During World War II, two dozen hospital ships were sunk by enemy fire, and a critical hospital ship sustained a damaging attack in the war’s waning weeks. As stated before, the problem was that in mid-1942, Hospital Ships simply did not exist! Solace continued service throughout World War II in the Pacific. The number of officers and enlisted personnel that served in the Navy during World War II. In the early morning darkness of 14 May 1943, the hospital ship Centaur was sunk by the Japanese submarine I-177 off the coast of Moreton Bay, 80 kilometres north-east of Brisbane, going down in 3 minutes. Back to Top. But the worst of being in the water was will you be dinner or lunch. U.S. Army Hospital Ship (USAHS) Charles A. Stafford, a converted transport, was in service as a hospital ship after its conversion in September 1944. On 7 December 1943, a new version T/O & E 8-537T was published and  redesignated Medical Hospital Ship Complement. All instruments for major surgery, such as operating tables, lamps, autoclaves, inhalation, intravenous, and anesthesia facilities, skeletal tractions, gowns, and masks were stocked on board. Fifth Marine Division disply captured Japanese battle flags. Colonel Clifford H. Arnold, MC, was ordered to organize the ship’s medical complement. So if you are looking for a particular ship or unit, you will have to use the FIND function in your browser. DESCRIPTIVE INFORMATION. Bountiful Serving the Fleets at Sea. The Officer made his last trip on the USAHS “Acadia” before resuming his duties as CO of the 233d Medical Hospital Ship Complement, some time around May-June 1945. Also see Fessler. Personnel chart showing the organization of a Medical Hospital Ship Company, as per T/O 8-537 dated April 1, 1942. 97% in 1943 – 75% in 1944 – 74% in 1945. In addition to this, the Navy, which initially did not plan to operate Hospital Ships under the Geneva Convention, had 15 Hospital Ships at the end of the war. In total 29 Hospital Ships had been authorized for the Army during WW2, but only 24 were in service when the war ended. Since the Army had not made adequate plans for wartime evacuation of sick and wounded, early measures to provide Hospital facilities afloat were taken with hesitation; of course it was difficult to forecast requirements, but opinions regarding the extent of their use, their operation, and their number, varied enormously. WW2 Military Hospitals. 20 Apr 44 – WDGO 47 dated 6 Jun 44, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS John J. Meany’, ex-Zebulon B. Vance, built 1942 (former Liberty ship) – 11 knots – 582 patients – New York > Italy 27 Jul 44 (decommissioned 25 Jan 46) Pacific Fleet Service Force Galvanic 1943/12 1944/02 - 44/04 "FORAGER" - Service Force; Task Force 17: Wake Reinforce 1941/12 Jaluit & Makin Raid Revenge Raid 3 - Lae-Salamaua x Coral Sea x Midway from 1942/08 1942/09 - 1942/10 x Santa Cruz Supporting Submarines Pacific Fleet: "FORAGER" - Supporting Submarines Pacific Fleet "STALEMATE II." In March 1944, as the number of transatlantic evacuees increased due to the expansion of American Forces and the drive to clear Hospital beds before the planned D-Day operation, the Army obtained temporary WD permission to embark non-ambulatory patients on Troop Transports. July 1942 Through August 1944 August 1944 Through January 1946 Orthopedic Surgery. Photo circa 1944-1946. Index of the ships of the U.S. fleet (Navy and Coast Guard) in commission during World War II. It was decommissioned by WDGO No. Hospital ships possibly existed in ancient times. 22 Feb 44 – WD GO 25 dated 27 Mar 44, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS St. Mihiel’, built 1920 (former troopship) – 16 knots – 504 patients – Boston > N. Africa 10 May 44 (decommissioned 21 Mar 46) After the war had ended in Europe, a number of Hospital Ships were transferred to the Pacific for further service. Nevertheless LSTs continued to evacuate patients the first two months of fighting in Normandy transporting them to England. She is seen here moored amidst the target fleet at Bikini Atoll 13 July 1946. Battle of the Java Sea. Hospital Ship. From rusting ships in lush green jungle to tanks in crystal clear ocean: Amazing aerial photos show WWII wrecks in watery graves off remote Pacific Ocean tropical islands (State Library of Victoria) Operations. In 