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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Refuge (AH-11)
USS Kenmore (AP-62) (1942 - 1943)

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

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1) - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
Third Row - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - Philippines Liberation Medal

Transport / Hospital Ship;
  • Laid down as SS Blue Hen State, 4 March 1920, for the Emergency Fleet Corp., under USSB Contract # 2591, at New York Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J., assigned to the United States Mail Line
  • Launched, 23 February 1921
  • Completed, June 1921
  • Delivered, 6 July 1921, managed by the US Mail Line
  • Taken over by the United States Lines, 31 August 1921
  • Renamed SS President Garfield in May 1922
  • Sold to the Dollar Line in September 1923
  • Consolidated into American President Lines in 1938
  • Renamed SS President Madison in 1939
  • Acquired by the US Navy from the Maritime Commission, 11 April 1942, for conversion to a Naval Transport
  • Commissioned USS Kenmore (AP-62), 5 August 1942, at Baltimore, MD., CDR. Myron T. Richardson USN in command
  • Decommissioned, 16 September 1943, at Maryland Drydock Co., Baltimore MD., for conversion to a Hospital Ship
  • Recommissioned USS Refuge (AH-11), 24 February 1944, CDR. M. A. Jurkops in command
  • USS Refuge was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and participated in the following campaign:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates
    Invasion of southern France 15 August to 25 September 1944

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

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    19 September to 22 October 194519 September to 22 October 1945
    30 December 1945 to 7 January 1946 

  • Decommissioned, 2 April 1946 at Seattle, WA.
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 8 May 1946
  • USS Refuge earned one battle star for World War II service
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 2 February 1948, to Consolidated Builders, Seattle, WA.
    Specifications (AH):
    Displacement 16,800 t.(fl)
    Length 522' 8"
    Beam 62'
    Draft 26'
    Speed 11.5 kts.
    Officers 79
    Enlisted 474
    Patient Capacity 626
    Largest Boom Capacity 10t.
    Armament none
    Fuel Capacities
    NSFO 20,000 Bbls
    Diesel 600 Bbls
    two New York Shipbuilding vertical triple-expansion reciprocating engines
    six Alco Scotch boilers, 200psi Sat.
    three turbo-drive 200Kw 120V D.C. Ship's Service Generators
    two propellers 7,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service United States Lines
    Refuge 55k SS Blue Hen State commemorative launching plaque with champaign bottle Tommy Trampp
    Refuge 329k Launching of SS Blue Hen State at the New York Shipbuilding, Camden, N. J., 23 February 1921. Blue Hen State is the last of seven similar passenger and cargo liners built for the United States Shipping Board (USSB). Miss Clara L. Bolling ten-year-old daughter of R. W. Bolling, treasurer of the USSB christened the ship. Michael Mohl
    Refuge 97k SS Blue Hen State underway around the time of her completion in July 1921 by the New York S.B. Co., Camden, N.J.
    National Archives photo # RG-32-UB, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Refuge 97k SS President Garfield pierside at Kowloon, China in November 1931. Tommy Trampp
    Refuge 238k SS President Garfield underway in the livery American President Lines, circa 1938-39. Tommy Trampp
    USS Kenmore (AP-62)
    110k USS Kenmore (AP-62) off Locust Point, Baltimore, MD., 14 August 1942, on post-conversion trials.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-32217 and 19-N-32116, US Navy Bureau of Ships photos now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Refuge 65k USS Kenmore (AP-62) off Locust Point, Baltimore, MD., 25 August 1942, a few days after completing conversion.
    US National Archives, RG-19-LCM, Photo # 19-N-33268 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    USS Refuge (AH-11)
    Refuge 140k USS Refuge (AH-11) at her commissioning ceremony at Baltimore, MD., 1 March 1944. Photo Courtesy of LT. G.G. Grace. National Museum of Health and Medicine BUMED PHoto 14-0073-001 Robert Hurst
    Refuge 185k USS Refuge (AH-11) assisted by tugs, getting underway from the Maryland Dry Dock Co., Baltimore, MD., 10 March 1944. The ship moved down the bay to Norfolk Navy Yard for supplies and crew training
    US Navy photo, from the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine.
    Robert Hurst and Bill Gonyo
    Refuge 86k USS Refuge (AH-11) underway after departing Norfolk Navy Yard, 20 April 1944. The ship made its departure at Cape Henry and proceeded east across the Atlantic on its way to Algeria. When about 40 miles off shore that afternoon, the ship was photographed probably from an airship belonging to Lighter-than Air Squadron (ZP-24) stationed at NAS Weeksville in North Carolina.
    US Navy photo and text from "Hospital Ships of World War II: An Illustrated Reference" by Emory A. Massman.
    Robert Hurst
    Refuge 359k USS Refuge (AH-11) moored pierside at Portsmouth, VA., 30 July 1944, with 500 Navy casualties, mostly from D-Day fighting. The ship also discharged 150 US Army wounded ashore at Newport News. VA. AP Wire Photo. David Wright
    Refuge 177k Partial view of one of the medical wards aboard USS Refuge (AH-11) Refuge departed for Southern France in August and together with Army Hospital Ships shuttled patients from St. Tropez Bay to Naples, Italy. She was one of the only Navy Hospital Ships to operate in the region. In December 1944 the vessel was attached to the Service Force, 7th Fleet, and started operating in the Pacific Theater.
    Photo courtesy of the WWII US Medical Research Center.
    Bill Gonyo
    Refuge 154k Ensign Ernestine Hess poses in front of USS Refuge (AH-11)'s buff colored funnel as she contemplates her new nursing duties on the ship. At the time Refuge was the newest and largest navy hospital ship.
    US Navy photo # 80-G-045037 now in 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
    Refuge 117k USS Refuge (AH-11) moored pierside on the Whangpoo River at Shanghai, China, while providing hospital services and embarking evacuees in September 1945.
    US Navy photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    Refuge 174k USS Refuge (AH-11) moored pierside on the Whangpoo River at Shanghai, China, circa 19 to 22 October 1945. James Lybolt US Army Military Police Corps 1978-1987 Active and Reserve

    USS Kenmore (AP-62) / USS Refuge (AH-11)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    USS Refuge (AH-11) History, CNO (OP 92) Ships Histories Section

    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index Back To The Hospital Ship (AH) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 25 August 2017