Hospital Ships in the U.S. Navy

Last week, my husband and I were in San Diego having lunch in Coronado at Peohe’s Restaurant.  While we were eating our Avacado-Crab-Mango stacks, a huge white ship with several Red Crosses glided past us on it’s way out of San Diego Bay.

USNS Mercy gliding out of San Diego Harbor

It was the USNS (United States Naval Ship)  Mercy (T-AH-10).  From Wikiepedia,

Mercy was built as an San Clemente-class oil tanker, SS Worth, by National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, San Diego, in 1976. Starting in July 1984, she was renamed and converted to a hospital ship by the same company. Launched on 20 July 1985, USNS Mercy was placed in service on 8 November 1986. She has a raised forecastle, a transom stern, a bulbous bow, an extended deckhouse with a forward bridge, and a helicopter-landing deck with a flight control facility. The Mercy class hospital ships are the third largest ships in the U.S. Navy Fleet by length, surpassed only by the nuclear-powered Nimitz-class and Gerald R. Ford-class supercarriers

Her primary mission is to provide rapid, flexible, and mobile acute medical and surgical services to support Marine Corps Air/Ground Task Forces deployed ashore, Army and Air Force units deployed ashore, and naval amphibious task forces and battle forces afloat. Secondarily, she provides mobile surgical hospital service for use by appropriate US Government agencies in disaster or humanitarian relief or limited humanitarian care incident to these missions or peacetime military operations.[3]

USNS Mercy, homeported in San Diego, is normally in reduced operating status. Her crew remains a part of the staff of Naval Medical Center San Diego until ordered to sea, at which time they have five days to fully activate the ship to a NATO Role III Medical Treatment Facility, the highest only to shore based fixed facilities outside of the theater of operations.[3][4] Like most “USNS” Ships, Mariners from the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command are responsible for navigation, propulsion, and most deck duties on board.[1] Mercy is as of 2012 part of MSC’s Service Support Program. However, the “Medical Treatment Facility”, or hospital on the ship, is commanded by a Captain of the Navy Medical Corps or Navy Nurse Corps.

The hospital ship on the East Coast is the USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), homeported in Norfok, VA.  She  was placed in service in 1987.

Hospital ships of many types have been part of the United States Navy at least since 1798. Their special status has been internationally recognised under the second Geneva Convention of 1906 and the Hague Convention of 1907.They also saved many lives.

In this list, the particular roles of some hospital ships are identified, e.g. as ambulance vessels, rescue ships, and evacuation ships. Also included are ships that had a dual role, also serving as barracks ships, receiving ships, supply ships or guard ships.



October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month | Weird Chick Chronicles

October is one busy month.  Here is another thing to be aware of this month and it’s an important one.

via October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month | Weird Chick Chronicles

October is American Archives Month

Archives–a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people.

Governments, universities, historical societies and other organizations may all have archives.  Sometimes the Archives are part of a library, a stand-alone entity or attached to a museum.

American Archives Month is celebrated each October.  The Council of State Archives also celebrates Electronic Records Day on 10 October.

For other resources to celebrate National Archive month, check out this list from the Society of American Archivists.

The following is from the American Archives page in Washington DC

Pieces of History Blog

2018: Three posts in 2018 asked What made you want to work at an archives? What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at an archive? and What’s your favorite tool?

2017: In 2017, a series of blog posts highlighted our “Archives Across America.”

2016: In 2016 we showed how the National Archives is helping to lead the way with the management of digital records in the federal government.

2015: For 2015 American Archives Month we celebrated the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries.

2014: For the 2014 American Archives Month, the National Archives teamed up with the Academy of American Poets for We the Poets. Throughout the month we published original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives and posted them on our YouTube Channel.

We also featured weekly posts on the history of the National Archives.

2013: For the 2013 American Archives Month, we highlighted the work of archivists from our Presidential Libraries.

The American Archives has two buildings.  Achives I which includes the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and other famous documents is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washingon, DC. Holdings include:

  • U.S. Congress
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Federal District Courts in the District of Columbia
  • Select Federal Agencies

We also house pre-World War I military service records for:

  • U.S. Army and Confederate veterans
  • Pre-1940 vessel and station log books for the U.S. Navy

Archives I in DC.jpg

The National Archives runs a free shuttle from the 7th Avenue side of Archives I to Archives II in College Park,  MD.

shuttle at archives ii

Archives II has

  • Civilian Records: We hold records that originated in civilian agencies of the Executive branch of government. Most of these records were created after 1900 and include documents created or accumulated by bureaus within the departments of State, Justice, Treasury, Interior, Labor, Commerce, Energy, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation.Review this before you visit Civilian Textual Records at the National Archives at College Park
  • Modern Military Records: Records that originated in military agencies of the Executive branch of government. Most of these records were created after 1900 and include documents created or accumulated by the various components of the Department of Defense and its predecessor, the War Department.

