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Hope (schooner)

(Sch: t. 134; l. 85'; b. 20'9" ; dr. 9'; s. 10k.; a. 120-pdr.)

The first Hope retained a former name. The second Hope was given a name descriptive of her duty.

The first Hope, a wooden schooner, was purchased by the Navy 29 November 1861 from T. P. Ives, and commissioned at New York 14 December 1861, Acting Master M. S. Chase in command.

Hope spent the war with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron based at Port Royal. She acted as a dispatch vessel supply boat for ships to the southward. In 1862 she took part in the blockade off Fernandina and the adjacent coast of Florida. While patrolling off Charleston 27 January 1863, Hope captured schooner Emma Tuttle with a cargo of saltpeter for the Confederates. In June, the ship returned north for repairs at Philadelphia and in July resumed blockade station off Charleston.

Throughout most of 1864, Hope remained off Charleston as a blockader, helping to tighten the noose which did so much to choke the rebellion. She also performed limited dispatch and supply boat duty. Hope captured sloop Racer, her second prize, off Bull's Bay 1 August.

Shortly afterward the ship was fitted for diving duty and in October began salvage operations in the Savannah River, raising hulks and other obstacles. After the fall of Savannah in December, Hope worked on the salvage of C.S.S. Savannah, and in the spring moved to Charleston to carry out similar duties in the Charleston harbor.

Hope returned north and decommissioned at New York 6 September 1865. She was sold 25 October to T. Morley.

(AH-7: dp. 6.000; l. 417'9" ; b. 60'; dr. 27'8" ; s. 14 k.; cpl. 233; a. none; cl. Comfort; t. Cl-B)

The second Hope (AH-7) was launched under Maritime Commission contract by Consolidated Steel Corp., Ltd., Wilmington, Calif., 30 August 1943; sponsored by Miss Martha L. Floyd; acquired by the Navy the same day for conversion to a hospital ship by U.S. Naval Dry Dock, Terminal Island, Calif.; and commissioned 15 August 1944, Commander A. E. Richards in command.

Manned by a Navy crew but carrying Army medical teams, Hope completed her shakedown cruise and sailed 23 September 1944 to render medical care during the climactic phase of the campaign against Japan. Steaming via Pearl Harbor and Manus, the ship arrived Kossol Passage, in the Palaus, and received soldiers wounded taking the islands of the group.

American soldiers, supported by a vast naval task force, returned to the Philippines 20 October. Hope arrived Leyte Gulf 7 November, to care for casualties and evacuated them to Hollandia. Thereafter the ship made four more voyages to Leyte to evacuate wounded. During the morning of 3 December she was followed by a Japanese submarine, and that afternoon was attacked unsuccessfully by a torpedo plane. Three days later, as she steamed toward Manus, the hospital was again attacked by aircraft. One bomb was dropped close aboard but no damage resulted. Continuing to evacuate wounded from the Philippines, Hope arrived Subic Bay 16 February 1945, just as paratroopers landed on Corregidor. The ship sailed on to Lingayen Gulf for evacuation, and sailed from Leyte 6 March for Ulithi.

Hope sailed 9 April to take part in the Okinawa operation, arriving off the bitterly-contested island 4 days later. During the next month she shuttled between Saipan and Okinawa, often under attack despite her distinctive markings. As Japanese suicide planes attempted vainly to stop the invasion, Hope assisted in rescuing sailors from damaged ships and embarked wounded soldiers. Departing 12 May 1945, the ship moved back to the Philippines and arrived 3 July at Tarakan Island to assist, if needed, in the evacuation of Australian casualties in the invasion of Balikpapan. She then returned to the Philippines, greeting the surrender of Japan 15 August at Manila Bay. Much medical and evacuation work remained to be done, however, and Hope sailed 20 August for Okinawa and Japan, arriving Wakayama 22 September to assist in the occupation. She sailed 22 October with returnees, arriving San Francisco 15 November, and subsequently made two more voyages to Guam and the Philippines to bring back the sick and wounded. Hope returned to San Francisco 22 March 1946 and decommissioned 9 May 1946. From 1946 to 1950 she was in custody of the War Department. She is at present in the National Defense Reserve Fleet berthed at Suisun Bay, Calif.

Published: Mon Jul 20 08:54:13 EDT 2015