Serial Number: 884-78-53 SERVICE RECORD – TRANSFERS AND CHANGES IN RANK: Farragut Idaho to Receiving Station, San Pedro, Cal – August 24, 1943 Receiving ship to USS Caelum – October 22, 1943 Advance from Seaman 2nd Class to Seaman 1st Class – June 1, 1943
Dad’s US Navy Insignia Patch Metalsmith, Seaman 1st Class
MY BUDDIES IN THE SERVICE
Steve W. Mitchell “Mitch”: Lives in Bountiful across the street from me. We went in the navy at the same time and went through boots in the same Co. 408. We split at O.G.N. where he stayed and I went to Pedro.
Raymond Holestion: Met him the night we left for Farragut. We shared the same berth. We went through boots in the same company. I never found out what happened to him. He was from Salt Lake City.
Martin A. Mock “Red Nose”: From Murray, Utah. We didn’t get very much acquainted until we came to Pedro together. He was also in Company 408 and a great pal of Mitch’s.
Gordon Morse: Home is Harlaw, Montana. He came from a family that has plenty of money. He’s a great fellow. He was in Co. 408 but didn’t get to know him until we went to Diego to Gunnery School. We had many a good times together being USO commando’s.
C.B. Andrews: Montana is his home. Got acquainted in boots at Farragut. Just a passing friendship, came to Pedro and were on USS Caelem together.
Glen T. Schofield: From Clearfield, Utah. I knew him while going to school at Davis. He was in Co. 407 at Farragut. We came to Pedro in the same draft and were on the USS Caelem together. He is a great guy.
C. M. Sorenson: From Minnesota. He is a great guy to talk to. Always cracking corny jokes. Was on the USS Caelum together, also at Pedro.
”CB” Davis: Winch operator on #1 hold on my watch. Went on several liberties with him in Honolulu. Has a brother who is a chief in the navy.
Burt Sundahl: From Oregon. Likes to play cribs a lot. In same division aboard USS Caelum. Worked a lot together.
Naval Service Ship Photo Archive AK-106 Caelum
Crater Class Cargo Ship: Laid down as Wyatt Earp, a Maritime Commission type (EC2-S-C1) hull, under a Maritime Commission contract, at California Shipbuilding Corp., Wilmington, CA.; Launched, 30 June 1943; Acquired by the US Navy, 10 August 1943; Commissioned, USS Caelum (AK-106) , 22 October 1943; Decommissioned, 30 July 1946, at Seattle. WA.; Delivered to the Maritime Commission, 31 July 1946, for disposal; Struck from the Naval Register, (date unknown); Final Disposition, fate unknown. Caelum received one battle star for World War II service. Specifications: Displacement 4,023 t. (lt) 11,565 t.(fl); Length 441' 6"; Beam 56' 11"; Draft 28' 4"; Speed 12kts; Complement 198, Armament one 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount, one 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 40mm guns, six 20mm guns; Propulsion, reciprocating steam engine, single shaft, 1,950shp. Caelum means “Southern Constellation”. Although this is not the USS Caelum, it is the silhouette of an AK – Crater Class Cargo ship, same in design as the Caelum.
THE DIARY OF MY LIFE IN THE SERVICE
The first page of this section of Dad’s diary contains his name and address: Robert C. Rasmussen Bountiful, Utah
The diary begins: Nov 17, 1943 Sunday Honolulu, Hawaii
My Navy life began June 1, 1943. I went through “boots” in Farragut, Idaho, from June 10 to August 2nd. From August 3 til 18 I was home on boot leave.
August 24th we arrived at the Receiving Station San Pedro, Cal. There I was assigned to the U.S.S. Caelum, a cargo ship. From August until Oct. 22, we were at Pedro waiting on the time our ship was to be commissioned. Other than one we spent at Diego for Gunnery and Firefighting school we spent all of our time at the Pedro working mostly at the N.S. (Naval Supply) Depot. While at Pedro I work a couple of days at longshoring for extra liberty money.
The ship was commissioned Oct 22. We work like the devil getting the ship ready for sea and loading supplies. 25th and the 26th we went on trial runs to test equipment and guns.
The 27th of Oct we went to Port Hueneme, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. There we took on our first cargo. From here myself and Eastburn went on liberty to Santa Barbara.
Nov. 2nd we set sail. About 2pm we left the states and headed west into
Page Three: the Pacific. We had a SC escort for the first night. The next night I got my first sub scare when we got an alert from the bridge while on watch from 8 to 12 pm. We were on the 3” guns forward.
We sighted land Nov. 10, at about 6:30 am while at GQ (General Quarters). We docked about 2:30 pm and started to unload.
