CL-41 Tribute Home

USS Philadelphia
Diary of Frank J. Paukstis

Transcribed by Eileen Paukstis Backofen, his daughter, November 2007
Illegible words are indicated by ______

The diary mentions most of the ports included on this map.
The map, which looks traced, was included in the album.

Below are examples of 2 scanned pages from the diary in 1945.
Dad's description of the ship's preparations for the meeting of
President Truman & King George.
Truman travelled to the Potsdam Conference on the USS Augusta
with the Philadelphia as escort.

Jan 5, 1944
Left N.Y. 1100, made trial run
Anchored, Gravesand Bay, Bayonne at 18:00

Jan 6, 1944
Took on ammunition. I worked all night so did everyone else.

Jan 7, 1944
Underway 1100 destination, Chesapeake Bay. I stood a midwatch in central station.

Jan 8, 1944
Arrived Chesapeake Bay 1400

Jan 9, 1944
Gunnery & General Quarter Drills

Jan 10, 1944
Got a job as Yeoman striker in First Lieutenant’s office

Jan 11, 1944
Chesapeake Bay area

Jan 12, 1944
Chesapeake Bay

Jan 13th – 16th
Still in Chesapeake Bay area.

Jan 17, 1944
Ship moored to pier at naval operating base, Norfolk, VA at 1430.
Liberty stood watch expired on board 0100.

Dad's Liberty Pass

Jan 18, 1944
Still moored to pier. Liberty for port watch expired on board 0100. Got a phone call through, talk with Helen.

Jan 19, 1944
Underway at 1100, stood midwatch in central station

Jan 20, 1944
At sea. Course North by East
Average 20 knots. 2 ?____? For company.
Watches 0400-0800 – 1600-2000
Subs alarm 11:30. ?_______? From able to Baker
Plus – 1201. I was in office at alarm

Jan 21, 1944
Third day at sea, course SE average 18 knots, weather warm.

Jan 22, 1944
4th Day at sea, course SE av 18 knots. Somewhere east of Florida or Bahamas. Weather almost hot. Ocean calm.

Sun. Jan 25, 1944
5th day at sea. Went topside Weather Perfect Very warm
Position – Somewhere in the South Seas. Destination believed to be Oran..
Due in Gibraltar approx Feb 1st. Ocean is as calm as a lake. Set clocks ahead 1 hr to T2? One time.

Jan 24, 1944
6th day at Sea, may be half way across. Submarine alarm at 6:46. Depth charges from destroyer awakened me. Set condition Baker plus 7:30 no attack. A beautiful day.

Jan 25, 1944
Set clocks 1 hr ahead to +1 zone time. Picked up submarine, no emergency set. Sub 15 miles away.
Expect more sub emergencies from here in. 7th day out at sea.

Jan 26, 1944
8th day out at sea. I still didn’t get sea sick looks like I won’t. Weather is getting cooler. Been busy since 0700 to 2400. I enjoyed the physical exercises on deck today.

Jan 27, 1944 Thursday
9th day out now getting into sub infested waters. One out there lurking around at 2200. Going on a 0000 – 0400 watch. We should be in the Mediterranean in a few days.

Jan 28, 1944 Friday
10th day at sea. Sub alarm at 11:30. Nice warm day.

Jan 29
Sighted land at 0700. Passed Rock of Gibraltar at 1800.

Jan 30 Sunday
Ship moored to pier in Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria at 0930. Went on liberty in Mers-el Kebir and Oran. Sure stinks.

Jan 31st
2nd day at Mers-el-Kebir
Ship moored to Jetty.

Feb 1, 1944
3rd day at Mers-el-Kebir
Feb 2, 1944
Underway at 0815. Destination Algiers, Algeria. Due at 0800 tomorrow.

Feb 3, 1944
Pulled into Algiers at 0900.

Feb 4, 1944
Beautiful weather. Went on liberty at ?? back aboard 1910. Saw movie on the fantail -Perfect Weather.

Feb 5 to 8th
Anchored in Algiers, Algeria. Went on liberty 8th, looked the town over good. Got a handful of foreign coins from an Arab boy.

Feb 9th
Away at 0800. Got one of my roughest rides in the navy. I nearly got sea-sick to the limit.

Feb 10th
Got letter & valentine from Helen. Somewhere in the Mediterranean supposed to go to Bizerte. Passed it and anchored a few miles in the Bay from Tunis at 1400.

Feb 11th
Away at 2000 – rough sea all night.

Feb 12, 1944 Saturday
Arrived at Palermo, Sicily 0630. Refueled. Captain made a speech. Away 1225 for the Naples area. Expect action tonight. Off watch went topside just in time to see “The Isle of Capri” at 5:15 pm. Naples on the starboard bow. Anchored 2000 yards from Naples, Italy 620 pm

Feb 13, 1944 Naples
General alarm at 05:00. Unidentified planes. Secured at 0515. Went back to bed. A movie in the hangar in afternoon. 4:00 pm underway, anchored 5:30 pm Cold weather. Underway at 6:00 pm.
M.D.? midwatch. Going to bombard the Nazis tomorrow.

Feb 14, 1944
At 0900 to 1500 we blasted 4 targets at Anzio. Shore batteries returned fire.
Winged our own P.80?? by mistake. Anchored at Naples approx 2200. Good job done.

Feb15, 1944
Underway at 0600 for Anzio. In fire area 11:00 to 3:00 pm. Good air cover kept bombers off. Shore batteries hurled 12” shells at us but scored nothing. Plenty of dog fights overhead. Anchored at Naples 6:00 pm

Feb 16
Spent the day at anchor in the bay at Naples. At 8:00 pm had air raid scare. Unidentified planes proved to be friendly.

Feb 17, 1944
A quiet day today. Fire in L.J. locker. We are on a ½ hr notice to go wherever we may be needed. Anchored all day just off Naples.

Feb 18, 1944
Underway at 0900 anchored on the other side of Mt. Vesuvius. Came back to Naples in afternoon. Submarine emergency at 2000. A few depth charges were dropped.

Feb 19, 1944
Underway at 0300 arrived at fire support area 0900. Stayed & fired until 5:00 pm. All firing effective. Pulled out and are heading at battle area at 0900 tomorrow. Tough goin these days. Was at G.Q. all day, then were on 2 section watches.

Feb 20, 1944
We steamed all day and last night or ever since we finished firing at the Anzio beachhead yesterday. We penetrated into enemy waters as far as Rome trying to locate some enemy warships and to sink them. No luck so anchored at Naples some time this afternoon while I was asleep.

Feb 21, 1944
Hung around Naples area from Pompeii to Naples. 1 false air raid alarm.