1942, mental and litter patients only traveled on British or Canadian Hospital Ships, as the United States had no such vessels at their disposal. On April 1 we invaded Okinawa. Medical staff necessary to accompany the evacuees were not always available in sufficient numbers, and units did not always match the number of casualties to be transported, eventually Medical Hospital Ship Platoons were standardized on the basis of 1 Medical Officer, 1 Dental Officer, and 15 EM to care for 100 patients (as opposed to 2 Officers, 4 Officers, and 11 EM in April of 1942). Most of the records date between 1941 and 1946. The JCS then decided to provide 3 vessels through the Maritime Commission to the Army, for conversion to Hospital Ships. List of hospital ships sunk in World War II. Commissioned 28 Dec 20 – US Navy Hospital Ship AH-1 ‘USS Relief’, designed and built in 1918 as a Hospital Ship – 15 knots – 500 patients – Casco Bay > Pacific 23 Nov 1941 (served for more than 20 years as US Navy Hospital ship, decommissioned 11 Jun 46) North Africa, Italy, 66 th SH, 15 EH. Hope sailed to the Philippines, Leyte Gulf, and Okinawa, aiding wounded soldiers at each island. He married the love of his life Joan A. Ships of the British Pacific Fleet berthed at Wooloomooloo c.1945. View of berth 64 at Leghorn, Italy. Personnel – 5 Officers, 5 Nurses, 49 Enlisted Men (this vessel had ANC Nurses on board, assigned to Hospital Train No. 3 Aug 43 – WDGO 52 dated 1 Sep 43, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS Shamrock’, ex-Agwileon, built 1907 (former East coast passenger ship) – 14 knots – 543 patients – New York > N. Africa 4 Sep 43 – second career as Hospital Ship with previous service during WW1 as USS Comfort AH-3 – 202d Med Hosp Ship Co (decommissioned 18 Dec 45) Battle of Balikpapan. Ambulatory patients to be returned to the ZI, and who could care for themselves, crossed the Atlantic on returning American Troopships OR British fast liners such as the ‘Queen Mary’ or the ‘Queen Elizabeth’! They offered maximum safety, comfort, and medical care, and moreover they were protected by the Geneva Convention! Ocean Tugs. You may quote material on this web page as long as you cite American Merchant Marine at War, www.usmm.org, as the source. Our ship rammed the rear end of the destroyer and put about a 6-foot rip in our bow. White-hulled and Red Cross-marked hospital ships were used in World War II to transport large numbers of wounded or sick patients to higher echelons of medical care. Note: another Hospital Ship was the ‘USAHS Howard A. McCurdy’ (named after the first DC Officer killed in this war –ed), ex-President Tyler, built in 1920, and converted in Boston, Massachusetts. Enlarge The National Declassification Center (NDC) at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently released 192,500 pages of formerly classified U.S. Navy Command Files from the World War II era. The ship was being overhauled from November to February. Voyage assignments were made by the Chief of Transportation in accordance with reports and lists of patients awaiting evacuation, and estimates of casualties likely to result from impending military operations. The British relied on Hospital Trains to transport the wounded from the wharves to the transit hospitals, whereas the Americans mainly used ambulances for the first stage of land evacuation. The Navy in the Pacific, durning WW2 my Grandpa’s brothers Naval ship. The PCE-842-class patrol craft class is an armed rescue ship built on the hull of the PCE (Patrol Craft Escort) by the Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Co.in Chicago, Illinois. The three Navy ships staffed by the Army served in the Pacific during WWII, while 24 Army ships served first in Atlantic Theaters, with some later being transferred to the Pacific, while others were decommissioned when no longer being needed for evacuation of patients from the European Theater. 13 Feb 45 – WDGO 41 dated 23 May 45, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS Frances Y. Slanger’, ex-Saturnia, built 1927 (former transoceanic passenger ship) – 19 knots – 1,628 patients – New York > United Kingdom 30 Jun 45 – 235th Med Hosp Ship Co – named after Army Nurse (decommissioned 7 Jan 46) Footage of USS Arizona (BB-39) exploding after being struck by a Japanese bomb was taken from Solace’s deck before she sent out stretcher parties to assist the stricken battleship. Of the 54 PCERs ordered, 13 were laid down, 12 were commissioned, and 5 saw service as rescue ships (PCER - Patrol Craft Escort Rescue). 