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Mercy II (AH-8)

(AH‑8: dp. 11,250 (lim.); l. 416'; b. 60'2"; dr. 24'6" (lim.); s. 15.3 k.; cpl. 516; cl. Comfort; T.Cl‑B)



The second Mercy (AH‑8) was laid down under Maritime Commission contract by Consolidated Steel Corp., Wilmington Yard, Wilmington, Calif., 4 Feburary 1943; acquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission 25 March 1943; launched. the same day; sponsored by Lt. (jg.) Doris M. Yetter, NC, USN, who had been a prisoner of war on Guam in 1941; converted from a cargo ship to a hospital ship by Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., San Pedro, Calif.; and commissioned 7 August 1944, Capt. Thomas A. Esling, USNR, in command.

After shakedown beginning the 17th, Mercy, staffed by the Army's 214th Hospital Ship personnel, was assigned to NTS to operate with the 5th and 7th Fleets. She departed San Pedro 31 August for the South Pacific and, after calls at Pearl Harbor and Eniwetok, arrived Hollandia, New Guinea, 14 October. Five days later the hospital ship departed for the Philippines for the initial landing at Leyte 20 October, arriving off Leyte Gulf the morning of 25 October to find the Battle for Leyte Gulf still raging for another day.

Mercy moved to San Pedro Bay later the same day and began embarking some 400 casualties, mostly from LST's alongside. On the 26th she sailed for the Admiralties, via Kossol Roads, Palaus, Carolines, arriving at Manus to disembark the wounded for transfer to base hospitals. During the next 5 months, Mercy completed seven more voyages from Leyte to Manus, or Hollandia. She also transported the 3d Field Hospital from New Guinea Tacloban, Philippines, early in January 1945.

On 19 March Mercy reported to the 5th Fleet at Ulithi, Carolines, for service during the Okinawa campaign, beginning with the landings 1 April. She arrived off Okinawa the morning of 19 April in company with Solace (AH‑5) to remain for 4 days at Hagushi Beach embarking patients despite frequent air raids and threat of Kamikazes. The hospital ship then got underway for Saipan, Marianas, 23 April. She made two more voyages to Okinawa, returning from the latter to Saipan 24 May.

Mercy next carried wounded from Leyte and Manila on two voyages to Biak, Schouten Islands, returning to Manila 23 June for 2 months' duty as station hospital ship. On 19 August she embarked the 227th Station Hospital assigned to the Korean Occupation Forces, and 3 days later departed for Korea via Okinawa, arriving Jinsen 9 September.

On 19 October the hospital ship departed for Manila and San Pedro, Calif., arriving 14 November. She got underway for the central Pacific 4 February 1946, arriving Pearl Harbor the 12th for duty until 2 April when she returned to California.

Mercy decommissioned at San Francisco 17 May, was delivered to the War Department the same day, and transferred to the U.S. Army 20 June for further service as a hospital ship. On 25 September she was struck from the Navy list.


Mercy received two battle stars for World War II service.

Published: Fri Aug 07 09:56:26 EDT 2015