I spent my first liberty in Hawaii Friday. Mock, Eastburn and myself went ashore about 9:30 am. Went to Honolulu and bought some souvenirs and this diary. That afternoon we went surf board riding in Waikiki beach. We didn’t
Page Four: do so hot but got a good sunburn. I also bought my first taylor-made whites the 12th of November.
November 13, 1843. Yesterday we painted the forward bulkhead of the Friendship. Last night we worked to 9:00 pm getting ship squared away and ready for going to Pearl Harbor.
Today we didn’t go to P.H. for some reason or other. Eastburn, Morse and myself went ashore about 12:30 pm. Went to USO show and took in the town. Mock went to sick bay because of sunburn today. I’m writing this in (under) one of our I.C.M. big hold #2.
Page Five: Monday Nov 15, 1943
We secured for sea and moved 7 miles to Pearl Harbor and moored at a buoy at about 3pm. I seen the USS Utah just being raised. Here we are to have 5 days training in rigging booms and loading the barges. I had a 9 to 12 anchor watch. There was an air raid about 10pm.
Tuesday Nov 16, 1943 Today we finished our 5 days training in the forenoon and moved to a pier to start loading cargo. Seen my first jellyfish, today. Mock’s in sick bay from our swim in Waikiki. Sunburn.
Page Six: Wednesday Nov 17, 1943 Today we rigged our booms and started loading. Went out on dock and played football after chow. Went to a movie on a repair barge next to us.
Thursday Nov 18, 1943 The first section got liberty today. Mock and I went into Honolulu. On our way over we seen the Oklahoma and Nevada being raised. We really got to see what Pearl Harbor was like today. Brought back some pineapple [back] so we’ll probably eat pineapple tonight.
Page Seven: Nov 19, 1943 Friday Last night after I wrote in this, I received my first letter from Pauline Hatch (Liberty Park). Today we had a scavenger hunt to find our gas mask, life jacket and our helmet. It was the first time I ever had a helmet. Eastburn and I took all morning to sweep down. After noon we spliced line on finders and adjusted mooring lines. Night went to show on the barge after washing and sluicing S l/c.
Saturday Nov 20, 1943 Today’s payday. I got $23. Finished our job splicing and load a boat to be taken to repair shop. Andrews and I finished our first 3 tests for seaman first. There is scuttlebutt going around we are headed for Gilbert or Marshall Islands.
Page Eight: Sunday 21 1943, Nov. Mock and I got a special liberty to go to a Mormon church in Pearl Harbor 1-1/2 miles away. Schofield came along. We went all over the town trying to find the chapel. We finally found it after passing it twice. There was very few members there. We met two missionaries, one from Salina, and one from Wales. We returned to the ship about 2pm and spend the rest of the day splicing slings and studying.
Monday Nov 22 Today Mock and I undertook the journey of going to Laie to see the
Page Nine: temple. We left the ship about 10:30 am. Went into Honolulu. From there we went up over the Apole Pass to the other side of the island. The scenery was beautiful going up. When we hit the summit you could see down to the beach on the other side of the island. The road leading down was just built in the side of the cliff. We got to the temple about 12:30 pm and spent a couple of hours looking around and breaking open coconuts. The Temple was small but had a wonderful landscaping. We got back to Honolulu about 3:30 pm. Every ride we got but one, was army. Good old army!
Page Ten: Nov 23 Tuesday Stood 12AM to 5 b--- watch this morning. Work till 4pm 5OT boom loading cargo. From 4 to 12pm tend hatch #1, completed 12 midnight.
Nov 24 1943 Work all day loading cargo. Wrote 5 letters home.
Nov 25, 1943 Thanksgiving. Work today as usual. Had turkey for dinner but didn’t get enough to know it. Got my first full night’s sleep in several nights. Exchanged Hawaiian money for U.S.
Nov 26, 1943 Friday Should of pulled out today.
Page Eleven: Wasn’t loaded so couldn’t. Work all day securing for sea. Hit the sack early.
Saturday Nov 27 We left Pearl Harbor about noon with one other cargo ship and a P.C. (Patrol Coastal) as an escort, sailing SSW. Had 8 to 12 watch last night. Imasland and I eat a pineapple we bought in town yesterday.
Sunday Nov 28 Had GQ at dawn. Work all morning. Had a 12 to 4pm watch. Stood GQ at dusk. Nothing important.
Monday Sea, Sea, Sea. Bought some new clothes from small stores. Nothing new.
Page Twelve: Tuesday Nov 30 Sea rations. About dark we took a sick man off from our P.C. escort. It was really rough work.
Wednesday Dec 1 Today we sighted a tanker headed toward the States. Lucky devils.
