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Ship Name and Designation History

This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

    Mercy Class Hospital Ship
    Built 1907 for the Ward Line as SARATOGA
    Acquired by War Department 1917 as Transport
    Purchased by U.S. Navy September 27 1917 and converted to Hospital Ship

  1. USS MERCY Hospital Ship No. 4
    Commissioned January 24 1918

    Designated (AH) July 17 1920
    Decommissioned December 1 1924
    Recommissioned November 26 1925 - Decommissioned March 23 1934
    Loaned to the Philadelphia branch of the Public Relief Administration

    Struck from Naval Register August 20 1938
    Sold March 16 1939 for scrap


Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.

  1. Covers Page 1    (1918-35)



This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.


Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Date From
Date To
Thumbnail Link To
Postmark Image
Thumbnail Link To
Cover Image

1st Commissioning January 24 1918 to December 1 1924


Locy Type



2nd Commissioning November 26 1925 to March 23 1934


Locy Type
3rs (A)


Sailor's Mail


Locy Type
3brs (A)




Locy Type



Sailor's Mail


Locy Type F

USCS Postmark
Catalog Illus. M-91


Used while under Public Relief Administration
No post office


Other Information

NAMESAKE - Virtue of compassion

Three hospital ships of the US Navy have borne the name Mercy; USS Mercy AH-4, USS Mercy AH-8 and USNS Mercy T-AH-19.



If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


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