Feb 22, 1944
Anchored most of the day at Pompeii ____ underway and anchored at Naples. Air raid alarm at 11:30 pm

Feb 23, 1944
3rd section rated a sightseeing & recreation leave for 3 hrs. Went through all the ruins of the historical city of Pompeii. 8 men & our Jr. officer in charge. Walked through Passuito or something like that or else it was Torre Annunziata.. Will find out what name later.

Feb 24
Stayed in Naples area more or less a peaceful day. A G.Q. at 11:50. AA fire ashore.

Feb 25
Underway at 0300. Arrived at Anzio but couldn’t do any firing on account of bad ___ & very rough weather. Cruised around there most of the day then anchored at Naples area.

Feb 26
Underway again at 0800 for Anzio. Arrived in fire area 0830. A well done for today. Gave the Nazis hell all day. Destroyed all targets. Started fires. Anchored 0900 off Naples.

Feb 27th
Been here all day waiting for the next job.

Feb 28th
Still anchored off Naples. Nothing happened for 2 days.

Feb 29th to March 6th
Have been anchored about 3 miles or less off the coast of Naples, Italy

March 7th
At 1730 underway for Palermo, Sicily. Due there around 0600.

March 8th
Docked at Palermo, Sicily 0630. 2 & 4 section rated liberty.

March 9th
1st & 3rd section liberty from 1300 to 1800. I & Issy went ashore in Palermo.

March 10th
Underway 0800 anchored at Naples 0730. Air raid alert, a few planes, shore batteries & AA & Brooklyn opened up.

March 11th
Anchored off at the coast of Naples more or less a peaceful day.

March 12th
Went up to Anzio for shore bombardment & gun positions. Very rough weather & fog prevented any action.

March 13th
Up at Anzio again, arrived at fire support area but couldn’t get in close enough. The Germans with their big guns almost shot the ass of us.

March 14th
A beautiful day spent at the coast of Naples all quiet.

March 15th
At 0200 GQ sounded I was right in the middle of that long letter I promised Helen. We really had the _____ air raid action that I was in. Bombs really came down but not very close to us. Lots of people killed in Naples. Around 6 planes. Shot one down. Moved out tonight in case of another attack on the harbor, maybe the heinies get pictures but ___ of location of ships. Flares were dropped. We set out smoke pots.

March 16, 1944 Thursday
At 7:20 pm a couple of us talking about yesterday’s raid GQ sounded. Well we happened to move to Torre Annunziata for tonight. Red alert over in Naples. Nothing happened this side.

March 17th Friday
Naples to Torre Annunziata Been shifting around. Had field day & inspection

March 18th Saturday
Enemy planes in vicinity broke up captain’s personnel inspection. Mt. Vesuvius is acting up sending molten lava down the mountainside from her eruption

March 19th Sunday
Supposed to have gone to Anzio but army called it off. Mt. Vesuvius still boiling.

March 20th Monday
Anchored off Torre Annunziata.. Quiet all day. Mt. Vesuvius is going to town.

March 21st
Submarine emergency & enemy nuisance planes made it just enough for G.Q. Mt. Vesuvius is getting worse & really is pouring out molten red hot lava. This hadn’t happened for many years. Quite a sight at night with all the mountain sides all red.

March 22nd
Submarine emergency at 1100 pm. Kept us awake for about until 2:30 am.
___ we caught only half though with _____ Depth charged hell out of ____.
Mt Vesuvius is now starting to send smoke & dust that rises for miles.

March 23rd
Mt. Vesuvius is tossing so much dust we’re using our fog horn. I got a handful of lava dust from topside for a souvenir. The whole ship is covered with dust.

March 24th
Wind shifted some & getting no dust in morning. Field Day. Cleaned all the ship only to have Vesuvius give more dust which means clean tomorrow. Anyway pulled out of this afternoon & anchored off Naples out of the Vesuvius dust. For some reason or other shore batteries AA fire put up a barrage. Went topside to see the show. Practice.

March 25th
A quiet day and night anchored off Naples.

March 26th
G.Q at 1100 pm. Our night fighters intercepted enemy bomber. None got through to us.

March 27th
Quiet except for one GQ. Planes proved to be friendly.

March 28th
All peaceful even Vesuvius.

March 29th
All quiet and peaceful

March 30th
Underway at 2130 destination Palermo

March 31
All day and night at sea
Arrived Palermo 1800

April 1
Left Palermo 0600 destination Mers-El-Kebir, Algeria.

April 2
All day & night underway. Drills, drills & drills until 1800

April 3

April 4 – 11th
In Mers-El-Kebir – was on liberty for 2 days. I didn’t go today the 11th (Dance??)

April 12 to May 6th
I haven’t kept track of the days etc.
Followed the dope sheet & tried to catch up with this book.

April 12th
Underway at 0715 bound for Palermo – Battle problem

April 13th
At sea. Dawn G.Q.

April 14th
Moored to pier at Palermo 0930

April 15th
Palermo – personnel inspection

April 16th
Was to church – main deck aft
Went on liberty in Palermo

April 17th, 18th, 19th
Drills, instruction etc.

April 20th
Ins. Drills etc

April 21st
Ins. Drills etc

April 22nd

April 23rd
Church – Holiday Routine

April 24th
Went on sightseeing trip to Shrine of St Rosalie atop Mt. Pellegrino.
Catacombs & _____

April 25th
____ drills etc.

April 26th & 27th
Same thing

April 28th
Went on an all day ___ & sightseeing trip 30 miles from Palermo. Tombs, beaches, went swimming, played baseball, had a good time except for ____ in the _______.

April 29th
Ins, drills, lecture etc.

April 30th
Sunday – Routine ___

May 1
Liberty in Palermo

May 2
Admiral’s inspection in whites. Locker inspection. Material inspection and ____ problem

May 3rd – 6th
_____________________ On liberty in Palermo. Bought some junk. Will try to keep this accurate from now on.

May 7th
Underway 11:00 pm arrived Naples May 8th 8:00 am

May 8th
Anchored off Naples

May 9th
Shifting anchorage now in Sorrento Bay Italy below Naples.

May 10th
Back in Naples

May 11th

May 12th
Naples – Field Day inspection

May 13th
Naples – Per Inspection

May 14th – Mothers Day
At 0430 this morning 12 German bombers give us a bombing. I counted 20 heavy explosions but non were close to us. At 0615 underway for Anzio Beachhead. Arrived fire support ___ at 0900. At GQ all day. Fired 506 salvos at 6 different targets, main gun emplacements! A very well done. Going back tomorrow.

May 15th
Anzio was cancelled on account of Admiral Huitt was coming aboard.
Moved to Passullio at night. Back in Naples had a few alerts. Believe Naples was bombed again. I heard ___ We were at GQ just in case.

