15 Sep 1945

Dear Mom:

I am writing this letter aboard ship.  We are about 48 hours out of Pearl Harbor.   We are due to dock there on Monday about 1 p.m..

So far the trip has been most uneventful.  The seas are quite calm and very blue.  The pacific seems to be much more calm than the Atlantic.

We finally sailed last Monday at 5 p.m.. There was a little excitement at the start.  As the ship moved out into Puget Sound from Seattle, one of the navy men dived overboard.  He didnít want to make the trip and took this opportunity to make a getaway.  However, one of the shipís small boats pulled him out of the water and he was brought back aboard the ďNeshoba.Ē ** (see note below)

 

This ship is much smaller than the other two we rode on.  We donít have quite the conveniences that we had on the others.  We donít have staterooms. Thus, we have tiered bunks but no mattresses.  However I was farsighted.  I brought along a mattress from Ft. Lawton and on board got a cord and fixed myself up with a reading light.  So, everything is all right.

The weather is beginning to get quite warm and will get warmer each day.  At this particular moment, we are scheduled to stop in Pearl Harbor for several days.

Our destination from Pearl Harbor is Tacoblan, Leyte.  From there it is rumored that we will go to Honshu.  How true the latter is I donít know.

The weather has been very nice.  The nights usually turn out to be quite pretty.  The cloud formations are quite novel and the moonlight on the water all tend to make the scenery quite different.

This is Sunday.  Iíve decided to closes this letter before we get to Pearly and get it in the mail.  There is a possibility that we might not get ashore in Pearl but if we do I will scribble a line from there.

However, if we donít get ashore this will be the last letter that I will write for a couple of weeks.  It is estimated to be 14 days journey from Pearl.

I am enclosing a sheet from the shipís paper.  That is about all the news for now.

Love to all,

Billy

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** This is mentioned in the decklogs, but it appears that he may have fallen overboard as there appears to be no punishment. Captain's mast was held 2 days later and there is no mention of him. The date of the "man overboard" was September 10, 1945 and the Sailor was S1c James A. Henson.

Here is the response from one of the men who was on board: 

As I recall the incident, the man was extremely home sick and in-as-much as the war was over and we were leaving for Japan, he jumped overboard. I think the skipper took pity on him and didn't court martial him. Some of our boats were still in the water and they fished him out and he promptly passed out. I don't recall the temperature at the time, but I think it must have been cold. Theodore Hoyt Cate