Busy Bees in the Pacific

June 6, 1945
Manila, Philippines
"Little did I dream that I'd be here in Manila, when I was in Lake City, Fla. this time last year.  We left Subic City this morning and reached here just after noon.  The harbor is a graveyard of ships; some merchant and some destroyers.  Many were torn to h.... and in some the bodies are still lying, filling the air with an awful odor.  On the trip in the small boat tonight, it was rough.  Coming back, around eleven o'clock, we played hide-and-seek with the sea wall and took a couple of hours getting to the ship.  We must wear whites, so there must be some Admirals in port."
Manila was occupied by the Japanese from January 1942, until February 1945, and was badly damaged.  Both American and Japanese funds were used to rebuild much of the city after the war.

June 14, 1945
Samar, Philippines
"I had three liberties in Manila.  The streets are all rubble and the buildings look like decayed teeth, hollowed out. There was only one show running.  I walked about a square ten miles, even in China town, looking for some salt and peppers for Mother, but did not find them.  I had a pencil portrait made for Dad; cost 5 pecos.  We stopped at Leyte yesterday, and docked here today.  I've visited the dentist and am minus a tooth."
The Leyte Gulf was the scene of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's famous return to the Philippines in October 1944.  After a bloody struggle, all Japanese resistance finally ended by December.

June 17, 1945
"We hitch-hiked about eight miles to attend the Wayside Chapel today.  Saw a friend from Lake City, who gave me the latest dope on that Base.  He and another mech. took the old crate, SNB #13 , fixed it up and flew it over the Gulf to Corpus Christi, Texas.   They had not flown in 22 months.  Some nerve, that!  I am back in compartment cleaning again.  Nothing has happened to me.  I have neither scratch nor bruise, for which I am very thankful.  We leave Samar, Thursday the 21st for Morotai."

July 4, 1945
Morotai to Zamboango to Taclomo to Zamboango

"(One year ago today, I was just entering Camp Bradford, Va.)  We reached Morotai the 25th of June and stayed until the 29th, then over to Zamboango, reaching there the first of July.  Yesterday, we came here, Taclomo, and will go back to Zamboango tomorrow or the next day."


July 12, 1945
Parang, Mindanao to Zamboango to Leyte, Philippines

"We left Zamboango for Parang, Mindanao, reaching there the 7th.  Then went again to Zamboango. left the 10th and came to Leyte, today.  Just busy-bees, in and around those Philippines Is."
July 18, 1945 "We had a tetanus shot yesterday and it took effect today.  On top of thatInspection aboard ship we had the semi-annual inspection in whites; I had fever and headache.  After that we had locker inspection and the Commander said it was a good thing it was not a glove inspection.  Our names are sent back after fourteen months overseas for leaves.  I wonder when I'll get mine.  Things are going to pop soon, just when we don't know.  Latest radio news; Japan watching out for invasion."
July 23, 1945 "I have had the 12-4 midnight watch for three days running, but even at that I get more sleep.  Come off the watch at 4 P.M., hit the sack, and sleep until 11:30, missing chow.  Go on duty, then get off at 4 A.M.   We usually have G.Q. at daylight.  It has been rough steering lately, but I like this work.  It keeps me out of the rain.  We heard that Doolittle will be bombing them August 8, from Okinawa."

July 28, 1945 "Now it is rather calm.  Rains a lot and visability is not over 500 yards, but the rains are short ones."

July 30, 1945
New Guinea

"We left Leyte the 22nd and are now at Finchhafen, N.G.  About three hours out, we ran into a head wind, which delayed us, and we did not get here until 3 P.M.  We will have to load after dark."
August 3, 1945
New Guinea

"We left Finchhafen, August 1st, loaded with cargo and 30 troops, bound for Hollandia.  We are leaving here day after tomorrow for Luzon."
August 6, 1945
Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

August 9, 1945
Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

August 12, 1945
Luzon, Philippines

War is Over!
"Those of us who had the midnight watch, hit the sack about 8 o'clock.  9:15 we were awakened by a loud voice, saying, 'The War is Over!!'  Needless to say, we did not get much sleep that night.  At the 7 A.M. news broadcast, we heard the details.  Then we heard the peace offer accepted, but it was so hot and everyone was so excited that we just sat topside and talked.  How nice it will be not to have to run thru the pitch darkness to your guns; not to have to be on the alert for G.Q.; to have the hatches open at night while under way; not to have to darken the ship anymore.  We are also wondering who will be the allied Supreme Commander in Japan."
Japan sued for peace on August 10 requesting the emperor's position as ruler be maintained.  The allies countered that they would decide the emperor's role, and terms were accepted on August 14.  The U.S. forces were ordered to cease fire on August 15, and the peace treaty was signed aboard the U.S. Missouri on September 2, 1945.  After the war, General Douglas MacArthur headed the administration that occupied Japan.  In a 1946 constitution, MacArthur promoted democracy by denying divine status to the emperor and making him a constitutional monarch.   A treaty in 1951 required Japan to abandon claims to China and allowed them to regain full sovereignty.