May 16th
Anchored above Naples. Believe in Passullio or Torre Annunziata. Had 1 ½ hr liberty in Naples. Moved to Naples in afternoon. Did not get any raid tonight.

May 17th
At 0600 left for ?Fornih? (Bay of Gaeta) and arrived at 10:00 stayed & fired until 4:00. Fired 330 rounds blowing up ammunition & supply dump many _______, ___________ and ________. A raid right now 5 to 11 in Naples. 1 hr of GQ nothing happened. We shelled a town ITBE today. Put out one big gun which was shelling our troops very hard.

May 18th
Shifted berths from Naples to Passullio at 0600. Picked up which was believed to be a 2 man submarine which put us underway and GQ for most of the night.

May 19th
Another Field Day and inspection. An air raid ____Naples bringing on another GQ at 3:30. Nothing happened. Secure at 5:00

May 20th
Shifting berths ____ a routine ______ ______ day.

May 21st
Had an everyday ____ on a 2 hour liberty in Naples. Bought some junk.

May 22nd
There was liberty for 2 hrs in Naples for 100 men. At 23:00 underway for Anzio.

May 23rd
Arrived in Anzio at the fire support area. It was still dark. The destroyer Laub crossed our bow and we had a collision. We fired 80 rounds and had Brooklyn relieve us. Hobbled back to Naples. Got there at 6:30 pm. Had air cover most of the way back. Saw dead aviator in water.

May 24th
Been in Naples all last night and today until 6:00 pm. Been making ship seaworthy to make it to Malta. Left at dark for there.

May 25th
At sea – plenty of air cover. Passed through Strait of M?? at 7:00 pm.

May 26th
Arrived in Malta around 0800. Finally moored alongside British cruiser Dido around 11:00 am. I had liberty in the town of Valletta from 4:30 to 8:00. Picked up souvenirs. Prices very high.

May 27th
Kuta went on Liberty. We went into drydock.

May 28th
In Malta had x-ray taken of my shoulder.

May 29th
I went on a sightseeing trip to the town of Robot. Went by bus. Was to the San Antonio Garden, St. Paul’s church and a church made into a Dome. Rode through the countryside from Robot had view of Valletta, Sliema and the Bay of St. Paul and the famous island where the shipwreck of St Paul or something to that effect. In Valletta had my picture taken, then went to see what club 41 looked like. Was off the ship from 3:00 to 9:30 pm.

May 30th
Routine day

May 31st
Went to the Royal Navy Hospital in ?Becky? Had my feet checked. Left at 0900. Came back to ship 13:30.

June 1st
Turned into Sick Bay with 103 degree temp. Had diarrhea & stomach cramps. Many others are affected with same thing probably from the water.

June 2nd
Spent in Sick Bay

June 3rd
In Sick Bay

June 4th
Out of Sick Bay at 0900. Back to work in the office.

June 5th
Stayed aboard. Routine day.

June 6th
Routine day

June 7,8,9,10
Routine. Still in drydock. May be here for weeks.

June 11 to 23rd
Passing time away aboard ship. Been aboard since May 31 when I was to the R. N. Hospital. The 22nd I went with a swimming party at Rivera Beach above Rabot. Had a nice time.

June 23rd
Am leaving at 3:00 pm for ___ Army Hospital in _____ to have a special shoe made for me.

June 23 to July 30
Out of drydock on the 28th moored in Grand? Harbor 29th a long 2 months spent in Malta – had air alerts the 28th & 29th.

July 31st
At sea – drills & target practice

Aug 1st
At sea – drills & target practice

Aug 2nd
At Sea heading for Palermo. Target practice & drills on way.

Aug 3 & 4th
At Palermo took on stores and ammunition – underway at 1100 for Taranto, Italy.

Aug 5
Arrived Taranto 1030.
Got 4 hr liberty.

Aug 6 to 10
Anchored in Bay off Taranto, Italy.

Aug 11
Underway at 1400. Captain reveals invasion plans of Southern France. I guessed Yugo??

Aug 12 to 14th
At Sea – Tarato via Sicily Bizerte Along African Coast part? Sardinia & Corsica.

Aug 15th
The big day is here. We attacked at dawn. We were 1 of 3 task forces (the Delta) comprised of 2 American Battleships, 2 French cruises and us 2 French Destroyers and 8 American Destroyers, 10 transports, joined up with L.S.Ts etc. attached it ?____? Wave hit the beach an hour later. Many bombers (ours) gave the nazis hell. Been at G.Q from early morning until 11:00 at night. Cruised around all night and during the day. Knocked out gun positions on the 16th. At GQ all day again until late at night. A few German bombs were dropped, mines were swept up and destroyed. Plenty of explosions but have things under control. Lots of alerts etc. planes & subs. The 17th was about the same. Fired a few rounds here and there. Hundreds of ships all over. 12 destroyers, 3 cruisers & 2 battleships left during the afternoon us and 2 French cruisers and 2 destroyers went to Corsica. Arrived late at night to refuel. Left on the 18th at 2:30 in the afternoon. At dawn we arrived to take over some islands near the French shore near Toulon. Have enough planes to sink the islands. Ultimatum was sent for them to give up. 2 of them did. Our truce party was fired upon. We on the 19th are going to land fresh Marine troops on the other island. Lots of confusion going on. Been eating sandwiches for a long time now.

All day on the 19th we fired along with other cruisers on this one island that refused to surrender. Tough job trying to knock out their mobile guns. They fire on the ships shelling Toulon and make it a big nuisance. Did not land troops.

On the 20th we bombarded the island and also the mainland of France. Been at GQ all day and practically all night.

On the 21st one of our planes was shot down. We lost our pilot and radio man. The pilot was talking to me just before he went up. On the 20th we came were close to getting hit by shore batteries. The 21st we went at G.Q at 6:00 am and stayed until 12:00 at night. We set condition III and I had the mid to 4:00 am. Reveille at 4:30. What a life. Sure is rugged.

The 22nd
About the same as any of the other days. We blasted them and they shot back. I saw lots of shell splashes around ships, but none got hit. The enemy sure is getting a pounding. ___ planes are out of the sky. A close one aft today exploded in our wake.

The 23rd
We been bombarding pretty hard. Knocked out many German guns. Started fires that burned all night. We stay right in the area all night. Open up on them in the morning.

The 24th
We were supposed to go to Marseille but it has fallen during the night so we didn’t go until we cruised around some part of the coast of France plowing through a mine field all day. About 25 minesweepers were sweeping. We didn’t fire our main battery at all today. Just sent off planes for spotting. Shot at mines with our 40’s. ___ ____ ____ Seen the Quincy firing at the beach. We _____ from G.Q at 9:30. Had first hot meal in many days. Been eating sandwiches for 10 days now.

