Constructed in 1921 as the President Madison for the American President Lines. Acquired by the Navy from WSA on 11 April 1942 for conversion to a troop transport and re-named Kenmore (AP-62). Commissioned on 5 August 1942 and served as a transport vessel until she was decommissioned at Baltimore, MD, on 16 September 1943 for conversion to a hospital ship.
Renamed Refuge and redesignated as AH-11, the ship was recommissioned on 24 February. Assigned to the Service Force, Atlantic, she commenced assisting in the transport of casualties from the war zones to the United States. April 20 departed Hampton Roads and embarked patients at Mers-el Kebir, Algeria, on 6-8 May then returned to Charleston, SC, on 24 May. From 1 June through 29 July she made two voyages to the British Isles, embarking patients at Belfast, Northern Ireland; Liverpool, England; and Milford Haven, Wales. These patients were returned to Newport News and Norfolk, VA. Departed 2 August for the Mediterranean and arrived Oran, Algeria the 17th, then proceeded to the southern coast of France for operations between St. Tropez Bay and Naples, Italy. Departed Naples 16 September with embarked patients, took on additional patients at Oran, then steamed for New York, arriving 6 October. After overhaul at New York, Refuge departed 1 November for South Pacific duty with the Service Force, 7th Fleet. Called at Humboldt Bay Dutch New Guinea, on 16 December, then continued on three days later to the Philippines. Arrived San Pedro Bay, Leyte, on Christmas Eve, then commenced the embarkation of patients from small landing craft.
By 30 June she had made six voyages from Leyte area to deliver her casualties to either Hollandia, New Guinea or Seeadler Harbor, Manus, the Admiralties. Departed Seeadler Harbor on 1 July for Manila, where she embarked patients from various Fleet units through the end of August 1945. Refuge departed Manila 31 August for Jinsen, Korea, arriving 8 September. She sailed on the 17September, embarked evacuees at Shanghai, China, then steamed for Okinawa, arriving there on 2 October. Then made two voyages between Okinawa and Tsingtao, China through 20 October. After embarking patients and troops for return to the United States, Refuge departed Okinawa 22 October, took on additional patients at Saipan, and arrived San Francisco 18 November. Another overhaul took her through 9 December, and on 11 December she departed for Yokosuka, Japan, arriving 4 January 1946.
After embarking Army troops for transportation to the United States at Yokosuka, she departed 7 January and returned to Seattle, WA, on 28 January. Refuge was decommissioned at Seattle on 2 April. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 May and she was delivered to the War Shipping Administration 29 June. Sold for scrap to Consolidated Builders on 2 February 1948.
USS Kenmore (US Navy Transport)
These specifications and ship histories are adapted from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (US Naval Historical Center) and from various other sources. These summaries may not reflect the most recent information concerning the ships' status or operations. If you find an error or discrepancy, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online crossing submission form.