USS Benevolence (AH-13)

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USS Benevolence (AH-13) Moored in Bikini Atoll lagoon, during Operation "Crossroads", mid-July 1946. Several of the operation target ships are visible in the background.
Career (U.S.) 100x35px
Ordered: 19 February 1942
Launched: 24 June 1944
Acquired: 19 June 1944
Commissioned: 5 May 1945
Decommissioned: 1 July 1947
30 June 1957
Fate: Sunk off San Francisco, California, in a collision April 1950
General characteristics
Displacement: 11,141 tons empty (15,100 max)
Length: 520 ft (160 m)
Beam: 71.5 ft (21.8 m)
Draught: 23.5 ft (7.2 m)
Propulsion: Geared Turbine, Single Screw
Speed: 17.5 kts
Capacity: 800 patients
Complement: 95 Officers 606 men
Armament: NONE

USS Benevolence (AH-13) was built as SS Marine Lion in 1944 by Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock co., Chester, Pa., under a Maritime Commission contract. 11,141 tons. 520 x 71.6 x 24. 24 knots. Sponsored by Mrs. Daisy Unter; transferred to the Navy 31 July 1944; converted to a hospital ship by Todd-Erie Basin Shipyard, Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.; and commissioned 12 May 1945. CAPT C. C. Laws in command.

With a bed capacity of 802 and a complement of 564, the Benevolence departed for the Pacific on 27 July 1945 to provide hospital services, consultation, preventative medicine, and casualty evacuation. Receiving battle casualties from the 3rd Fleet during Campaigns against Japan.

Upon Victory over Japan Day, Benevolence was present with the Allied Fleet in Tokyo Harbor during the Surrender of Japan. She anchored off Yokosuka, Japan, 29 August to begin processing liberated Allied prisoners of war where she screened 1520 POW’s. She remained in Japanese waters until 27 November 1945 and then returned wounded to the United States, arriving in San Francisco on 12 December 1945. She served as a casualty evacuation ship between Pearl Harbor and San Francisco from December until February 1946 and then underwent an overhaul until 1 April 1946. She participated in Operation “Crossroads” at Bikini Atoll in June 1946. She then served as a station hospital ship at Tsingtao, China from 14 October 1946 until 3 March 1947. She returned to San Francisco on 18 March 1947 and commenced inactivation and was placed out of commission in reserve 13 September 1947, attached to the San Francisco Reserve Group.

On 25 August 1950 at 5:04 p.m. while returning from sea trials, prior to her assignment to the Military Sea Transportation Service, Benevolence collided with the freighter SS Mary Luckenbach in heavy fog and sank within 15 minutes off San Francisco. 505 crew members were rescued and 23 lost their lives.

Benevolence received one battle star for World War II service.