Aug 26th
Been patrolling the French coast day and night. All day we have been having trouble with one island that didn’t give up. Yet we can’t find their guns.

Aug 27th
Fired a few rounds. Our spotting planes are in the air constantly but they can’t find anything. I’m sure tired of G.Q’s and sandwiches.

Aug 28th
We pulled into the Bay of Tropez or __________. Have not had alerts & raids since at Naples.

Aug 29th
Haven’t been at G.Q. for all day. Well I guess will have to catch up with the office work. _____ took on ____ & refueled.

Aug 30th
Say the grub is lousy and not enough. I’m getting sick of these watches. Pulled into the bay about 1 mile from the coast. Land sure looks good especially the part of France looks more like home. We were supposed to leave for the States but were ordered to stay on more. We have actually been on our way.

August 31st
Kuta was transferred. Went back to the States on the Quincy. I guess we will go too. Yesterday we captured the Island, rather they finally gave up to this ship. Our detachment of Marines rounded up 800 Germans. The marines came aboard with all kinds of booty.

Sept. 1, 1944
Been at anchor all day in the Bay. Again the long, boring days are here. Wish we could get started back. All is under control around here. What a dog’s life this waiting.

Sept 2, 1944
Anchored in Bay of Tropez, France.

Sept 3rd
Bombarded & dispersed approximately 5000 troops by firing over Monte Carlo, France. Patrolled area around Nice.

Sept 4th
Anchored Gulf of Lyons, outside of Marseilles, France.

Sept 5th
Shifted berths, refueled in Gulf of St Tropez, France.

Sept 6th
Underway for Corsica to take on Supplies & Ammunition. I was on a 2 hr recreation & sightseeing trip. We went over in a LCT. Saw good scrap at St Tropez.

Sept 7th
Arrived Corsica in Propriano. Took on supplies, ammunition & fuel oil and gas.

Sept 8th
Arrived at St. Tropez Bay, France. Picked up 3 crews of human torpedoes. Brought prisoners aboard. Saw my first line enemy today.

Sept 9th
Anchored Gulf of St. Tropez. Picked up another Nazi. American planes are active.

Sept 10th
Still hunting human torpedoes. Anchored at Gulf of St Tropez.

Sept 11th
Anchored at Gulf of St. Tropez.

Sept 12th
Anchored in Gulf of St Tropez. Underway at 0000 for Toulon.

Sept 13th
Arrived Toulon.

Sept 14th
Went on 4 hr liberty in Toulon. Actually got only 2 hours out of it. Picked up a few minor things for souvenirs.

Sept 15th, 1944
Tied up in outer harbor of Toulon, France. Have been catching them 2 man suicide human torpedoes left & right.

Sept 16th
Underway at 0645, had personnel inspection.

Sept 17th.
Arrived Ajaccio, Corsica, took on supplies.

Sept 18th
Underway 0900 arrived St. Tropez, France, anchored in outer bay.

Sept 19th
Anchored outer bay of St. Tropez, France, ________ Corsica

Sept 20th
Underway at 11:00 for Palermo, Sicily.

Sept 21st
Arrived Palermo and moved to Jetty behind Brooklyn at 0800.

Sept 22, 1944
Palermo, Sicily. Taking on stores.

Sept 23, 1944
Palermo, Sicily. Held Field Day. Underway 1700

Sept 24, 1944
At Sea

Sept 25 & 26th
At Sea

Sept 27th
Arrived St. Tropez, France.

Sept 28th
Anchored in Bay of St. Tropez.

Sept 29th
At Sea
Sept 30, Oct 1 & 2
At sea around St Tropez, France

October 3rd
Bay of St Tropez, France

Oct 4th
Gulf of Juan, France

October 5
Toulon, France

Oct 6,7,& 8
Anchored outer bay of Toulon, France

Oct 9th
Underway 2400 for Naples

Oct 12th
Arrived Naples, Italy

Oct 13 to 19
Anchored at Naples in Bay about 1 mile. _________ this time had a N.S.O. show aboard, commendation awarded etc.

October 20, 1944
Underway at 1600. Captain told us we were going to go home.

Oct 21
At Sea bound for Oran, Algeria.

Oct 22nd
Arrived Mers-el-Kebir, 7 miles from Oran.

Oct 23 to 25
Moored to seawall at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria.

Oct 26th
I have not kept an accurate record from Sept 14 to Oct 25th. I wrote all that down by following the “plan of the Day” file.

Anyway, today is the day we got underway for the good old U.S.A. at 1700. Will be passing through the Straights of Gibraltar in the A.M. Due to arrive in N.J. approximately Nov 7th, just one day late for my anniversary. Nov is a lucky month. Been underway 5 hours now. It’s 2200, I got a mid coming up in 1 hr and 25 minutes.
Think I’ll crawl in the sack. Whoopie! Goin home. I wonder if anyone can guess how I feel right now. No mines!!!!

October 27, 1944
Held field day, no inspection, General Quarters for drill in the afternoon. A watch coming up.

Oct 28
Our 3rd day out since we left Mers-el-Kebir. It’s wonderful with no subs to worry about. It’s wonderful knowing you’re going home and a leave coming up etc. We should be in the 6th or the 7th. Too bad I can’t be with Helen on the 6th,

Oct 29,30,31 Nov 1,2
At sea. Heading for home.

Nov 3rd
We are now about 900 miles from Philadelphia. This trip across seems like ages. The history report of this ship is driving me crazy. Between the watches and everything the anxiety of getting back etc. is almost too much.

Nov 6th
Am now entering the bay at the mouth of the Delaware River. Will be in Philadelphia around 4 o’clock this afternoon. Came home on my anniversary. If only I could at least get off a telegram. I hope I get off the ship to call Helen.


9 May 1945 (Wednesday)
Left pier 5 Navy Yard Philadelphia at 0800, a slow run down the Delaware River, anchored at 1315 in the Bay of Delaware.

10 May 1945 (Thursday)
Got underway at 0600, maneuvered around in the Delaware Bay, put her up to 23 knots. Anchored at 1330 just off Cape May, N.J.

11 May 1945 (Friday)
We got underway at 1000, I got out of Field Day by setting the watch. This was about the only good thing that happened for today as far as I’m concerned.
After dinner a G.Q drill that lasted until 1615 followed by a fire drill until 1700. Had time only for supper and do the dope sheet for Ciccone as he was sick as hell then set the 2000 to mid watch. Going to take a shower now, set my watch one hour and 27 minutes ahead, so right off the bat I loose just that much sleep. G.Q to be held at 0550. I sure sweated it out today. We are headed for South America, probably will get there in ? days. I’m not thrilled one bit that I’m going there. I wonder if I should be. Today we really did get on our way.