36th Evacuation Hospital, at Palo, Leyte, Philippines, October 44. The Navy Department operated 3 and the War Department operated 24. This policy was formally authorized in August 1943 for the ETO. Stores Issue Ships. Defeat of Force Z. Why Is the Bowfin Submarine at Pearl Harbor. It was designated Hospital Ship on 24 Feb 44 by the War Department and officially announced by General Order No. ), including the conventions for naming ships of the type, with further links to lists of individual ships by type and class, leading to individual pages for each ship which include description, history, and photo (where available). Launched in 1927 as the passenger ship SS Iroquois, USS Solace was acquired by the US Navy and commissioned as a hospital ship on August 9th, 1941. Ammunition Ships (AE) --words which are suggestive of fire and explosives; and names of volcanoes. The Treasures from World War II US Navy Command Files consist primarily of records from the Pacific Theater. The Hospital Ships ordered by the Army (officially designated: US Army Hospital Ship > USAHS), and allowed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff only became available end 1943; they were Army-controlled, but Navy-built, commanded, and operated and were all earmarked for service in the different Theaters (only the medical staff was Army personnel)! Although cold, damp, and unprotected by the Geneva Convention, the ships clearly demonstrated their effectiveness for moving casualties. Photos? The ship was a genuine ‘floating’ Hospital. Illustrious then joined the Pacific Fleet in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa. Patient Capacity – 124 Litter, 176 Ambulatory, Hospital Carrier “Prague”: The own personnel was not sufficient to cope with this large influx of prisoner patients and was therefore supplemented by Detachments of 3 Officers – 6 Nurses – and 22 Enlisted Men each belonging to the 34th – 36th – 37th Medical Hospital Ship Platoons. From rusting ships in lush green jungle to tanks in crystal clear ocean: Amazing aerial photos show WWII wrecks in watery graves off remote Pacific Ocean tropical islands 8 May 43 – WDGO 27 dated 3 Jun 43, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS Seminole’, built 1925 (former East coast passenger ship) – 14 knots – 454 patients – New York > N. Africa 20 Sep 43 (decommissioned 7 Jan 46) The Solace later participated in the following Pacific campaigns: Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the Marianas, the Western Caroline Islands, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. https://visitpearlharbor.org/hospital-ships-of-the-pacific-theater 06/01/06. The deployment of Army Hospital Ships was determined chiefly by combat operations. Each ship's hospital was composed of 65 beds, a surgical suite, and X-Ray faciliti… Covered ramp to waiting Hospital Ship. There was still some apprehension however; indeed the LSTs had no Geneva Convention protection! The SS Sagaing was a British passenger and cargo ship that sank off the coast of Sri Lanka in 1942. Evacuation from the Anzio Beachhead took place by LST to offshore British and American Hospital Ships and Carriers too. Publication date 1944 Usage Public Domain Mark 1.0 Topics United States. Operations began soon after D-Day, with the carriers shuttling between Southampton and the Normandy beachheads. Another change was the beginning of air evacuation on D+7 which greatly reduced the need for Hospital Ships! Image: 80-G-304854: Battle for Iwo Jima, February-March 1945. 3 Feb 44 – WDGO 40 dated 17 May 44, US Army Hospital Ship ’USAHS Dogwood‘ ex-George W. Carver, built 1943 (former Liberty ship) – 11 knots – 592 patients – New York > United Kingdom 21 Jul 44 – 218th Med Hosp Ship Co (decommissioned 25 Jan 46) Founded in 1995, Pacific Wrecks has been serving the world as an online resource for twenty-five years and a non-profit charity for twelve years. 