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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Away at 0800. Got one of my roughest rides in the navy. I nearly got
sea-sick to the limit.
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.
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
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
Winged our own P.80?? by mistake. Anchored at Naples approx 2200. Good
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
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
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.
Stayed in Naples area more or less a peaceful day. A G.Q. at 11:50.
AA fire ashore.
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.
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.
Been here all day waiting for the next job.
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
At 1730 underway for Palermo, Sicily. Due there around 0600.
Docked at Palermo, Sicily 0630. 2 & 4 section rated liberty.
1st & 3rd section liberty from 1300 to 1800. I & Issy went
ashore in Palermo.
Underway 0800 anchored at Naples 0730. Air raid alert, a few planes,
shore batteries & AA & Brooklyn opened up.
Anchored off at the coast of Naples more or less a peaceful day.
Went up to Anzio for shore bombardment & gun positions. Very rough
weather & fog prevented any action.
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.
A beautiful day spent at the coast of Naples all quiet.
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
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
March 20th Monday
Anchored off Torre Annunziata.. Quiet all day. Mt. Vesuvius is going
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.
Submarine emergency at 1100 pm. Kept us awake for about until 2:30
___ we caught only half though with _____ Depth charged hell out of
Mt Vesuvius is now starting to send smoke & dust that rises for
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.
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.
A quiet day and night anchored off Naples.
G.Q at 1100 pm. Our night fighters intercepted enemy bomber. None got
through to us.
Quiet except for one GQ. Planes proved to be friendly.
All peaceful even Vesuvius.
All quiet and peaceful
Underway at 2130 destination Palermo
All day and night at sea
Arrived Palermo 1800
Left Palermo 0600 destination Mers-El-Kebir, Algeria.
All day & night underway. Drills, drills & drills until 1800
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.
Underway at 0715 bound for Palermo – Battle problem
At sea. Dawn G.Q.
Moored to pier at Palermo 0930
Palermo – personnel inspection
Was to church – main deck aft
Went on liberty in Palermo
April 17th, 18th, 19th
Drills, instruction etc.
Ins. Drills etc
Ins. Drills etc
Church – Holiday Routine
Went on sightseeing trip to Shrine of St Rosalie atop Mt. Pellegrino.
Catacombs & _____
____ drills etc.
April 26th & 27th
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 _______.
Ins, drills, lecture etc.
Sunday – Routine ___
Liberty in Palermo
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.
Underway 11:00 pm arrived Naples May 8th 8:00 am
Anchored off Naples
Shifting anchorage now in Sorrento Bay Italy below Naples.
Back in Naples
Naples – Field Day inspection
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another Field Day and inspection. An air raid ____Naples bringing on
another GQ at 3:30. Nothing happened. Secure at 5:00
Shifting berths ____ a routine ______ ______ day.
Had an everyday ____ on a 2 hour liberty in Naples. Bought some junk.
There was liberty for 2 hrs in Naples for 100 men. At 23:00 underway
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.
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.
At sea – plenty of air cover. Passed through Strait of M?? at
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.
Kuta went on Liberty. We went into drydock.
In Malta had x-ray taken of my shoulder.
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.
Went to the Royal Navy Hospital in ?Becky? Had my feet checked. Left
at 0900. Came back to ship 13:30.
Turned into Sick Bay with 103 degree temp. Had diarrhea & stomach
cramps. Many others are affected with same thing probably from the
Spent in Sick Bay
In Sick Bay
Out of Sick Bay at 0900. Back to work in the office.
Stayed aboard. Routine day.
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.
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.
At sea – drills & target practice
At sea – drills & target practice
At Sea heading for Palermo. Target practice & drills on way.
Aug 3 & 4th
At Palermo took on stores and ammunition – underway at 1100 for
Arrived Taranto 1030.
Got 4 hr liberty.
Aug 6 to 10
Anchored in Bay off Taranto, Italy.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
We pulled into the Bay of Tropez or __________. Have not had alerts & raids
since at Naples.
Haven’t been at G.Q. for all day. Well I guess will have to catch
up with the office work. _____ took on ____ & refueled.
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.
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.
Bombarded & dispersed approximately 5000 troops by firing over
Monte Carlo, France. Patrolled area around Nice.
Anchored Gulf of Lyons, outside of Marseilles, France.
Shifted berths, refueled in Gulf of St Tropez, France.
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.
Arrived Corsica in Propriano. Took on supplies, ammunition & fuel
oil and gas.
Arrived at St. Tropez Bay, France. Picked up 3 crews of human torpedoes.
Brought prisoners aboard. Saw my first line enemy today.
Anchored Gulf of St. Tropez. Picked up another Nazi. American planes
Still hunting human torpedoes. Anchored at Gulf of St Tropez.
Anchored at Gulf of St. Tropez.
Anchored in Gulf of St Tropez. Underway at 0000 for Toulon.
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.
Underway at 0645, had personnel inspection.
Arrived Ajaccio, Corsica, took on supplies.
Underway 0900 arrived St. Tropez, France, anchored in outer bay.
Anchored outer bay of St. Tropez, France, ________ Corsica
Underway at 11:00 for Palermo, Sicily.
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
Sept 25 & 26th
Arrived St. Tropez, France.
Anchored in Bay of St. Tropez.
Sept 30, Oct 1 & 2
At sea around St Tropez, France
Bay of St Tropez, France
Gulf of Juan, France
Oct 6,7,& 8
Anchored outer bay of Toulon, France
Underway 2400 for Naples
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.
At Sea bound for Oran, Algeria.
Arrived Mers-el-Kebir, 7 miles from Oran.
Oct 23 to 25
Moored to seawall at Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
I had the duty, stayed aboard, wrote a few letters and worked in the
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.
I had the duty, stayed aboard and worked in the office.
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.
I stayed aboard.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.