12 May 1945 (Saturday)
We have been traveling in a south easterly direction for ten days now. The weather is getting quite warm. Had another early morning G.Q. until 10:00 A.M. Stood a 12 to 4 morning and 8 to mid watch.

13 May 1945 (Sunday)
Another early G.Q. also was on watch midnight to 4:00 A.M. The weather out is cloudy in A.M. Sighted land! Part of the West Indies. It is getting hot. Temperature in the office is well above 100 degrees at all times.

14 May 1945 (Monday)
Passed 10 miles off Puerto Rico. It’s really torture to stay below decks especially during General Quarter Drills when the ship is buttoned.

15 May 1945 (Tuesday)
Still at sea heading for Trinidad. Routine drills same as yesterday.

16 May 1945 (Wednesday)
Dropped the hook in the Gulf of Paria just off Trinidad Naval Base and Port of Spain at 1000. Sure was good to get some of these doors open again and get a bit of air. Had G.Q. this morning and fire drill this afternoon.

17 May 1945 (Thursday)
Underway at 0730. General Quarters all morning. How I did sweat in 109 degree temperatures. Had dinner and then G.Q. for the rest of the afternoon. Just before chow had collision drill. Anchored after chow in the Gulf of Paria just off Trinidad, South America.

18 May 1945 (Friday)
Underway at 0815, G. Q. for 2 hours in morning. In the afternoon had “collision drill,” “Fire on ship along side drill,” Fire and Rescue drill.”
Held Field Day in between and done office work at night. This is rough duty. Anchored late.

19 May 1945 (Saturday)
Underway at 0815 with G.Q and all the drills imaginable. Been at some kind of drill or other all day. Sure am sweating it out. It’s hot down here just off Port-of-Spain in Trinidad, Gulf of Paria etc. Anchored at 1800. Worked in the office until midnight, slept topside.

20 May 1945 (Sunday)
Worked all day in the office. Underway at 0815. Had G.Q. at 1950 to 2030. Kuta and I were ____ from G. Q. to continue office work. Anchored at 2100 in Gulf of Paria.

21 May 1945 (Monday)
Underway at 0815 – drills all day long, gunnery practice etc. It is very hot in the office, temperature reaches up to 109 degrees at times. We are supposed to be getting trained to stand this type of weather I guess. Anchored late around 2000. Worked until midnight again. Slept topside.

22 May 1945 (Tuesday)
Underway at 0815 again, same routine as yesterday, still sweating it out and how.

23 May 1945 (Wednesday)
Underway at 0745 today. Didn’t have anything much in drills outside of sweating out a 2 hour G.Q.

24 May 1945
Got underway at 0900, kind of late. No drills or G.Q. at all. All this time we have been in the Gulf of Paria off Trinidad, S. A.

25 May 1945
Spent most of the morning holding Field Day. In afternoon I went with Captain & First Lieutenant on an Inspection of the ship. Took 4 pages typewritten of notes. Also this afternoon the port watch left for Scotland Bay recreation center just off Trinidad.

26 May 1945 (Saturday)
Had personnel inspection in A.M. This is a day for me to remember. At 11:00A.M. embarked on boat for a ride of 1 hour and 15 minutes to ___ Recreation Center on one of the islands off South America. Getting there it rained and poured all the way over. Talk about tropical rain. The ride was miserable and couldn’t enjoy the scenery as we sailed past the numerous islands. During the afternoon we had rain and sunshine mixed. The place where we were was very beautiful, something you see in the movies with the ___ green trees, especially coconut trees. The ship supplies eats, beer etc. Everyone had a good time. No civilian ___ on the Island. Most of the way back it also rained. Bought a pocketbook for Helen that was being sold at the pavilion there.

27 May 1945 (Sunday)
Got underway for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at 0700. Spent all day with drills.

28 May 1945 (Monday)
Again drills to make your head spin. Had a 4 hour full ____ run. Expect to get to Cuba in morning.

29 May 1945 (Tuesday)
Anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at 0900. Did not have too many drills. Am spending lots of late hours on office work. Even am ____ from watch.

30 May 1945 (Wednesday)
Underway at 1700 for more maneuvers. Going back about half way to Trinidad.

31 May 1945 (Thursday)
At 1200 noon went to G.Q.

1 June 1945 (Friday)
12 noon came out of G.Q. Spent the last 24 hours at our battle station. Worked until 10:30 in office. Going to go sleep topside.

June 2nd to 4th 1945
Speeded on to the States. Moored to Pier 5 N.O.B. Norfolk at 1200. Was no liberty today. Had our material Inspection the 5th & 6th. Kuta let me go over in his place on liberty. On the 6th called Helen but didn’t dare make arrangements for her to come down as we were supposed to be leaving anytime.

Well we have been on a 24 hour notice and kept staying on day after day so Helen and I took a chance. She came to Norfolk on 10 June 1945 as I was sure I would see her that day. Didn’t know how much longer we would be in Norfolk after that. We pulled out suddenly on the 14th, no way I could let Helen know. We were only out in the Chesapeake Bay for 5 days coming in again to Norfolk the 19th. Sure was surprised to find Helen still there. She found out thru the Navy Y.M.C.A. that we would be back. We on the ship had no idea as to our fate. We have been in Norfolk up until July 3rd 1945. Again we pulled out in a sneak like fashion. Couldn’t let Helen know a thing. I have been with Helen every day that liberty was granted except 2. Liberty ran every second day but Kuta turned over practically all of his liberties to me.

July 3rd and 4th and 5th we have been out in the Chesapeake Bay again. As I write this this minute, July 5th 10 minutes after 12 noon, we are again heading into N.O.B. Norfolk. I don’t know if I will see Helen again even if she is sticking around like the last time. I doubt if there will be liberty. We will, I believe, be going somewhere tomorrow as we are to take on 100% fuel. This winds me up to 12:12 noon July 5th 1945. (I hope to keep an accurate record in this little book from now on.)

July 9, 1945
We left the bay where we were anchored off Norfolk at 0600 July 6th. We have been steaming at 25 knots heading for Europe – two cruisers, us and the Augusta. We are in the lead. The Augusta is carrying the President for the coming world conference near Berlin. Both ships are wearing whites. This really is a pleasure cruise with movies at night on the main deck, no watches to stand etc.

11 July 1945
Last night July 10th just before the movies “The Adventures of Robin Hood” Admiral McCann told us that we are heading for Antwerp, Belgium. On the Augusta are such dignitaries as President of the United States Truman, Sec of State Byrnes, Stettinius and a whole stack of staffs, reporters, advisors etc heading for the Big Three Conference at Pottsdam near Berlin.

Today July 11th we started wearing Blues. It is cold here in the North Atlantic. One would never think it is July. Topside boys are wearing foul weather jackets. Good sleeping anyway, nice & cool in the compartments, no subs to worry about, not a bad cruise at all.