August 16, 1945 "It is one of those rainy days and the ship is rolling something awful, making it hard to steer.  The strain is on your eyes.   Last night, I had a nightmare.  Jumped from my bunk (the top one), but landed on my feet and waking to find a bright light in my eyes!  I've had the watch for the past three days, with holiday routine in the afternoons; the first two days, it rained.   The third was the celebration.  August and September of 1944 seem a long time ago."

August 19, 1945
San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines
"San Fernando, Luzon.  I went up a high windy hill for Chapel services today.  It was good to hear a Baptist Chaplain.   We have changed officers, the X.O. being made Captain and the 1st. Lt. an X.O.   We used to wonder what would happen to us the next 30 days,... now we wonder about the next 6 months!"

August 26, 1945
Leyte, Philippines
"Well, here we are back in good old Leyte!   My points are 29 1/2 high.  Wonderful.  Guess I'll get home for the 4th of July, '46!!  There are thousands of men out here with no transportation home.   News Flash; 'Airborne troops have landed in Tokyo and the Fleet will be entering the harbor soon.'"

August 30, 1945 "Dad's birthday; Mother and Dad's anniversary.   We have had rain and it is a bit cooler."

September 2, 1945 "Peace has been signed.  We shot off flares; blew horns; rang bells and the search-lights reminded me of the fireworks at the Fair at home."

September 9, 1945 "Looks like we are bound for Korea, if we ever get underway.  It is a lovely day; has rained three-fourths of each of the past fourteen days."

September 13, 1945 "We weighed anchor today.  I bought a grass skirt to remind me of the Battle of Leyte.  We are stopping at Okinawa for a load and I'm wondering if Bob is still there."

September 16, 1945 "We left Leyte on course 005 but when out about 40 hours we turned back on course 185.  Funny thing.  The sun set last night on the starboard side; this morning it rose on the starboard side.  When it is 6 A.M. out here it is 5 P.M. at home, the day before."

September 20, 1945 "The sea has been very rough, the waves high and there was lots of rain, sometimes so thick, you couldn't see the ship ahead.  We are due to arrive at Okinawa tomorrow."

September 23, 1945
Naha, Okinawa


"We beached at Naha, reaching the harbor day before yesterday.  The Air Base here is one of the largest in the world; 4 B-29's can land at the same time on this runway.  Came out of compartment cleaning today for sea detail.  The run was shining down hot and I have a nice sunburn.  I have been ashore.  Bob has gone.  And instead of sea detail, I go into Q.M.  Will stand 4 hours on with 8 off, while underway.  In port, have 4 on...12 off."

September 24, 1945





September 28, 1945
Jensen, Korea

October 2, 1945

Dad on ship"We are underway.  I have been on my first 'underway' watch; am Q.M. for special sea detail (when we drop anchor, up anchor, beach or retreat).  I fill out the log and notebook, on each hour as it rolls around.  It was cooler at Okinawa.  Where we beached the lower left side of Naha, they have a 6 ft. drop in tide and there are a lot of things to be found in the shallow reefs, when the tide is out.  When the hatches are open, underway, our quarters are real cool.   It is so much better than the hot, moist air we have been breathing."

"We are in Korea.   I have been put in Div. 3 and while in port, I stand signal watch on the conn.; keep tab on the weather barometer, speed and such.  Only six men can go ashore at a time."

"If anyone had told me six years ago that I would have been in the Orient in 1945, I'd never have believed them.  But here I am.  We are at Jensen, Korea.  The thermometer is at 56 this A.M.  The rain was coming from due north.  By noon it will be a bit warmer, 66, maybe.  After spending a year in the tropics, we feel the cold."

October 3, 1945 "We came into locks, built for a 29 ft. drop in tide yesterday afternoon; unloaded by 10:30 P.M.  Now we will leave the Basin and locks and anchor in the harbor for the night.  Leave tomorrow for Okinawa.  If the locks are closed, it makes unloading a pain in the neck.  Even when we have one of the twin screws going at full speed, this LST is awfully hard to steer.  For the last four days it has rained, but now the sun is shining.  Even at that it is 60 out side."


Next Page

A WWII Voyage
Page 1

Into the Pacific
Page 2

Page 4

China and Japan
Page 5

End of the Journey
Page 6

More Photos
Page 7

More Photos
Page 8

More Photos
Page 9