Laid down as Marine Beaver (MC Hull 747) on 22 October 1943 under Maritime Commission contract. Launched 8 August 1944 and acquired and placed in service 14 September 1944 for conversion to a hospital ship.
Commissioned as USS Repose (AH-16) on 26 May. The same day she shifted berths to take on stores, and on 31 May she completed fitting out at Bayonne, N.J. Tests and drills commenced 1 June in Long Island Sound, and on 3 June Repose departed Norfolk on 8 July, transited the Panama Canal, and steamed for Pearl Harbor 15 July, arriving the 29th. She embarked 700 patients at Pearl Harbor on 7 August for transport to San Francisco, where the ship called 15-24 August. Then, scheduled to steam for the Philippines via Honolulu, she was diverted to Okinawa, arriving at Buckner Bay on 15 September. The next day she stood out of the harbor to ride out a typhoon. After spending a week at anchor in Buckner Bay, Repose steamed for the Philippines, but two days out was diverted to Shanghai, China. From 30 September through 10 March 1946, she operated at Shanghai as a base hospital, attached to Service Squadron 10.
Ordered to Tsingtao on 10 March, she arrived the following day, and then returned to Shanghai on the 18th, where she remained until 15 October. A 1 November arrival in San Francisco brought leave and upkeep through 5 February 1947. Repose sailed for Yokosuka, Japan, arriving 14 February 1947. Shifting to Tsingtao, China, on 1 March, she served as a base hospital into September 1948. Repose remained in Asian waters until 5 July 1949, when she steamed for the west coast. Arriving at Long Beach 27 July, she shifted to San Francisco in the first week of September. Assigned to the San Francisco group of the Pacific Reserve Fleet, she commenced inactivation on 28 October 1949. Placed out of commission, in reserve, on 19 January 1950.
Korean War Service
1950 - 1951
With the outbreak of the Korean war, Repose was transferred to the Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, on 20 July and ordered activated at the earliest possible date. She was delivered to and accepted by MSTSPAC on 26 August. Five days later COMSTS was authorized to operate the ship with a civilian crew. She sailed for Yokohama, Japan, on 2 September and arrived on the 16th. There a Navy crew embarked, and the next day she steamed for Pusan, Korea, arriving the 20th. She served there as a station hospital through 26 October, then she departed for Yokohama with 189 patients. Shifting to Yokosuka, she recommissioned on the 28 October. Returning to Korea on 13 November, Repose served at Inchon, Chinnampo, and Pusan before transporting 301 patients to Yokohama, Japan. There she underwent availability through 5 February 1951, then returned to Korea, where she provided hospital services between Korean and Japanese ports.
Repose departed Yokosuka on 22 January, touching at Pearl Harbor en route to the west coast. A call at San Diego on 11 February was followed by an overhaul and installation of a stern helicopter platform at Long Beach. Sea trials were completed 23 April, followed by departure from San Diego for the Far East a month later. Standing into Inchon Harbor on 24 June, Repose commenced receiving patients the same day. She was joined 22 July by Haven (AH-12).
Following a period of patient transfer operations between Korean and Japanese ports, Repose steamed 14 February for San Francisco, arriving there 6 March. Transferring to Craig Shipbuilding Co., Long Beach, on 2 April, she underwent repairs through 12 May, steamed for Pearl Harbor five days later, thence to Yokosuka, arriving there 5 June. Operations in Korean waters recommenced on 14 June when Repose again took station at Inchon. Several patient transfer runs to Japan were climaxed by a return to home via Pearl Harbor.
Calling at San Diego on 11 February, she then entered the Long Beach Naval Shipyard 28 April to 1 September. Arrived San Francisco on 2 September and was transferred on 27 September to the Naval Reserve Fleet, San Francisco Group. She decommissioned at Hunter's Point Naval Shipyard on 21 December.
Vietnam War Service
Recommissioned on 16 October.
Departed San Francisco 3 January, arrived Pearl Harbor on 9 January for underway training. She then steamed for Subic Bay, arriving on 3 February to take on supplies and to accomplish voyage repairs. Sailing on 14 February for Vietnam, she arrived on the line two days later and commenced medical support off Chu Lai. Repose was permanently deployed to Southeast Asia from October on. The 721-bed floating hospital operated mainly in the I Corps area, which included Da Nang, Chu Lai, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, and Quang Tri.
After treating more than 9,000 battle casualties and admitting over 24,000 patients for inpatient care in Southeast Asian waters, Repose departed Vietnam on 14 March for the United States, where she was decommissioned and placed in reserve in May.
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.