The destroyer tender USS Yellowstone and its crew of 1,300 sailors - almost a third of them women - returned Saturday from the Persian Gulf war.

With nearly 400 women aboard, Navy officials said the Yellowstone had one of the largest female crews deployed during Operation Desert Storm. A human blanket of American flags, colorful banners and balloons covered Pier 24 as the ship, with sailors crowded on its decks, slipped into port.Fourteen other U.S. ships, including the hospital ship Comfort and the assault ships Nassau, Guam and Iwo Jima, passed through the Suez Canal Saturday after being delayed for 10 hours by storms.