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Note:  Tomorrow I may slip my post time a little; you’ll understand, I hope, tomorrow.  Mentioning hope, check out this link to learn about, among other things, an iron cow!!  Hope, SS Hope, was born of USS Consolation, AH-15.

Anyone know the US first hospital ship?   When did USNS Comfort last call in the sixth boro?  Answers follow below.

I used the photo below just over five years ago in a post about Red Cross ships;  tanker SS Rose City became USNS Comfort in 1985.  Study the photo and compare it to the current iteration.

I’m thrilled Mercy has been activated in the west and Comfort will arrrive here, but only a very short time ago there was serious consideration to mothball and maybe scrap at least one of these vessels. Also, as positive as they are, what they are not is panaceas. Mechanical, electrical, and other bugs need to be sorted out on the ships.  Crews need to resolve dynamics;  after all, even two months ago all those crews were happily working elsewhere, and as USNS ships, they have hybrid civilian/military crews.

And the US first hospital ship, establishing a “makeover” tradition, began life in Cape Girardeau, MO in 1859 as a Mississippi River steamer.  The Confederacy transformed it into a barracks, the US army captured it, and she was made into a hospital ship. I believe she carried the name Red Rover throughout all three lives.   Nursing staff on USS Red Rover were members of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Click here for a ketch used to evacuate wounded going back to 1803.  What were we involved with 217 years ago?

USNS Comfort made her last call in NYC was in September 2001, and I honestly didn’t recall that.  Does anyone have photos to share from that deployment?

Finally, I’ve mentioned it before, but back in 1980 SS Rose City had a young crewman named John Moynihan, who wrote a noteworthy account of his hitch aboard the vessel.  It’s a great book in itself;  his father was a senator from New York.

Long ago and faraway, I boarded this hospital ship on a tributary of the Congo River;  that it operated there at all is a scintilla of evidence that even a dictator can do good things by his subjected peoples.  I’m unable to learn the disposition of this ship, SS Mama Yemo, but a little researching did lead me to understand that it was developed by a US doctor, William Close, whom I’d love to learn more about.

SS Rose City photo thanks to William Lafferty;  sentiments and filtering of info by WVD, who thanks you for keeping your distance.

Hats off to the folks dredging USNS Comfort‘s berth even as we read.

And finally, a request . . .  if you get photos of her arrival tomorrow, consider sharing them with this blog.

 

 

I re-learned an acronym  . . . LCTC, or large car and truck carrier.  These included the Wallenius Wilhelmsen orange ROROs with names beginning with T, like Topeka, Tortugas . . .  and so on.  The green ones are HERO type, smaller and more efficient.

She’s 755′ x 106′ and by tomorrow she could be squeezing through the original Panama Canal locks.

 

I wonder if these bow ports see water in rough seas.

 

 

All photos, WVD.

Here’s another LCTC, Torino.

And as to continuing impact of Covid-19 on jobs, here‘s info on an announcement from a few days ago of temporary layoffs of WW employees.  I’m wondering if that includes those ILA folks in port who drive the cars and trucks off these ships.

Last post I titled this way was almost 10 years ago here.

These photos from a few days ago show no sense of the unprecedentedly different harbor.

Since Margaret assisted fleet mate Lois Ann L with barge Philadelphia off crude tanker Ionic Artemis, they’ve separated, each headed out in different directions.

x

 

All photos, WVD, who wishes everyone health.

 

As the sixth boro prepares to receive USNS Comfort,

on the other side of the continent earlier this week, USNS Mercy departed port of San Diego. No specific ETA is reported as yet for either vessel, as  . .  well . . . preps need to be made.

U.S.N.S. MERCY T-AH 19.
Seen leaving for the Port of Los Angeles to alleviate the burden on local hospitals there dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic by taking non-coronavirus afflicted patients.

► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

 

Launched as SS Worth MA-299 on 1 July 1975 (in San Diego, California) and entered service as a hospital ship on 8 November 1986 (to US Navy).
Homeport in San Diego, California, she measures 894′ x 106.’
She is propelled by two boilers, two GE turbines, one shaft, 24,500hp (18.3MW) and can cruise at 17 knots.  Her complement is as follows:  12 civilian and 58 military during Reduced Operating Status, and 61 civilian and 1,214 military during Full Operating Status.  Her time to activate is 5 days
Photographed by W. Michael Young at San Diego, California on March 23, 2020.
© 2020 W. Michael Young
4629 Cass Street, PMB 78
San Diego CA 92109-2805
United States of America
► ONLY REPRODUCE WITH CREDIT GIVEN TO W. MICHAEL YOUNG ◄

As it turns out, Mercy went just outside the harbor and anchored, to complete preparations before deployment.  There are many closeup photos of the preps at the pier in the link in the previous sentence.

Also, click here to see a 1985 photo of USNS Mercy being created out of SS Worth, a San Clemente-class tanker.

Many thanks to W. Michael Young for the Mercy photos;  Comfort photo I took in Baltimore exactly 10 years ago this month.  Both vessels were built by NASSCO in the mid-1970s.

And entirely unrelated:  Has anyone ever seen El-Mahrousa, the 1865-launched Egyptian training ship?

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