It is expected to arrive in Antwerp around Saturday A.M. sometime. Also it is expected that we may get some liberty there. I hope to be able to find something nice for Helen for her birthday, July 26th. The trip so far has been O.K. Calm water practically all the way. They have taken a lot of moving pictures of the two ships the past few-days. I’ll probably never get to see them in the newsreels. Who cares. I was there HA. Would rather be with my honey.

12 to 15th July 1945
Continued our journey to Europe. Passed by the white cliffs of Dover at 1700 the 14th. I was topside taking it all in. We were met by part of the British Navy the morning of the 14th, 1 cruiser and 6 corvettes. Around 1900 we had passing honors. The British fleet passed by to our port. They gave the president the old HIP; HIP; HOORAY. They escorted us during that day through the channel and British waters.

During the early morning hours we entered the long & winding river leading to Antwerp, Belgium. I got off watch at 0715, had breakfast and went topside where I stayed until noon, taking in the beautiful countryside of Belgium. It has miles and miles of flat land. The Belgian people waved at us as we passed them by along the river banks. 8 spitfires were constantly circling overhead throughout the day.

We moved to a pier behind the Augusta at the Red Star line at 1000. The president and all the official party, a line of cars and assorted vehicles of about 35 pieces went by around 11:15. I got just a very short glimpse of the president. Crowds of Belgians lined the streets and cheered the president as he went by standing in the back seat of an open car waving his hat at them.

At 1600 I went ashore in Antwerp. Ciccone and I took 8 pictures. I bought some picture cards and a statue of a little girl carrying two pails of milk for a souvenir. Antwerp doesn’t seem to be battered any too much. People are friendly, no begging and no tipping as far as I could see. I think the Italian nation took a pretty good pasting compared to this part of Europe. I walked all over Antwerp. It got dark around 2220. There is about 19 hours of daylight here. Most everyone in Antwerp can speak English, even better than the average run of foreign people in Forest City. I was in a church. Inside was really a _______. I find that the churches of Europe are really beautiful. A lot of money is put into them. I hope to go to Brussles tomorrow if we are still here. I took a picture in front of this church - that is Ciccone took it.

I talked to a lot of American soldiers and really got first hand dope on things in Germany etc. Spent about 3 hours in an American Red Cross lounging section talking with different soldiers. Antwerp isn’t a bad place. It is about the cleanest city I’ve seen in Europe. It is cleaner than Philadelphia. I see thousands of German prisoners in their wire stockade as we came down the river. I hope to be able to get to that part of the town and look those supermen over.

July 16th
I had the duty, stayed aboard, wrote a few letters and worked in the office.

July 17th
Ciccone, Foriska and I took a train to Brussels 4:00. Took 8 pictures there. All I bought was a few postal cards. A photographer on the street took our picture. Got three of them each. 25 francs for 3 pictures. Comes out about 40 cents or so. We hiked around the streets of Brussels hunting their famous statue menakinpis. Took a few pictures standing in front of it. Brussels is not badly busted compared to what I expected. The people have all debris cleared away already. Good going for them. Left Brussels at 7:00 arrived Antwerp 8:00. Met Jim Kaminsky and his friend, had two real American coca colas apiece. Stayed in Antwerp until it got dark at 10:30 listening to the soldiers’ tales of the war. There are only a few hours of darkness here in Belgium at best I’m sure this time of the year. Hopped a train for the ship, on board at 11:15.

July 18th
I had the duty, stayed aboard and worked in the office.

July 19th
I decided to go ashore alone and go to camp Tophat. No one wanted to go so I went myself. As I neared the walking tunnel I met a sailor from our ship who also was alone. The two of us decided to go see how everything is on the other side of the river. We walked through the tunnel, took about 15 minutes to get to the other end. What a ____ on the other end. One side has escalators but the Germans bombed out the other so wooden steps were put in. We walked toward the American army and British army camp. Also British and American prison camps are there. We went to the American camp named Tophat. We were treated extraordinarily swell by the soldiers. We spent the afternoon there, had chow and drank two glasses of beer. All these soldiers here are to be sent to the states and be discharged. All combat infantrymen, a bunch of real men. They took us around the prison camp. We were not allowed in so had to view the supermen through the fence.

We got back to Antwerp walking through the same tunnel around 7:15. As we were on the way back to the ship, tired as all heck from our long walking during the day, come upon one of the public squares where a lot of people have gathered. I asked a sailor what goes on and he said the Philadelphia band was going to have a concert for the people of Belgium. Around 7:30 when it was to be held it threatened to rain but didn’t. Around 8:00 people were wondering if it was called off or not. In a few minutes Mr. Pickett from our ship told me that it was called off and to let a few of the people know so they could pass the word around. A few minutes later a Belgian woman asked us if they were to have it next day. Well we got to talking with her, me, the guy I was with all day and another sailor who joined us. The lady spoke very good English. We talked with her until it was almost dark. Before she left she invited the three of us to come to her home for a visit and a cup of tea and to continue an intellectual conversation. We then left to see a V-2 bomb, but couldn’t find it from the directions she gave us, so went back to the ship.

July 20
I stayed aboard.

July 21st
I felt very sick. Didn’t know if I should go ashore or not, but dressed up and went along the waterfront, sat down in a park bench until 3:00. Left the ship at 1:00. I sat there wondering why I have not received any mail from Helen since we had around 5 mail calls already. I thought about home and Helen every minute while sitting on that bench, looking at the Schelle River.

At 3:30 I went to the spot where the three of us were to meet but only one showed up so the two of us went to the lady’s house at 4:00. Her husband a Sgt. on the police force came home at 5:00. We had something to eat and he broke out a bottle of his ____ wine. It was very good. I didn’t want to take any at first because I didn’t feel good. He said this will fix you up. So I had 2 small glasses. It really was excellent, the best alcoholic beverage I ever drank. We sat there at the kitchen table talking about the Germans and the war etc. It was very interesting. They had three small children, Jack around 9 years and MaryLaine age 13 and one around 4 years old. I forgot his name – one boy in the Belgian army and a girl working for the American army somewhere in Germany. This girl has according to her mother suffered the horrors of hell, being imprisoned by the Germans etc and taken to Germany. She was released after the fall of Germany. The conversation was most interesting. The people are very clean, have a very nice apartment. They treated us swell. They live at 72 Kloasterstract. I think it was swell of them to take to us the way they did. I hope to get something for the kids as a token of my appreciation.

22 July
I had the duty 22 July. Stayed aboard. Still no mail. This is rough duty. I’ll bet a lot of sailors would like it.

