Originally commissioned as Chaumont (AP-5) on 22 November 1921. Assigned to transport duty, Chaumont sailed the Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean throughout the twenties and thirties. She carried military supplies, Marine expeditionary forces, sailors and their dependents, and occasionally members of congressional committees on inspection tours, calling at ports from Shanghai to Bermuda. At the outbreak of WWII she began carrying sailors, civilian workmen, and cargo for Manila, Suva, Fiji, Brisbane and Darwin, Australia.Chaumont was decommissioned 28 August 1943 for conversion to a hospital ship.
Renamed on 2 September as Samaritan (AH-10).
Recommissioned on 1 March. She then made two voyages from San Francisco to Hawaii, with passengers outward bound and patients homeward bound between 25 March and 11 May . Arriving in Honolulu a third time on 11 May, she continued to Kwajalein, where from 17 June to 1 July, she treated casualties from the Saipan invasion. On 8 July she arrived off Saipan to embark patients for evacuation to Noumea, New Caledonia, from which she returned to Saipan on 1 August for two weeks of duty as a receiving hospital. During August and September 1944, Samaritan evacuated patients from Guam to Guadalcanal, and from Peleliu to the Russell Islands. After a brief overhaul at Espiritu Santo, she served as base hospital at Ulithi until 16 February 1945, when she sailed for Iwo Jima.
She arrived off Iwo Jima on 20 February, and sailed 2 days later with 606 patients on board for Saipan. On the second day out, eight men were buried at sea. The hospital ship returned to Iwo Jima on 25 February to embark patients for transportation to Guam on the first of two such voyages. She arrived at Ulithi on 2 April, and a week later sailed for Okinawa, arriving 13 April. She received casualties at the beach during the daytime and withdrew at night to the transport areas offshore, alternating her stays at Okinawa with evacuation voyages to Saipan until 1 July, when she sailed from Saipan for Pearl Harbor. There she took patients from several island hospitals on board, sailed to San Francisco, and on 10 September back to Pearl Harbor thence Sasebo, where she provided hospital facilities to occupation forces until 15 March 1946.
She returned to San Francisco 23 April, and was decommissioned there on 25 June. On 29 August she was transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal.
USS Chaumont (US Navy Transport)
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