers outboard of Hawaii are (in unknown order)
    Honolulu (CL-48),
    Columbia (CL-56),
    Denver (CL-58),
    Galveston (CL-93), and
    Portsmouth (CL-102).
    To their left are
    Tranquility (AH-14),
    Sanctuary (AH-17), and
    Pocono (AGC-16).
    Behind Hawaii (from left to right) are
    Montpelier (CL-57),
    Houston (CL-81),
    Huntington (CL-107),
    Savannah (CL-42),
    Cleveland (CL-55), and
    Wilkes-Barre (CL-103).
    Beyond them (from left to right) are
    Wichita (CA-45),
    Oregon City (CA-122),
    Chester (CA-27), and
    New Orleans (CA-32).
    The cruisers on the left side of the basin (from front to rear) are
    Minneapolis (CA-36),
    Tuscaloosa (CA-37),
    San Francisco (CA-38),
    Augusta (CA-31),
    Louisville (CA-28), and
    Portland (CA-33).
    Among the other ships in reserve in the basin are
    Fomalhaut (AE-20),
    Webster (ARV-2),
    Albemarle (AV-5),
    Tangier (AV-8),
    Pocomoke (AV-9),
    Chandeleur (AV-10),
    Abatan (AW-4),
    Mission San Carlos (AO-120),
    Prince William (CVE-31),
    Anzio (CVE-57),
    Block Island (CVE-106),
    Palau (CVE-122), and
    San Carlos (AVP-51).
    Moored in the shipyard at the extreme left are
    Tennessee (BB-43),
    California (BB-44), and
    Cabot (CVL-28).
    US Navy Photo # 80-G-668655, now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Robert Hurst
    Sanctuary 162k Vice Admiral George Gregory Burkley (MC) USN takes a tour of USS Sanctuary (AH-17) in September 1967. Burkley was personal physician to three American Presidents during his career in the Navy.
    US Navy photo courtesy of the US Navy’s Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Library and Archives.
    Bill Gonyo
    Sanctuary 40k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) at anchor off Da Nang or Chu Lai, Vietnam
    US Navy photo
    Courtesy Jack Faessler
    Sanctuary Photo Album Web Site
    Photo by Chuck Davis
    Sanctuary 18k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) at anchor, date and location unknown. Courtesy Jack Faessler
    Sanctuary Photo Album Web Site
    Photo by Chuck Davis
    Sanctuary 46k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Naval Hospital Corps School Web Site
    Sanctuary 156k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) helicopter deck showing sign "You Find 'Em, We Bind 'Em. "Smaller lettering on right reads "Open 24 Hours." The antenna atop the main mast is the new "Ham" radio antenna.
    US Navy BUMED photo # 09-5068-22
    Robert Hurst
    Sanctuary 101k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Sanctuary 158k One of USS Sanctuary (AH-17)s' operating rooms. Photographed at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA. in February 1967.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 7655-2-67. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 64k The Commanding Officer of the Naval Hospital aboard USS Sanctuary (AH-17), CAPT. Gerald J. Duffner MC was awarded the Legion of Merit, presented by CAPT. Alfred F. Betzel, Commanding Officer USS Sanctuary at Mare Island in February 1967.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 76547-2-67. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 244k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA. in February 1967.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 76554-2-67 TH. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 1078k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA. 3 March 1967.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 76655-3-67 TH. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 192k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) departing Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, CA. 3 March 1967.
    Note other vessels at the yard in this photo; Left to right: YFN 995, an unidentified PBR, Sanctuary, the stern of USS Markab (AR-23) and the bow of USS Nereus (AS 17).
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 76656-3-76 B TH. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 46k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) refueling from USS Kennebec (AO-36) off the coast of Vietnam, circa 1966-1968. Photo by LCDR George E. Pillow Jr., USN CO USS Kretchmer (DER-329)
    Sanctuary 63k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Naval Base Subic Bay, Philippines Islands, circa 1967.
    Photo taken from USS Bausell (DD-845)
    Photo by Lee Noland STGC, USN Ret. USS Bausell.
    Sanctuary 71k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) at anchor off Da Nang, Vietnam, 1969 Photo by William P Jones, MD
    Sanctuary 60k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) at anchor off Da Nang, Vietnam, 1969 Photo by William P Jones, MD
    Sanctuary 179k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) at anchor off Da Nang, Vietnam, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, February 1968.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Sanctuary 227k The comedian Bob Hope talks with a patient aboard USS Sanctuary (AH-17) while the ship was deployed in WestPac in December 1970.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 December 1970 02 TH. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 259k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside, Naval Base Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines in 1971 with a YO alongside. Richard Albright
    Sanctuary 91k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) and USS Repose (AH-16) at anchor off Da Nang, Vietnam, date unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, March 1969.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Sanctuary 772k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway in the South China Sea in June 1971.
    Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum file name AH 17 June 1971 TH. A US Navy photo now in the collections of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
    Darryl Baker
    Sanctuary 77k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) arriving, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "All Hands" magazine, February 1987.
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Sanctuary 101k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway, date and location unknown.

    Photo from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman, authors collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Sanctuary 45k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) plaque mounted in the memorial ship USS Turner Joy (DD-951) at Bremerton, WA. Photo by Robert Hall
    Sanctuary 85k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway, date and location unknown. Cruise photo given to the crew at the completion of her 1973 Project Handclasp cruise. Richard Miller BMCS USNR Ret. and Frank Kammerer USS Sanctuary 1972-74
    Sanctuary 60k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway, date and location unknown. Jack Treutle
    Sanctuary 693k USS Sanctuary (AH-17) underway at San Diego, circa 1973-74 Photo by Tom Brownrigg BTFN USS Dixon
    Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17)
    Ex-Coral Sea 166k Ex-USS Sanctuary and Ex-USS Coral Sea (CV-43) moored at the old Maryland Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. site in the Fairfield area of Baltimore Harbor in March 1995. Coral Sea is at Pier 1, and Sanctuary is moored at the Building Basin/Pier 5. Photo ©Larry Backus
    Caption - Larry Derouin
    Sanctuary 23k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside, at Baltimore, MD., May 1996 Sanctuary Photo Album Web Site
    Courtesy Gilbert M Bohannon
    Sanctuary 55k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Baltimore, MD., June 2001 Photo by William P. Jones, MD
    Sanctuary 14k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Baltimore, MD., date unknown. Courtesy Jack Faessler
    Sanctuary Photo Album Web Site
    Photo by Gilbert M Bohannon
    Sanctuary 410k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Baltimore, MD., date unknown. Uploaded by "Radio Rover" to the Flickr web site. Bill Gonyo
    Sanctuary 73k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored pierside at Baltimore, MD., date unknown.
    Photo from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman, authors collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Sanctuary 346k Ex-USS Sanctuary (AH-17) moored at Pier 5 near Ft. McHenry at Baltimore, MD., 3 June 2010. Photo by Ramon Jackson

    USS Sanctuary Additional Ship's Patches
    Sanctuary
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Sanctuary
    Contributed by Tommy Trampp


    For more photos and information about USS Sanctuary, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
  • MARAD Vessel History Database
  • Decommissioning Ceremony booklet, 28 March 1975
  • Commanding Officers

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

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    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 10 October 2014