We are switching this week to something that is current news in our
troubled world. I found these two excellent photos at the
National Archives website taken when the U. S. Naval Hospital Ship Comfort
(T-AH-20) when transiting the Panama Canal. The photos were
taken on March 6, 1988. The Comfort was built in 1976 as a San
Clemente-class oil tanker by the National Steel and Shipbuilding
Company. Her original name was SS Rose City. Her
career as an oil tanker ended when she was delivered to the U.S.
Navy on 1 December 1987 and converted to a hospital ship. Her
sister ship USNS Mercy (T-AH-19)
is also a converted San Clemente-class tanker. The USNS
prefix identifies the Comfort and Mercy as a
non-commissioned ship owned by the U.S. Navy and operationally
crewed by civilians from the Military Sealift Command (MSC).
has seen it's share of duties
since since she was converted in the Persian Gulf in 1990-91, the
Haitian and Cuban migrant crisis in 1994, September 11. 2001
terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Iraq War 2002-03,
Hurricane Katrina 2005, Partnership for the Americas 2007,
2010 earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Maria 2017, Operation
Enduring Promise 2018, and now the to be named operation in
relationship with the COVID-19 pandemic 2020.
pushed off from Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia yesterday, March
28 in route to New York City. The Mercy arrived in the
Port of Los Angeles yesterday as well.
a valuable asset to the United States, Central and South America in
times of need.
can see cars parked on the upper helicopter landing deck that may be
owned by crew or for use when in port. What a beautiful ship
transiting the Canal.