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Comfort Class, U.S. Hospital Ships


Photograph of Comfort-class hospital ship

U.S. Navy

Specifications:

Tonnage 9100 tons standard
Dimensions 418' by 60' by 24'
127.4 by 18.3m by 7.3m
Maximum speed       15.5 knots
Complement 516
Machinery
1-shaft J.H. geared turbine (4000 shp)
two Babcock and Wilcox boilers
Bunkerage
1800 tons
Patients 400


The Comforts were completed in 1944. They were Maritime Commission C1-B hulls converted to unarmed and brightly marked hospital ships. They had Navy crews, but their hospital staffs were provided by the Army.

These ships were theoretically immune to attack or seizure under international law, but both sides violated these rules at times. Comfort herself was struck by a suicide plane near Okinawa in spite of the characteristic hospital ship markings. Although she was badly damaged and her entire surgical staff were killed, she did not sink. Hope was attacked several times by aircraft in spite of her markings, but without damage. 


Units in the Pacific:

Comfort       completed 1944-5-5 (San Pedro)
Hope completed 1944-8-15 (San Pedro)
Mercy completed 1944-8-7 (San Pedro)

References

Morison (1959)

NavSource.org (accessed 2012-8-18)



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