The insignia in this post was created by Hank Porter in the spring of 1944 for the Comfort-class hospital ship USS Mercy. The USS Mercy was launched on March 25, 1943, was converted on the west coast from a cargo ship to a hospital ship and was commissioned on August 7, 1944.
Detail from a piece of stationary dated January 1945. In the letter the serviceman informed his mother his stateside girlfriend had accepted his proposal of marriage and that the ceremony would occur at war's end.
After her shakedown cruise, Mercy was staffed by servicemen attached to the Army's 214th Hospital Ship personnel. The vessel had a crew compliment of just over 500 and had the capacity to treat upwards of 400 patients. As she was a hospital ship, she was fitted with no armament.
Mercy and her crew operated in the South Pacific as part of the U.S. Navy's 5th and 7th Fleets. The vessel saw action and provided medical care during the invasions of both the Philippines and Okinawa.
Mercy was decommissioned in May 1946 and was transferred to the U.S. Army as a hospital ship in June of that year.