20 Apr 44 – WDGO 46 dated 6 Jun 44, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS Jarrett M. Huddleston’, ex-Samuel F. B. Morse, built 1942 (former Liberty ship) – 11 knots – 582 patients – New York > United Kingdom 2 Sep 44 (decommissioned 7 Jan 46) Required fields are marked *. Docked at Guam in May 1945, after returning with casualties from the Okinawa campaign (this was the second Navy Hospital Ship operating under the name Mercy. 13 Feb 45 – WDGO 23 dated 3 Apr 45, US Army Hospital Ship ‘USAHS Aleda E. Lutz’, ex-Colombie, built 1931 (former transoceanic passenger ship) – 16 knots – 778 patients – New York > United Kingdom 18 Apr 45 – named after Army Nurse (decommissioned 6 Apr 46) AT-38 Keosanqua. Pacific Air Attacks and Land Campaigns This section lists air attacks and amphibious land campaigns in chronological order between the Allies and Japan in the Pacific during World War II. Litters ready to receive patients. The 56th Station Hospital, the largest hospital in ABS, located in Casablanca, French Morocco, established and opened a special PW enclosure (between 4-14 May 1943 –ed) at Berrichid (approximately 19 miles from Casablanca) to receive and treat huge numbers of German and Italian PWs, mostly captured after the fighting ended in Tunisia (some 20,000 to 28,000 men –ed). Displacement. During the Invasion of Sicily, both the ‘USAHS Acadia’ and ‘USAHS Seminole’ were on call, with additional support from British Hospital Ships and Carriers, while evacuation from the beaches was again handled by LST. The Navy nurses participated in WWII throughout the Pacific theater and in Europe, as well as stateside. At the end of June 1945, a total of 481 Commissioned Officers, 29 Warrant Officers, 1,112 Nurses, and 4,351 Enlisted Men were assigned to Medical Hospital Ship Complements. USAHS Frances Y. Slanger, at Brooklyn Shipyards, ZI, where the former transport vessel was converted, early Jun 45. T/O 8-534 dated 21 December 1942 was drafted to cover Medical Hospital Ship Platoons (Separate) authorizing a personnel force of 7 Officers – 20 Nurses – 1 Warrant Officer – 60 Enlisted personnel, i.e. AH-5 Solace, converted passenger vessel, 450-bed Hospital Ship operated by the Navy, at anchor. The first date reflects the WD designation as a Hospital Ship, followed by the WDGO and date, the name of the vessel, the year built, the speed, the patient capacity, the port of departure, the destination, and finally the date of embarkation. Personnel often received on-the-job training and/or temporarily assisted Army medical units prior to a more definite assignment. Crew and medical personnel are on deck, prior to their trip to the Pacific Theater via Australia on 21 June 1944. reunited at sea. AKS-3 Antares. LSTs received ample allowances of battle dressings, morphine, sulfa, whole blood, plasma, and penicillin, and on its outbound voyage each LST carried exchange units of blankets, litters, splints, plasma, and surgical dressings for the French beaches. AH-5 Solace. John returned to New Zealand on the hospital ship Maunganui. But for much of 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff argued over how best to implement the decisions. PBS (Peninsular Base Section) 883d Medical Collecting Company Ambulances bring in their patients for evacuation by Hospital Ship, from Leghorn to Naples. Transfers from shore took place by landing craft to the carriers’ own small ‘water’ ambulances (small landing craft). USS Solace was decommissioned in March of 1946, and struck from the Naval Vessel Register on May 21st. As a result of these problems, the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to procure only 3 Army Hospital Ships (General Dwight D. Eisenhower initially had requested 5 ships by April 43). Towards the end of the Pacific war, nursing on Army and Navy hospital ships became dangerous. 27-28 February 1942. The ships served three missions: damage control / firefighting; casualty treatment / evacuation; and patrol / guardship. After 5 long trips which took her from New York to Southampton and Cherbourg, the ship was taken out of service and decommissioned on 7 Jan 46. They operated with British crews under the British Ministry of Transportation, and in 3 cases, with US Army medical complements on board (some were increased by adding extra personnel from the Auxiliary Surgical Teams and Hospital Trains). Ship … WWII shipwreck, SS Sagaing, resurfaced three missions: damage control firefighting. 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