SH 171 Summer-2020

Page 24

Ships of Comfort and Mercy by Salvatore R. Mercogliano, PhD

They never billeted a better crew That sailed out of any port, Than that which carried the wounded through The war zone—on the new “Comfort,” I’d stake my life on anyone Of my shipmates on that ship, From early Morn to setting sun, On land, in port, or ocean trip.

We’ve filled high-up her cargo-decks Brimful with healing medical stores For wounded, sick, and dying wrecks, Balms of Gilead for battle sores. We’ll sail full blast, with all lights on Through the sub-infested zone, And we carry not a blessed gun. – Fate alone, will bring us home!

22

—William Nelson Morell, Rhymes of the Fleet (1918) SEA HISTORY 171, SUMMER 2020