Thursday Dec 2 1943 Took on a sick man from the other cargo ship today about noon. Lost about an hour. Sighted a convoy and a patrol plane in the afternoon. The shellbacks started preparing for the celebration of crossing the equator. Started eating rations tonight. Page Thirteen: Friday Dec 3 In the morning we had a gang fight with all the shellbacks. We broke out fire hoses and fought for about an hour on the boat deck. We had to knock it off till evening chow. The Pollywogies got together and caught the biggest part of the shellbacks and cut their hair. There’s about 3 pollywogies to each shellback. Saturday Dec 4 We crossed the equator about midnight last night. Today we go through the line to become a shellback. Page Fourteen: First we got down on our stomachs and got soaked with a hose, then crawl through a line with about twenty shellbacks with rope clubs. Then you go before King Neptune and his court. Got a haircut and shock along with lub. oil all over you and your clothes. Last we got baptized by being dunked about 10 times in a salt water pool. In the afternoon we clean up and boy – what a job. Dec 5 Sunday Lost in the international date line. Page Fifteen: Dec 6 1943 Rained all morning. Painted LCM’s this afternoon. In the night we got a destroyer escort. The PC had contact with a sub about 4pm. No results. Dec 7 Tuesday Sight land early in the morning. Pulled into the bay and anchored about noon. Could see where bombing had taken place. Had an air raid at about 10:30pm. One plane straffed about 3 boats. We’re at the Gilberts. Dec 8 Wednesday Washed the side of boat in the morning. Started Page Sixteen: to unload about 6pm. Work 12 to 6am in hold #1. Had a two hour air alert from 10pm to 12pm. Dec 9 1943 Continued unloading. Worked from 12pm to 6pm. Dec 10 1943 Work like hell. No air alert. No nothing but work. Dec 11 1943 Saturday Unloaded bombs out of hold #1. Still got the same 5 men I started with. It started to rain steady about 5:30pm this evening. It sure takes time unloading when the boats have to travel 20 miles through coral and wait for tanks. Page Seventeen: Dec 12, 1943 Unlooad cargo. Took final S’s test. Dec 13, Monday Had an air raid about 11pm. There was only 4 planes but sure raised hell. It was clear so you could see the island they bombed. No bombs dropped near the ships. Dec 14 1943 Unloaded cargo. No air raids. Dec 15 1943 Unloaded cargo. No air raid. It’s hotter than I thought it would be. Dec 16 1943 Same old story. Page Eighteen: December 17, 1943 Had anchor watch from 12 till 3am. After getting off watch Morse and I went swimming off some small fishing boats tied up to the side of the ship. During the day same stuff. Dec 18 Saturday Beans for breakfast as usual. A 4-striper took all of our land barges to unload for 48 hours so will probably work cleaning up this tub. A DE-30 came alongside and refueled about noon. Dec 19 Sunday Had an air raid about 4am this morning. One plane attacked Helen Island. Dropped Page Nineteen: about 6 bombs. One our our night fighters ran him off after that. Night fighters are new around here. Worked all day clean and painting ship. Had a show at night. Dec 20 Today’s payday. I drew $5. Only had a few boats today. A Army bomber maintenance crew came in last week, started to land today. No air raid. Dec 21, 1943 4 more days until Christmas. It looks like we’ll spend Xmas here. Today we went ashore for the first time. Had to wade about a block from the boat into the beach. Mock and I went down the beach Page Twenty: trying to talk to the natives but no soap. We ran into some Marines that was in the 3rd wave that came ashore. They sure had a rough time. Brought back some seashells and sea plants. Dec 22 1943 Starboard has watch so we worked all day unloading landing mats from #1. Also work part of the night. Starting to load empty oil drums in #3 and filling them with water. Scuttlebutt is we go to Makin for more drums the 27th. I hope! Morse went to sickbay Monday. Haven’t seen him since. Page Twenty-One: Dec 23 1943 Today I sleep, caught up with my washing, had a show on the bridge. Had an air raid about 3am, one plane. Dec 24 1943 On duty, worked unloading cargo until 7pm. Had a Christmas party. A Jap bomber came over about 8:30 pm, another came over our boat 3am and another about 4:30am. Didn’t do any damage until the last raid then hit an ammunition dump. Found out later the ammunition dump was a P.V. Venture bomber with 4 500lb bombs. Dec 25 1943 Today is Christmas. I Page Twenty-Two: went to work in the morning and washed all my dirty clothes. 