Archives II in College Park


October Days to Celebrate

October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, October retained its name (from the Latin and Greek ôctō meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans.

Breast Cancer ribbonOctober is also a month full of celebrations including Breast Cancer Awareness month  an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.and Virginia Wine Month.

It is also Health Literacy Month.

We are celebrating 20 years! Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong ever since Helen Osborne founded it in 1999.

national bullying prevention dayNational Bullying Prevention Month is also celebrated.  Stompout Bullying offers a few suggestions:

  • Make friends with somebody you do not know in school.
  • Challenge others to be kind.

October 11 is National Coming Out Day.

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBT awareness day observed on October 11.[1] Founded in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person.[2] The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views

National Coming Out Day

National Friends of Library Week celebrates it’s 14th anniversary  October 20-26.  Friends of the LibraryFriends groups often provide support to libraries–it can be library advcoacy, funding for materials or programming beyond what the regular library budget can support, or community book sales of books, video and audio recordings.

The big one, Halloween, is October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.  It is also All Hallows Eve.  All Hallows Day is celebrated on November 1. It is also called All Saint’s Day.


Does anyone remember singing the Halloween poem by Harry Behn, in school as a kid?  I learned this one in the second grade at Del Rey Oaks Elementary School n Del Ray Oaks, CA.

Tonight is the night
When dead leaves fly
Like witches on switches
Across the sky,
When elf and sprite
Flit through the night
On a moony sheen.

Tonight is the night
When leaves make a sound
Like a gnome in his home
Under the ground,
When spooks and trolls
Creep out of holes
Mossy and green.

Tonight is the night
When pumpkins stare
Through sheaves and leaves
When ghouls and ghost
And goblin host
Dance round their queen.
It’s Halloween.


Book Review: Ban This Book

Ban-This-Book-Cover-1650px-680x1020Although Banned Book Week has passed, this chidren’s book by Alan Gratz is a remarkable book about how Amy Anne came to run the Banned Book Locker Library.

Amy Anne’s favorite book, From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frenkwiler by E.L. Konigsburg, is banned from her school library by classmate’s mom who decides it is inappropriate for children to read.    As the school year continues, other favorite books are banned.

As the titles are banned, Amy Ann and some of her classmates decide to get copies of the banned books by any means possible.  Shy, quiet Amy Ann becomes the defacto librarian of this underground library, checking copies of banned titles in and out of her school locker.

The group’s two biggest fears are how to keep acquiring titles as the list continues to grow and what will happen when/if news of the Banned Book Locker Library leaks out.  As more children learn about the Library, the chance for exposure grows with each check-out.

In the battle of book censorship and who has the right to tell kids what they can or can’t read, the children find themselves on the front line dealing with  the school bureaucracy and parental hipocracy.  The school librarian also had to decide what is right, not just what is legal.  (They are not always the same.)

Rating:  4/5 Stars

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. New, York:  McMillan, 2017. 765385562

Available on Kindle, Hardbook, Paperback, and MP3CD


Reblog: Femmes in STEM

Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego has annual program for girls, 9-16 to take part in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs.  Some of the week’s activities take place in the Park like the Rocky Intertidal Zone, aka the Tidepools, and some take place the Central Library’s Makerspace downtown.  To learn more, click here



Reblog: UVA’s Great Book Migration Has Begun

Alderman Library (no relation) has begun to relocate books to next  door Clemon’s Library (Clemons is the Undergraduate Library) and the Ivy Stacks (which is about 1 mile away).

Alderman, which opened in 1938, is in desperate need of upgrades for safety, accessibility and space utilization, and the General Assembly approved funding for the project earlier this year. UVA selected HBRA Architects and construction management firm Skanska to work on the project.


Prior to relocating the books, Alderman Library conducted its first inventory in 80 years.

Reblog: Il diario 📖

I’m adding the machine-generated English translation to this sweet entry from Words and Music by Luisa Zambrotta.

On September 22, in the English-speaking countries, the day of the Diary is celebrated (“Dear Diary Day”).

I’m not sure of the origins of this anniversary, but I like the idea of ​​celebrating those who listen to us without interrupting or judging us, at any time of day or night.

I have just found my first diary, a simple diary (but then I considered a great gift, also because I received it without Christmas or my birthday) given to me by my dad, after I had formally committed myself to write you in a serious and constant way .
I was nine years old.

words and music and stories

Il 22 settembre  nei paesi di lingua inglese si festeggia il giorno del Diario (“Dear Diary Day”).

Non sono certa delle origini di questa ricorrenza, ma mi piace l’idea di celebrare chi ci ascolta senza interromperci o giudicarci, a qualsiasi ora del giorno o della notte.

Ho appena ritrovato il mio primo diario, una semplice agenda (che però allora consideravo un gran dono, anche perché ricevuto senza che fosse Natale o il mio compleanno) regalatami da mio papà, dopo che mi ero formalmente impegnata a scrivervi in modo serio e costante.
Avevo nove anni.


View original post