Rest, tranquility, peace of mind, freedom from worry or troubles.
(AH - 16: displacement 11,141; length 520’; beam 71’6”; draft 24’ (limiting); speed 18.7 knots; complement 564; class Haven; type C4-S-B2)
Repose (AH-16), formerly Marine Beaver (MC Hull 747), was laid down 22 October 1943 under Maritime Commission contract by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, Pa.; launched 8 August 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Pauline P. McIntire, wife of Vice Adm. Ross T. McIntire, Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; and acquired and placed in service 14 September 1944 for transportation to her conversion yard, Bethlehem Steel Co., Shipbuilding Division, 56th Street Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y. Upon completion of her conversion to Navy use, she commissioned 26 May 1945, Capt. W. O. Britten in command.
The same day she shifted berths to take on stores, and on 31 May she completed fitting out at Bayonne, N.J. Tests and drills commenced 1 June in Long Island Sound, and on 3 June Repose put into the Brooklyn Navy Yard to take on additional stores. Sailing for Norfolk, Va., 6 June, she underwent shakedown off the Virginia coast. She departed Norfolk 8 July, transited the Panama Canal, and steamed for Pearl Harbor 15 July, arriving the 29th.
She embarked 700 patients at Pearl Harbor on 7 August 1945 for transport to San Francisco, where the ship called 15-24 August. Then, scheduled to steam for the Philippines via Honolulu, she was diverted to Okinawa, arriving Buckner Bay 15 September. The next day she stood out of the harbor to ride out a typhoon.
Following a week at anchor in Buckner Bay, Repose steamed for the Philippines, but 2 days out she was diverted to Shanghai, China. From 30 September 1945 through 10 March 1946, she operated at Shanghai as a base hospital, attached to Service Squadron 10.
Ordered to Tsingtao 10 March, she arrived the following day, and then returned to Shanghai on the 18th, where she remained until 15 October 1946. A 1 November arrival in San Francisco brought leave and upkeep through 5 February 1947. Repose then sailed for Yokosuka, Japan, arriving the 14th. Shifting to Tsingtao, China, 1 March, she served as a base hospital into September 1948.
Repose remained in Asian waters until 5 July 1949, when she steamed for the west coast. Arriving Long Beach 27 July, she shifted to San Francisco in the first week of September. Assigned to the San Francisco group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet, she commenced inactivation 28 October 1949, and was placed out of commission, in reserve, 19 January 1950.
With the outbreak of the Korean war, there was a desperate need for hospital ships. Repose was transferred to the Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, 20 July 1950 and ordered activated at the earliest possible date. She was delivered to and accepted by MSTSPAC 26 August 1950. Five days later COMSTS was authorized to operate the ship with a civilian crew. She sailed for Yokohama, Japan, 2 September 1950, and arrived on the 16th. There a Navy crew embarked, and the next day she steamed for Pusan, Korea, arriving the 20th.
She served there as a station hospital through 26 October, then she departed for Yokohama with 189 patients. Shifting to Yokosuka, she recommissioned on the 28th, Capt. C. H. Perdue in command, and Capt. E. B. Coyl, MC, as senior medical officer.
Returning to Korea 13 November, Repose served at Inchon, Chinnampo, and Pusan before transporting 301 patients to Yokohama, Japan. There she underwent availability through 5 February 1951, thence returned to Korea, where she provided hospital services between Korean and Japanese ports.
Repose departed Yokosuka 22 January 1952, touching at Pearl Harbor en route to the west coast. A call at San Diego 11 February was followed by overhaul and installation of a stern helicopter platform at Long Beach. Sea trials were completed 23 April, followed by departure from San Diego for the Far East a month later. Standing into Inchon Harbor 24 June, Repose commenced receiving patients the same day. She was joined 22 July by Haven (AH-12).
Following a period of patient transfer operations between Korean and Japanese ports, Repose steamed 14 February 1953 for San Francisco, arriving there 6 March. Transferring to Craig Shipbuilding Co., Long Beach, 2 April, she underwent repairs through 12 May, steamed for Pearl Harbor 5 days later, thence to Yokosuka, arriving there 5 June.
Operations in Korean waters recommenced on 14 June when Repose again took station at Inchon. Several patient transfer runs to Japan were climaxed by a return to home via Pearl Harbor. Touching at San Diego 11 February 1954, she then entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard 28 April-1 September.
Arriving San Francisco 2 September, Repose was transferred on 27 September 1954 to the Naval Reserve Fleet, San Francisco Group. She decommissioned at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard 21 December 1954.
After 10½ years with the Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, Repose was activated and towed to Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, then to Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard in June 1965. She recommissioned there 16 October 1965, Capt. Eugene H. Maher in command, and Capt. Paul R. Engle, MC, senior medical officer.
Repose departed San Francisco 3 January 1966, arriving Pearl Harbor 9 January for underway training. She then steamed for Subic Bay, arriving on 3 February to take on supplies and to accomplish voyage repairs. Sailing on 14 February for Vietnam, she arrived on the line 2 days later and commenced medical support off Chu Lai.
Living up to her nickname, "Angel of the Orient," Repose was permanently deployed to Southeast Asia from October. The 721-bed floating hospital operated mainly in the I Corps area, which included Da Nang, Chu Lai, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, and Quang Tri. After treating more than 9,000 battle casualties and admitting over 24,000 patients for inpatient care in Southeast Asian waters, Repose departed Vietnam 14 March 1970 for the United States, where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve May 1970. She remains in the Pacific Reserve Fleet into 1974.
Repose received nine battle stars for Korean War service and nine for Vietnam service.
23 September 2005