20 B-24 took off Helen island about 8:00am. Had turkey for dinner. In the afternoon wrote my first letters home since leaving Pearl Harbor. Had a movie in the evening. No air raids tonight. Dec 26, 1943 Unloaded cargo. I doubt if we are ever going to get unloaded. Had G.Q. about 10:30am, no plane came over. We didn’t load one boat at Hold #1. A transport came in with some army on last night. DE-24 came along side and refueled. There’s bombers all over in the air. Page Twenty-three: Dec 27 1943 Unloaded cargo. Had a alert about 10:30am. It turned out to be one of our own planes. Refueled and watered two small craft. Had a movie in the evening. Dec 28 Was broke out of our sacks at midnight and loaded 2 LCM with landing mats. Got off at 6:30am. Slept part of the day. They changed the cargo bell. I’m in cargo gang #1. Worked from 5 till midnight. Dec 29 Slept all morning. Work from 5p till midnight, finished #1. No air raids. Page Twenty-Four: Dec 30 Went to work at 8am in #3 unloading drums of aviation gasoline. Work like bust all day. Had an air raid. Dec 31 Finished #3 hold in the morning. Went to work loading empty drums in #5 and moving drums filled with salt water forward to #1. A LCT and a pontoon barge came alongside loaded with empty drums. Work from 12 am till 4am unloading them in #5. Fueled 2 DEarle tin cans. Dec 31 Good by to the D Line. A LST came alongside for fuel and water. Started to secure for sea. (Along the inside edge – finished #2 hold.) Page Twenty-Five: Pulled out of the harbor about 5pm. Bidding goodbye and good riddance to the hot weather, flys, smell of Tarawa. I had the 6p to 8p. Had a raid on the island when we was about 20 miles out. January 1, 1944 Saturday Today I became next salt for becoming Seaman 1st Class. Today we had holiday routine which was a good thing. Everybody was so darn tired it didn’t matter. Had the 8am to 12 noon. Had a nice turkey dinner it was about the same as Xmas only more of it. Page Twenty-six: Washed clothes and finished the book I was reading, “The Time of My Life”. I had the 8P to 12P watch at night. We have 6 Marines as passengers. Jan 2 Sunday Holiday routine. A bulletin came today saying that the Captain was pleased with the way we unloaded the cargo. Slept all morning. Had 12 to 4 watch. Our PE escort left us about 7pm at dark. We’re heading in a ENE direction. Found out today we left one man at the Gilberts. He was a signalman. So for now goodnight. Page Twenty-seven: Jan 3, 1943 (should be 1944) Sea routine putting up racks in the booms all day besides stand watch. I forgot to write we got a Korean prisoner aboard going back with us. He was a laborer on Tarawa when the Marines came. Jan 4, 1943 (should be 1944) Continued putting racks, boy what a job ahead, useless too. It sure will be good to get back to Pearl. A 45 mile wind has been blowing direct into the direction were coming from so we are only making 8 or 9 knots. Current also running against us. Got full night in the sack. Page Twenty-eight: Jan 5, Wed Stormy all day. Same hard wind. We are bouncing around like nobodies business. The old bow flys in the air and comes down with a bang. The fantail raises up the screw comes out of the water and it shakes the whole ship. Some fun. Haven’t got seasick as yet. Sea routine. Jan 6 Rough all day. Work all day on the booms painting. Got the mid. Watch so hit the sack early. Played a few games of rummy first. Page Twenty-nine: Jan 7 Today we have been at sea for 7 days. The wind is still blowing like the devil. Didn’t have any evening GQ. Finished up on the booms today. Played cribbage with Sundahl till about 8:30 pm. Looks like we’ll get in about Monday. Jan 8, 1944 Saturday Beans this morning as usual although we did have cereal. It’s the first in about a month. Turned to all day painting the forward deck. Hosed and scraping deck. Got a full night. The moon’s full tonight. Page Thirty: Jan 9, 1944 Turn to as usual regardless of being Sunday. Watch all morning. Painted starboard passageway in the afternoon. Work till 5:30 pm. The weather calmed down today. We are making between 9 and 10 knots. Jan 10 Monday Painted deck all morning. Had a Captain’s inspection in the afternoon. Got paid $50 about 4:30P after getting off watch. Should be in tomorrow morning early. Slowed down to about 5 knots so not to get there too early. Page Thirty-one: Jan 11, 1944 Tuesday Sighted land about 5:30AM this morning. Came in about 11A and what a sight. There was some 10 or 11 aircraft carriers, 15 or 20 cruisers, 5 battlewagons and a whole mess of cans. There were tank transports, cargo and every other kind of ship needed to fight a war. Last time we was here there was no task force in. Work all day getting ready to unload cargo. We tied up along AK-113 so didn’t need to do it. About 5P the mail came aboard. I