Marigold

Source; From "Handout" written by Commanding Officer, 212th Hospital Ship Complement,
William H. Schowengerdt, Colonel, MC

Church Bulletin, 9 December 1945

Provided by Lynn Leigh
lleigh@wko.com

A tremendous site to visit about U.S. Army Medicine
http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/history/

 

"The Marigold was built at Camden, New Jersey, in 1920, and was then commissioned (sic) the "Old North State", sailing from New York to
England and France and the Mediterranean. After completion of this run she was then re-named the S.S. President Van Buren and placed on
the round the world run.

After the Dollar Line went out of existence she lay at anchor in San Francisco Bay for four years and was then taken over by the "American
President" Lines and put back on the round the world run.

At the outbreak of the war she was recruited for a troop carrier and for two years plied between the west coast and the far Aleutians. She went
through the Dutch Harbor bombings of June 1942 and although badly strafed, she brought down two Jap Zeros and one two-motored
bomber.

Then in 1943 she was sent to Todds Ship Yards in Tacoma Washington to be converted into a hospital ship, Capt. Robert Skalley, Commanding Officer. By June 1944 she was ready to be commissioned the U.S.A.H.S. Marigold, then the largest hospital ship.

Her first duties as a Hospital Ship were in the Mediterranian where she carried all type of sick and wounded from the European battlefields.
She went to the Pacific where she followed the island invasion, bringing the American boys back to base hospitals from the fronts.
Milne Bay, Hollandia, Luzon Biak, Leyte, and Manila are names that grace her log.

After an early summer return to the states, with a capacity load of battle casualities, the Marigold returned to the Pacific arriving in Manila in
time to celebrate V.J. day. But the exciting events were far from ended for this ship. Sailing to Tokyo Bay by way of Okinawa, she arrived there
before the peace was signed, and had the distinction of being the first Allied ship to dock in Japan.

For the next three weeks hundreds of liberated Prisoners of War were carried up the gangplank. The sick and wounded of every Allied Nation
found in these wards the first friendly home they had known for three years. Tattered fragments of the uniforms of many armies added color
and interest to the scene aboard ship. Dutch, Canadian and Greek, Australians, British, Japenese and Chinese patients took their place
alongside our own American troops. Civilians, Missionaries, Nuns, and little children occupied space heretofore devoted to G.I.'s only. It was
one of the Marigold's most vivid experiences.

Then came the long weeks of waiting, as a floating station hospital for the occupation forces. Rumors... and more rumors... when would we
return?

Finally the reality, a few wards full of patients on leaving Japan, the rest taken on at Manila. Back home via the Northern route... closer...
closer... closer... Home!!!!!"

Commanding Officer, 212th Hospital Ship Complement,
William H. Schowengerdt, Colonel, MC

This information obtained from the Church bulletin on Sunday, 9 December 1945

 

Additional Information from the Journals of Capt. Robert Skalley
Provided by Mike Skalley
Mike@Foss.com

Coming Soon

Go to Tokyo Bay..... Go to The Ships .....Go to The Chart

Comments, Suggestions, Inquiries: E-mail Here


Fair Winds and and Following Seas to the Officers, Men and Medical Complement of Marigold