(AH‑4: dp. 9,450 (f.); l. 429'10"; b. 50'2"; dr. 23'4" s. 15 k.; cpl. 420; patient capacity 221; cl. Mercy)
The first Mercy (AH‑4) was built in 1907 as Saratoga by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa. for the Ward Line, New York, N.Y.; purchased by the Navy from the War Department 27 September 1917 after use as an Army troop transport during the first months of World War I; renamed Mercy 30 October 1917; converted to a hospital ship at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and commissioned 24 January 1918.
Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet, Mercy operated in the Chesapeake Bay area with Yorktown, Va., as her home port, attending the war wounded and transporting them from ships to shore hospitals. In October 1918 she sailed for New York to join the Cruiser and Transport Service. On 3 November the hospital ship departed New York on the first of four round trips to France, returning 1,977 casualties by 25 March 1919.
For most of the next 15 years following World War I, Mercy served off the east coast with Philadelphia as her home yard. From 1 December 1924 until 1 September 1925 she was in reserve at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. On 25 November the hospital ship went into reduced commission, returning to full commission 1 September 1926. Mercy remained in commission until loaned to the Philadelphia branch of the Public Relief Administration 23 March 1934.
On 20 April 1938 Mercy was struck from the Navy list and she was sold for scrapping to Boston Iron & Metals Co., Baltimore, Md., 16 March 1939.
Mercy (APH‑2) was renamed Pinkney (q.v.) 13 August 1942 before commissioning.