was detailed to to help sort it. We work 5 solid hours sorting the first class Page Thirty-two: mail. Niel told me today I was to be Acting Coxswain. I got 47 letters, no jokes, today. Jan 12 Liberty granted today at 11:30A till 6P. Eastburn, Serpier and I went into town – ate ice cream until we was sick, came back and we had moved from the buoy to the supply depot. Started to unload the drums about 7P. Had a movie wasn’t any good, so I wrote 4 letters home for a starter. I got 6 packages and 4 papers when I got back from Liberty Seen my first battlewagon close up. It was pulling out of the harbor. Page Thirty-three: Jan 13, 1944 Turn to, work till about 10:30AM. Washed clothes after that till noon. Saw the Queen of the US Fleet come in today (Saratoga). She is really a big ship. The USS Suffrage, a can, pulled in with the bow blown off. It had a false bow just in head of the bridge. Two torpedoes hit it. 52 men were killed. Was supposed to move berths but didn’t. Finished unloading the bombs. Jan 14, 1944 Had liberty today but before we got it we had to move to a new berth. We move out just about Page Thirty-Four: to the entrance of the harbor. Went into Honolulu and went shopping, got me a pair of shoes and a book. New scuttlebutt is we are to carry a flag officer with us in our next operation. Started to load gasoline, pontoons and landing mats. J 15, S Washed port side of ship all day. A convoy of about 10 LST and 4 cargo ships came in about noon. Washed clothes after night chow. Going to write letters and see a movie this evening. I hope. Navy intelligence came aboard and took all Jap souvenirs of any military value. Page Thirty-five: January 16, 1944 Sunday Liberty. Starboard watch. Martin and I went ashore together. We decided to go back over to Laie. Went over the Apali in a jeep. Seen where a army truck went over and killed 4 men. Boy what a road. Got over there about 12:30 pm. Look around and talked to Elders over there till 2:00pm. One was a Hansen from Logan, the other from Wyoming. Got a ride back to Honolulu with a navy chief and his wife. Stopped along the way and got us some bananas. A big task force went out today. Looks like fun brewing. Write letters in the evening. Page Thirty-six: Jan 17, 1944 Changed liberty to Sections today. Did general deck work. Jan 18, 1944 Tuesday Nothing new. Got a letter from Kathy today. Everything going fine. Jan 19, 1944 Today’s payday. Didn’t draw any. Changed block on 50 ton boom in forenoon. Repaired Jacob’s ladder in the afternoon. Went to movie in the evening. Jan 20 Went ashore today with Martin. Went up to the U. of Hawaii. It is really a nice school. It gave me a new Page Thirty-seven: ambition to go to school after it’s over with. Jan 21, 1944 Friday fish. General Field day in the morning. Several canvas over emergency rations in afternoon. Stood 1 hour messenger watch for a pal whose brother came to see him. Caught up on my diary and wrote letters in the evening. Got a letter from Merrell Row today. Had 9 to 12 anchor watch. Jan 22 We painted sides all day. Started to secure for sea. A large task force went out today, looks like fun in the Marshalls. Page Thirty-eight: Jan 23, Sunday Securing for sea we broke gooseneck on 50 ton boom, spent all day getting it out. No liberty today. More ships left the harbor this morning. Change berths, went into the inner harbor and moored to a bouy. Jan 24, 1943 (should be 1944) Prepared to take troops aboard. 110 marines came aboard about noon. They are to live between decks in #1 and #3 holds. A derrick came alongside and we repair the 50 ton boom. Got letter from Kathy. Wrote a short one to the folks. Page Thirty-nine: Jan 25 Secured for sea all morning. Shoved off about 4pm. There is 6 cargo ships in our convoy, 3 AK’s and 3 AP’s with 3 DE as escort. Had 6 to 8pm watch. Jan 26 Fired all guns this morning at shore. Everything going great. Jan 27 Headed for the Marshalls. Are to arrive 3 days after the invasions start. Everything tops. Jan 28, 1944 Friday Nothing new. Page Forty: Jan 29 Beans this morning. Had afternoon off, caught up on washing and sleep. Fired all guns on the boats. Jan 30, Sunday Had all day holiday routine. Had watch in the morning and in the afternoon sleep. Jan 31 Crossed international date line again. Won’t change date. Are to unload this ship in 5 days. Feb 1 Sent clothes to the laundry (Got one at Pearl Harbor). Heard Page Forty-one: today the beach head was made with little resistance. (Hope it’s true). Go into condition II this evening. Should get there tomorrow afternoon. Feb 2 Didn’t go into condition II after all. Sea routine. Sighted a cruiser and 3 tin cans about dusk. Should be there tomorrow. Got word