Tuesday, February 23, 2010

mosey up on deck

Solomon Islands
Fri. Nov. 21, 1942

We are still at anchor in the harbor. "Gig" went up this morning to have a tooth pulled and Pete Berringer is on KP today. They started painting the boat a solid color gray yesterday. I understand this boat has already made 2 trips to the Solomons.

Around 9:30 all hands were ordered back to "aft of the weld deck" (the deck above ours) where we gave 3 cheers each for the battleship Helena & the cruiser San Fransisco as they came into the harbor. They are returning from the Solomon Battle. The cruiser attacked a big Jap battleship and sunk it. And the Helena had it's bridge shot away. We made our cheers long & loud. They are now anchored just a short distance away from us.

Around 1 P.M. we had orders to "pack up" that we were going to get on another boat. So, around 3 P.M. we all loaded into one of the "big" landing boats & headed for the harbor (52 of us and 48 of quarter master). The ride in was pretty nice, except for the salt-water splashing in our faces.

When arriving at the docks, we were put on a freighter the USS Alchiba and pulled away from the docks around 6:30 P.M. We also took part of the dock with us when the ship gave a hard pull, yanking one of the boards from the dock with it. "Gig" and I laughed about this "ole tub" as we called it. Though our sleeping quarters, etc are not as elaborate as the P-11, our meals are just as good. We pulled out into the harbor opposite the battleship Idaho & Washington and anchored there for the night.

Sat. Nov. 21, 1942

We pulled out of the harbor around 6 A.M. and headed for the high seas once again. They have hooked a barge and we are now towing it, which cuts down our speed some. Our convoy consists of only 4 ships (the P-11 that we got off of, and 2 light cruisers). I notice there are quite a few torpedo boats in the harbor. (T-boat = 60 mi. an hr.) "Gig" and I were put on guard in the "brig" this morning from 8 A.M. to 12 P.M. The prisoner was a sailor who overstayed his leave in Samoa. He gets bread & water twice a day and every 3rd meal he gets a "good meal". His sentence is up Monday.

We are now well out to sea & all the lookouts are scanning the skies for Japanese planes (subs & ships). There is a lookout directly above me now with dark glasses looking for planes. This ship just narrowly missed disaster on the last trip to the Solomons.

Nov. 23, 1942

We are now well out to sea, this being the fourth day of our trip. We started painting the ship. I worked with "Gig" and DeRoberts up on the boat deck. This ship will be a solid color grey. They fired the 20MM cannon, shoothin two small balloons down for target practice. "Gig", Berringer & myself skipped detail this evening and got away with it, for once. Have just taken a shower. Think I will mosey up on deck.

Tues. Nov. 24, 1942

I has been terribly hot today, in fact it was so hat in the mess hall we could hardly eat. We were given our first quinine tablets at 3:30 P.M. We will take some more tomorrow when we 'muster' out on deck. "Gig, Pete & myself played "hearts" practically all day. A "Flying Fortress" came over this morning.

Wed. Nov. 25, 1942

Today we had our "Thanksgiving" dinner on the boat, and what a dinner is was. Turkey and all the trimmings. The best meal I've had since I left the States. We passed the island of Saint Custabul this afternooon. Heard that we were expecting a gas attack when we hit the Solomons.


Harry and Gig get a big laugh out of the ship taking part of the dock away. And the Army troops are enjoying the quality of food onboard. Harry and his sidekick Gig pull guard duty in the brig. Some of the fellows skip their chores and get away with it...for once.

There's alot of speculation about the entering the Solomon Battle. There's a noticeable sense of danger in the area.

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