July 23rd
Just came aboard 11:00 P.M. Left the ship at 1:30. First I better finish telling about the 21st. After we left Mr & Mrs. Florans place Blood and I went to a movie, paid 10 francs. Saw Cary Grant in an American picture, spoken in English and all but the name flashed on the screen was in Belgian so I don’t know the name yet. The newsreel I saw about President Truman etc arriving in Antwerp interested me very much. Was good to see our ship on the screen. Got home around 10:00.

The 22nd I had the duty. Jim Kaminski and his friend Palmer came to visit us. They came at 3:00 and left at 7:00. Sac, Fariska and I promised them we would come down to their camp at Tampico Flats. Well as we left the ship at 1:30 together, Saconi wanted beer. I can’t stomach the stuff they sell here. I told him I’d wait for him in the park. Both of them went in and when they stayed longer than I thought they should I went to Tampico Flats myself. It finally wound up that these two didn’t came at all.

As I got there Palmer was waiting. He and I ate supper. I used Jim’s mess gear. Around 5:00 Jim came home with his truck then had his supper. We waited for those two until 6:00, then Jim and Palmer took me around a bit at Tampico Flats. We spent an hour drinking 4 cokes apiece at 7:30 after Jim showed me his albums, very interesting. Showed me his souvenirs, gave me some German money for souvenirs.

We went to town getting there at 8:00. Went to a gov’t movie, free, saw “And Now Tomorrow.” I seen this picture back home with Helen. After the movie Jim and his friend took me to a place where they saw to it I got a bargain in buying Helen a lace tablecloth, a lace neckpiece, a handbag and a scarf. I now am satisfied I got some nice things for Helen from Belgium. Took a train home. Got here at 11:00. I believe we will be leaving Antwerp soon. Jim told me to try and get all day liberty and he would pick me up in his truck the 25th as he is making an 85 mile trip. I will try. I sure will get in some sightseeing. Going to write a letter now to Helen and go to sleep. 12:00 P.M. signing off 23 July.

24th July
Got the duty this day. I put in a chit for special liberty 0800 to 2100 to go sightseeing with Jim on his truck run near the French border. It was approved so quickly it made my head swim. I called Jim’s place, left message that arrangements were made for Wednesday are okay. Everything is going along pretty good except I have not received one particle of mail yet whereas some guys got as high as 15 letters. The only thing that keeps me from going buggy is that others also have not received any. Can’t do anything about it I guess, just keep on writing, hoping and waiting for it to come.

I went to sleep early, figuring on a tough, dusty and bouncing journey in the morning.

25th July
I got up early, washed up, ate breakfast, rolled up a pair of dungarees and ready to leave ship at 07:50, walked the few hundred feet to the gate where Jim was to pick me up. Well I waited and waited until 09:20 and no Jim. Well I was convinced that he wouldn’t show up now. I was so disappointed after being able to get the time off to go that instead of going somewhere by myself I went right back on the ship. I didn’t do a darn thing all morning. For all the good I was around here I may as well have gone to sleep.

At 1300 I went on regular liberty. Blood seen me before I left, asked if we shouldn’t take something over to the Florans and pay them a visit. We decided to go there after 4:00 PM. I went to a movie saw “Golden Bay.” Got out at 4:00, hopped a train to the park and then walked to Kloasterstract. I bought a 25 cent knife for one of the boys and Blood got one for the other one. The young kid wanted to go to America because they have nice shiny knives there.

We had fun with the kids. They speak a little English. The old man does about as good as my Pa which isn’t so good. The Mrs. Really knows how. I think she is using us to practice up a bit. She sure can talk. She fed us real honest to goodness fresh eggs. Boy what a difference compared to the powdered scrap we get here on the ship. I hate like heck to eat there when food is so scarce here in Belgium at the present time. To eat in restaurants is out of bounds for Allied servicemen.

The old man gave me a pre war 20 franc Silver piece after I mentioned I was trying to get some real coins for Tony is collecting them. 20 francs is worth about 70 or 75 cents. Blood gave him two dimes to make a pair of ear-rings for the old woman. We talked about things in America and she told us how things work in Belgium. The old man just sits there and takes it all in. We left there around 7:15, I believe. Promised to be back if we were still here and had the time to come over. It is good to know somewhere where you can drop in and sit in a nice big chair, look out of a window and take it easy when you realize if you didn’t know these people and didn’t have a place to go, it would be kind of dull.

Just the same there are lots of things one can do here, movies of all kinds and lots of free ones. The transportation is free to Servicemen. We left there and I took Blood downtown to meet Jim. Blood didn’t feel like waiting so went to a show. I felt like going too but I wanted to find out why Jim didn’t turn up. Finally around 8:00 P.M. he and Palmer came past Central Station. I started to walk toward him and he started to run just as if I was going to ring his neck. Well it so happened that he got my message okay, but they didn’t send his truck out today. First time in three weeks. It was too late to go to a movie so we sat outside of a beer joint and drank one beer and an orange soda apiece. The beer was enough to gag you. It’s the worst thing that’s supposed to be beer that I ever tasted. I left for the ship soon after getting home at 10:00. I then wrote Helen a letter, took a shower and went to sleep.

July 26th
Today is Helen’s birthday. I’ve been thinking about it all day. Again no mail whatsoever. I wrote Helen a letter, (3 pages). I cut 12 stencils today finished work at 5:30. It’s the best way to keep your mind from the mail situation. Dalton was down for a few minutes. Asked if I got any mail (none). Said today was the first day he didn’t get any since it started to come.

Tomorrow the 27th if we are still here I and Fariska will try and get in on the sightseeing trip the chaplain is sponsoring. Will get to see the collaborators in a concentration camp and a few other things which I still have to find out about. Will get to see where the Nazis had a torture camp. The only thing now is to get my name on the list. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

27 July 1945
Another one of those sneak pull outs that we have been making. The dope sheet said liberty for today but instead we got underway at 5:00 A.M. The sea was very rough all day up until around 4 in the afternoon. This evening we hit calm water. I think we got out of the English Channel by now. I think we are going to Plymouth or Portsmouth England. Anyway we will be at either at around 8 o’clock in the morning. This will be my first time for me in England. I hope we don’t stay here too long, just long enough to get some of the mail. I haven’t been getting and one liberty in England, then let’s get the heck home. I wonder if England has anything nice to sell for my honey. Going to bed 12:00 midnight on the dot.

28 July 1945
Arrived in Plymouth England at 0930. Moored to a buoy out in Bay. Augusta come along. She dropped the hook off our portside. There was no threatened personnel inspection. Stood watch, went over on liberty. All say it’s a heck of a place. I’ll go over to at least be able to say “I was in England.”