today two battle wagons collided. Feb 3 Sighted land about dawn. Pulled into a beautiful deep water bay about 10 am. The Washington and Indiana, the Page Forty-Two: two wagons that hit together are here. These islands were taken with no resistance. Only one Jap officer here. The Japs had taken all the young men and women natives with them. Went into cargo condition at noon with port watch. Here is good old #1 again. Feb 4 Unloaded cargo. It looks like the whole fleet decided to pull in here. Wagons, cruisers, flat tops, cans, etc. Had GQ today. Feb 5 Sat. Unloaded cargo, LST came alongside and took off all rolling stock. Page Forty-three: Feb 6 Sunday Unloaded cargo. A seaplane tied up to our fan tail about 4pm. About 6pm a LST came alongside to take on cargo and hit the plane’s pontoon. About ten minutes later the wind blew it over. It had four 500lb depth charges that were set to go off at 25’ but didn’t for some reason, much to the relief of everybody. They towed it over to the beach. Started working on bombs and ammunition in #1 today. Feb 7 Monday Unloaded cargo. Finished up #4. We are only about 1500 yards off the beach. 72 some ships in the bay. Page Forty-four: Feb 8 Unload cargo. Feb 9 Unload cargo. Finished up #1 except some depth charges. Feb 10 Started loading empty ammunition cases into #1 and 2. Marines went ashore tonight. Had a movie in the evening. Feb 11 Secured all booms and holds for sea. Loaded cases into #5 till noon. Raised/Weighed anchor about 1:30pm. 8 wagons, 10 carriers were in bay along with other ships. Page Forty-five: Pulled out in the same convoy except for one DE escort. We left the flag on the island of Mejatto where we unloaded. Feb 12, Sat. Clean, wash pits all morning had holiday routine in afternoon and we darn well earned it. Feb 13 Sun. Holiday routine. Had movie in #3 in afternoon. Sleep all morning. Sighted 2 tankers. Feb 14 Monday Regular sea routine. We’ve brushed all afternoon. Dusted down and got ready to send clothes to laundry. Page Forty-six: Feb 15 Rearrange belly lines on booms in morning. Watch in afternoon. Went back on fantail and listened to records of one of the snips. Got mid. watch tonight. Feb 16 Scrape and paint all day. Nothing new. Feb 17 Scrape and paint until dusk. Scuttlebutt is we don’t get in until Monday. P.H. is too filled with ships to take us. Feb 18 Scrape and paint. After evening chow painted deck on boat deck. Page Forty-seven: Feb 19 Sat Captain inspection this morning. Regular sea routine. Sea calm. Feb 20 Holiday routine. Sleep, wrote and ate. We even had turkey for dinner. Very calm sea. Feb 21 Pulled into Pearl Harbor about 9am. Very few ships in the Harbor. Moved to bouy along with two other ships of our convoy. Washed sides in afternoon. Drawed $14 at Payday. Got 17 letters and went to move in the evening. Weather cold with few rain storms. Page Forty-Eight: Feb 22 Went ashore about 11am. Went out to Waikiki beach and Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Went with Monk. Bought me a sweater shirt for watch. Came back aboard to fin out 10 men were transferring to new construction (lucky devils). The rain ran us undercover at the movie. Feb 23 Washed sides all day. Caught up on writing in afternoon. Got anchor watch tonight. First one since Tarawa. Got package of cookies from Mom today. Page Forty-Nine: Feb 24 Thur. Went ashore and went to a movie. 1st section only on liberty. Feb 25 Pulled out and went to West lock to unload ammunition cases. Stevedore’s started to unload about noon. Went out and played football on beach after chow. Feb 26 Half day holiday routine. Started control damage No. and paited toppings depth charges in morning. Went over on beach and got ice cream at noon and wrote 8 letters in afternoon. Got progress test for Coxswain. Page Fifty: Feb 27 Sunday Move back into P.H. and tied up with some ships. Mock and I got special liberty for church. Got in there about 11:15 in time for about 30 minutes of stake conference. Didn’t see anyone I knew but enjoyed it very much. The tabernacle was a beautiful building. Returned to ship to find out I had a messenger watch from 12 to 4pm. It was then about 3pm. “CB” Andrews stood it for me so I stood his 4p to 7pm that night. Saw movie after I got off watch. Page Fifty-one: Feb 28 Went on liberty about 9am. Went out to Waikiki and went to movie. It was a beautiful place. Read magazines at the Royal H(awaiian) Hotel all afternoon. Came back aboard about 5:00pm and help stow away supplies. Feb 29 Work all day rearranging life rafts. About noon about 15 new men came aboard for our boat crews. (That means stateside is out). Also several transfers were cancelled today. Got a letter from