Photo of the Week
March 29, 2020

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).

Comfort 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.

Comfort 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.

What a valuable asset to the United States, Central and South America in times of need.

You 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.


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