29 July
Went to church this morning on main deck aft. At 1400 went on liberty with the port watch. Had to get into small boat and land on shore. Stayed until 7:30 when I came back with our motor whale boat. Plymouth has been pretty well wrecked from bombs. For July I’d say the weather here is cold. Something like our middle September weather back home. I bought a few postal cards. Stores and shops have been closed most of the day. What a place. I went up into the light tower for a view of the harbor and landscape. Walked all over town surveying the damage. People here are not very well off. I think the people of Belgium are better off than this part of England. I’d hate like heck to be stuck here. I hope we get going for the States soon. We had another mail call today, as usual none for me. It’s getting the best of me. Going to bed at 10:00 P.M.

30 July
We still are moored to a buoy in the bay off Plymouth, England. From this port is where the Pilgrims left for America in 1600’s and settled in Jamestown. I never realized that such cool weather prevailed in England. I also got a good idea about the English fog. In the morning it really is thick. I didn’t rate liberty today. Kuta didn’t bother going over either. I’m sure I had enough of this place myself. I only went over just to be able to say I was in England.

31 July
Received my first mail since we left the States. Boy what medicine. I was beginning to worry I wouldn’t get any this trip as I think we will be leaving here any day now. I rated liberty today but stayed aboard and worked instead.

August 1, 1945
Got more mail from Helen. Gee I feel 100% better. Only trouble she hasn’t heard from me. Between yesterday and today we practiced up a bit on just how to go about honoring the President and the King of England who is expected here tomorrow. The president will come to the Augusta, the king on the British Battle Cruiser Renown anchored here in the Bay also. The way this ship is fussing you’d think the president and the King were coming on here. The guys are beating their chops about all the goings on. We were told that we would have to be at quarters tomorrow for the better part of the day.

August 2, 1945
We went to quarters at 08:30. We were supposed to man the rail when the president or King arrived but the English don’t have enough men on the Renown to man the rail so it’s been decided to fall in at quarters and break all rules by saluting in rank. This is for the King and President only. About 0930 the King goes by the farther end of the Bay in a motorboat to the Renown escorted by the other boats & Barges. We all stood stiff even though he was almost a mile away. The President came about a half hour later. We then waited for the President to leave the Augusta to have lunch with the King of England on the Renown. We were falling in and out of quarters every time a boat left the Augusta. No one seemed to know just when old Harry was going to disembark. Finally after all the rigamaroll, we notice the Augusta crew falling in at quarters. Well we all knew for sure the President was getting set to make the historic visit with the King of England. When he left he came nowhere near the Philadelphia. Same as at Antwerp he never even give us a side glance. I guess he was tired of looking at our rear end all the way over.

Well this gave all of us a chance to have our own chow. They started to fuel at 12:15. Lousy chow at that. Around 14:00 up at quarters again as the President was coming back to the Augusta. A half hour later the King paid a return visit to the Augusta. Another half hour the King gets off and his Barge comes right past the Philadelphia. We all got a good look at him standing at attention and holding a salute. We all in turn were at quarters holding our Salute. The King then made a B-Line for his ship. At least the King of England wasn’t as stuck up as old Harry. He let us take a look at him. Just as soon as the King was aboard the Renown, the Augusta weighed anchor, we were unshackled from the buoy and within 10 minutes were underway for the States. The Augusta went out into the Sound first. We followed, sailed past the Renown in passing honors. A British destroyer escorted us for about half an hour _______ it turned back for England. We then had to go back to quarters again as we passed the Augusta to take the lead in going home.

Almost immediately we started in ____ 29 knots and it is expected to make a run across the Atlantic in 5 days getting into Newport News the 7th of August at approximately 1800. Well I’m glad all the baloney is over. I hope there’s leave etc waiting for us when we get to the States. I’m disappointed to know that we are going back to Virginia again instead of maybe Philadelphia or N.Y. Well I guess going back to the States is all that matters.

August 3rd
The sea was very choppy today. No one was on the main deck today. The spray hit all over. I was surprised to find it so as the ship sailed as if it were calm seas. I guess the speed of 27 knots keeps her from bouncing around too much. Everything is coming along just fine, not too much work etc. Saw movie on main deck aft.

August 4th
The weather is starting to get a little warmer. Have been using blankets at night for the past three ___. In Belgium and England. It sure is unusual July weather as what I’ve been used to. We are still wearing blues today. No doubt the all whites will be worn soon. It sure is good to be crossing the Atlantic without worrying about a torpedo coming through the hull. Also no zigzagging 14 day trips at 14 knots. This is 27 or better on a straight run. Today I’ve been appointed War Bond Representative of the “R” Div. Just extra work. Got to see if I can’t get the boys to make out an allotment for war bonds,. Had my instruction today in ___ to answer any question concerning same. Movie call just sounded. Guess I’ll go up get some sea breeze. Maybe get interested in the picture. I sure am anxious to get home. I don’t want to ____ anymore. I hope we stay around at ___ a little while.

August 5th
I didn’t stay at the movie last night, went straight to my rack. The P.O. coaxed me out of bed at chow time. He’s quite a guy. We are a few days out from Norfolk. Still steaming in the 27 and over bracket. The weather is getting warmer now. You can enjoy a spell topside. No one knows how long we are to be in Newport News or where do we go from there. No dope at all. This morning I was contacting the men of our division to see if they wouldn’t make out allotments for War Bonds. As a War Bond Salesman I stink. I didn’t really try to sell them, simply asked them yes or no. Holiday routine today. I have been taking it rather easy. Everything is nice and quiet here in the office. I guess most everyone is taking Holiday Routine. I wrote Helen a long letter even if I will be talking to her on the phone before she gets it. I’ve been writing every day just the same. I hope we get at least a short leave when we get in.

August 6, 1945 (Written BEFORE news of Hiroshima in a letter to Tony, his brother)
As I write this we are one day out from the states heading for the same place we left from exactly one month ago. We come across the Atlantic in record time as far as any warship is concerned. Of course there are many that could do the same thing or even better but there never was the occasion where one did go through it. Truman broadcasted from the Augusta today, maybe you heard it.
What the heck is this I hear about the destructive bomb America has and intend to use on Japan if she doesn’t give up? Say that really is something ain’t it? Maybe they won’t need me after all in the Pacific.

The rest of the diary booklet is missing, but I think the above highlighted excerpt is an appropriate end to his narrative.

According to several online sources:
Philadelphia stood out of Narragansett Bay for Southampton, England on September 6th
They returned on September 25th as escort for the former German liner Europa. After operations in Narragansett Bay and in Chesapeake Bay she arrived in Philadelphia on October 26th 1945 then steamed for Le Havre, France on November 14th, where she embarked Army passengers for the return to New York on November 29th.. She made another “Magic Carpet” run from New York to Le Havre, returned in December, and arrived in Philadelphia for inactivation on January 9, 1946.
(Photos of these events are in my Dad’s album and are included on this website.