Mom, Donald Cliota. Page Fifty-Two: After I wrote on the 29th up, the after buoy lines broke. We had to go out and help get the ship back into place. Really had fun. Mar 1 Raining when we got up this morning. Work all morning cleaning up between decks in #1 and #3. General deck work in afternoon. P-162 came alongside about 2P and shoved off again about 5P. Mar 2 We’ve brushed and painted anchor winch. K-139 came alongside about 4P, they just left states. Movie no good so took a shower and went to bed. Page Fifty-three: Mar 3 Went into town on liberty. “CB” Dravis was with me. We went out to Waikiki, looked around, went in and had breakfast. Went back downtown about 11A and went to a movie (Government Girl). After had a turkey dinner and came back and wrote letters. Rained all day. Mar 4 We are on 24 hour notice now, should pull out empty tomorrow or next day. Two men transferred today also. Had half a day holiday routine. Rainy off and on all the time. Movie tonight with anchor watch in the morning. 3-C. Page Fifty-four: Mar 5, Sunday Didn’t know we wasn’t going to move until too late to go to church. Slept all morning . In the afternoon a recreation party was organized and the 1st Div. Played the 2nd in softball. 1st won 6 to 7. Went up by a sugar factory to a ball park. On our way back we stopped in a café and eat icecream. Today is also payday. Mar 6 No movie today. Orders changed. Chipped paint all day. Received letter from Mom and Merv. Clean out my locker and studied coxswain test after working hours. Page Fifty-five: Mar 7 Went ashore with “CB” again and went to another movie. A movie’s about the most entertainment there is around here. Bought “Lord” a pair of magazines. Came back and went to bed early. 3 new tincans today. Mar 8 Scrape, paint all day. Nothing new. Mar 9 Same old story. Mar 10 Ditto. Page Fifty-six: Mar 11 (Along left margin:Dock at Pearl City ). Mock and I went ashore on liberty. Went out to Waikiki and went to a movie. Later went out to the breakers and park. Came back aboard and wrote letters. Received two from home. Wrote to Mitch. Ship to berth and started loading. Mar 12 Sunday Had Reveillie till 1200. Messenger watch with Ens. Allen. Afternoon went on recreation party. Just as we started to play ball it started to rain and ruined our game. Schol had a buddy here who was on the Wichita so we chewed the rag with him all afternoon. Page Fifty-seven: Mar 13 Painted sides. Knish and I went over at the bow and painted the anchor in the afternoon. Went to bed early. Mar 14 Painted sides all day. Got through about 3:30. Took it easy after that. Went to movie to tonight for a change. Loading 100 octane gasoline in all holds but #1. In that they are loading ammunition. Mar 15 Payday and liberty. Drawed $45 and sent $120 home. Paid back all debts. Am free with the world. Page Fifty-eight: As I was thumbing to town with CB Dravis, Steve Mitchell came up and hit me on the back. We came back aboard ship to see Mock and all the other 408 men. Had chow. Then Mock, Mitch and I went over to the Cub Base. Bummed around all afternoon and went down and seen his ship. It is a L.C.I. He spent two weeks down at the Marshalls in the thick of the fighting. Seen a L.C.I. get hit with two 5 inch shells from our own cans. Got back aboard about 6:00P. Took a shower and wrote letters. Taking on general cargo now in #2, #3, and #4. Page Fifty-nine: Mar 10, 1944 Chipped deck all day. Loading bombs and ammunition in #1. Mar 17 Went on first working party to supply depot. Didn’t think P.H. was quite as big as it really is. Ran into Steve at Fleet landing. He came over to the ship for a while. Took on provisions all afternoon and secured #3 for sea. Mar 18 Prepared for Captain’s inspection all morning. About noon go on working party loading ammunition. Got through Page Sixty: about 2P. Went over to the store and got some provisions. Movie in evening. Mar 19, Sunday Left ship at 8A on church party. Got over to Mitch’s ship about 8:45A. Mock, Mitch and I went to church at the Waikiki ward in Honolulu. I ran into Reed Watsen from Ephraim there, besides several other guys I had met. Went out and got something to eat and went to the U.S.O. Mock and Mitch went to a program while I took a nap. We got mixed up and I went back to Fleet landing alone. They got there just Page Sixty-one: after I did. Mar 20 Secured ship for sea. Brought one LCM aboard in the afternoon. Just before dark we were unloading a LCM and it got away from the man on the macro head [piston engines]. Beating up the gunwale [deck around the bridge] some and scared everybody. Movie in the evening. Mar 21 Complete securing for sea and brought both LCM’s aboard about 1P. Got under way about 4P. 7 ships in convoy, 3 AK’s, 3 merchant marines, 1 refrigerator ship, 1 DE and 1 mine swap. (Mine Warfare Classification). We are again flag ship UNITED STATES NAVY FACT FILE Landing Craft, Mechanized - LCM Description: Landing craft are used by amphibious forces to transport equipment and troops to the shore. Features: Landing craft are capable of transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and troops from amphibious assault ships to beachheads or piers. LCM's feature a bow ramp for onload and offload. Background: The use of landing craft in amphibious assault dates from World War II. The craft are carried aboard amphibious assault ships to the objective area. General Characteristics, LCM 8 Type Power Plant:2- Detroit 12V-71 Diesel engines; 680hp sustained; twin shafts Length: 73.7 feet (22.5 meters) Beam: 21 feet (6.4 meters) Displacement: 105 tons (106.69 metric tons) full load Speed: 12 kts (13.8 mph, 22.2 kph) Range: 190 miles at 9kts full load Capacity: 180 tons (182.89 metric tons) Military lift: 1- M48 or 1- M60 tank or 200 troops Crew: 5 General Characteristics, LCM 6 Type Power Plant: 2- Detroit 6-71 Diesel engines; 348 hp sustained; twin shaft, or 2- Detroit 8V-71 Diesel engines; 460 hp sustained; twin shaft Length: 56.2 feet (17.1 meters) Beam: 14 feet (4.3 meters) Displacement: 64 tons (65.03 metric tons) full load Speed: 9 kts (10.3 mph, 16.6 kph) Range:130 miles at 9 kts Military lift: 34 tons (34.55 metric tons) or 80 troops Crew: 5 Page Sixty-two: with a commander aboard. Heading for one of the northeastern most islands of the Marshalls. Had 8 to 8. Mar 22 Had 8 to 12 in morning. Over to old decks in the afternoon. Had 8 to 12 tonight. Mar 23 Overhauled block on 50T in forenoon. Had watch in afternoon. Mar 24 Continued overhauling blocks. Took engine out of LCM for repair and boy that is really a job at sea. Mar 25 Prepared for captain’s inspection for noon. Page Sixty-three: Holiday routine in afternoon so got in some sack duty. Mar 26 Sunday Holiday routine. Had 8 to 12 in morning. Afternoon went to movie in mess hall and played cards and acey-ducey. Had turkey, ice-cream and cake for chow. Mar 27 Overhauled block on mast for 50 Tonner in the morning. Watch in afternoon. Mar 28 Sea routine. Page Sixty-four: Mar 29 2 AK’s, 1 Merchant and the F7 left us today for Majarro. They left about 4PM. Alone went between two Jap held islands last night, 20 miles from one, 17 from the other. Mar 30 Increase speed last night to about 12 knots. Should be in tomorrow about noon, had the forenoon watch. Mark finder in afternoon. Mar 31 Sighted land about 10A. Anchored about 12 noon. There is two islands on this side of the lagoon that we took with any resistance. They looked just like Tarawa. Page Sixty-five: They don’t want our camp here so we went about 20 miles to the other side of the lagoon to another island. It looks just like the others. They only want the bombs and ammunition here so we started to unload about 6P out of #1 only into amphibious trucks. April 1 Have to separate the cargo. Sand bags and barbwire stay aboard. Work and 6P to 12P watch. All day work rigging booms. Only 55 men were lost in taking the island. (No scan for Pages Sixty-Six and Sixty-Seven – written in light pencil and would not scan well.) Page Sixty-Six: April 2 Sunday Worked all afternoon shifting cargo. April 3 Had morning cargo watch, sleep in afternoon. April 4 Went ashore and swimming in afternoon. Talked with some dog face that had been there since the invasion, about a month ago. These islands are in a circle with about 20 miles diameter. This island is Fragile. It has a landing strip with about 45 fighters and 15 B-25’s. April 5 Finished up unloading bombs out of #1 should move Page Sixty-seven: back to the other island tomorrow. Payday, draw $5. April 6 Up anchor about 9 A. Arrive at Eniwetok Island of the group about 12N. Shift berths again about 4P. Unloaded 4 planes, personnel boats. April 7 Had 12A to 6 cargo watch. Sleep all morning . Bought a knife from Niel for $5. News just came out we have to return to Fragile to unload gasoline now. 15 B-24’s took off about 9P with fighter escort. April 8 Wrote letters in morning. Went to work at midnight in #3. [See next page for map of area of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands covered in the these pages. This clipping was found in Dad’s diary, along with some others that will be included later.]
Small pieces of skin from “Mrs. Moose’s” stomach were enclosed in this paper pouch! Unfortunately, they would not scan well, so we just have to use our imagination! Can’t you just hear Mom and Dad laughing over this!! I bet a good story goes along with it.