October 1945

October 1, 1945 – Monday.  TANAPAG HARBOR, SAIPAN.  I am now starting my fifth month in Saipan.  The war is over. We are just waiting to go home.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  I will be more than happy to get out of here.  I’m not the only one who is a bit on edge.  The Captain held a mast first thing this morning for N.W. Allen, Cox. His offense was disorderly conduct unbecoming to a Petty Officer.  He was given seven days of solitary confinement.  I say just let him alone.  We are already in solitary confinement on board this ship.  We remained at port in the harbor all day.

October 2, 1945 – Tuesday.  PICKING UP MAIL ON TINIAN.  We mustered the crew at 8 am and made ready to take the ship to Tinian.  Patrick Charles, MoMM3c was transferred off the ship before we left as he needs treatment and so he left for the Naval Hospital.  When we arrived at Tinian we took back over a ton of mail, 2280 pounds of mail to be exact.  Its all to be delivered to Saipan, so we headed back there with our cargo where we discharged the mail cargo to a small boat that took it to the post office.

October 3-7, 1945 – Wednesday – Sunday.  SHUTTLE TO TINIAN.  We took on passengers for Tinian this morning and made our normal Tinian-Saipan dispatch run.  We made the same run on Thursday, picking up 49 bags of mail again. My cousin, Cliff Beck, was able to come with me back to Saipan.  I was in hopes that we could have some fun but on Friday there was a terrible storm so we stayed at anchor in Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, and then resumed our normal dispatch run on Saturday and we took him back to Tinian.  He got very sea sick on the way back as the water was very rough after the storm.   Sunday I was able to spend the day with Earl Gray while the ship made the same run again to Tinian.  Earl thinks hes going home this week.  Lucky guy.

October 8, 1945 – Monday.  LETTER HOME.  We remained at anchor again today, which gave me time to write a letter home.  Here is my letter:

Letter Home 10/8/1945

Dearest Mother – Just got a very nice letter from you.  Thought I’d answer right back.  Had Clifford aboard for the night a few nights ago, and a big storm came up and we were unable to go back to Tinian the next day so he got to stay another night.  On our way back to Tinian it got a little rough and Cliff got sea-sick.  He said he was sure glad he wasn’t a sailor.  I wasn’t able to show him a good time.  I showed him all my work.  He thought it very interesting work.  It is rather I think.

That was a very good advancement for Dona (Dale’s only sister).  She has surely done well. Is she going to teach Jr. College again this winter?  She is a very outstanding personality.  She has a very precise way of putting things over, making her quite outstanding as a teacher.  I told you about seeing Earl Gray.  I spent all day Sunday with him.  He expects to leave for home, and a discharge this week.  He was restricted to his area Sunday.  So I’ve probably seen him for the last time out here. 

Cliff is also scheduled to leave the 10th of this month for home and his discharge.  Looks like I got the wrong outfit to bet a discharge doesn’t it?   Looks as though I’ll be out here quite a while yet.  The Navy don’t seem to be getting rid of their men nearly as fast as the Army or Marines.  Of course they have to have transportation, and a big navy for a while.  I hope it won’t take too long. 

Had another nice letter from Dad this morning.  He’s well, but says he does very hard work and is almost to quit.  I will put a few pictures in.  If Myrt comes over, show them to him.  I surely home you’re well.  Take care of yourself.  All my love, Dale.

October 9-11, 1945 – Tuesday – Thursday.  CREW CHANGES. We remained moored port side to P.C. 461 in Saipan.  We are preparing to make some crew changes aboard ship.  The following men were transferred off on Thursday, presumably to go stateside.  They are Robert Long PhM1c, Ernest Comptois BM2c, Allen A Dascomb MoMM2c, William Garrett GM2c, and Cecil Cooper StM1c.  Good luck fellows.  In the afternoon Alvin Clayton S2c and Harold Morgan BM2c reported aboard for duty.

October 12, 1945 – Friday.  We remained in Saipan today, moving only long enough to take on fresh water, reposition ourselves on the beach, and take on fresh provisions as we are getting ready to go to sea.

October 13 – 16, 1945 – Saturday – Tuesday.  MARCUS ISLAND.  We loaded troops this morning with orders to head to Marcus Island.   Marcus Island is a very small coral atol out in the middle of nowhere about 830 miles Northeast of Saipan.  At a distance of some 1150 miles from Tokyo, it was always a disputed piece of real estate but they considered it to be the most far flung island of all the islands of Japan.  Even though it is small, it is of obvious extreme strategic importance to the Japanese.  We bombed the daylights out of the island in 1942 and 1943 but we never actually captured the island.  The Japanese somehow managed to resupply the island using a submarine which they managed to sneak in to the center of the atol through an ingenious trench that they dug.  The channel is still visible today.  The US has taken over the island for now along with the air base that the Japanese built. We anchored off the island in 16 fathoms of water at 4:45 pm on October 16, 1945. This gave me a chance to write a letter home.

October 16, 1945 – Dearest Mother – This is just a little note to let you know where I am.  We brought about 150 Sea Bees from Saipan.  They are going to build an Air Field here.  It’s a Jap Island and no Americans had been on it till about a month ago.  It’s a very small island right out in the middle of the ocean by itself.  About 705 miles North of Saipan and a little east of Iwo Jima.  I sure pity the boys that have to stay here!  We got here about 5 o’clock this afternoon, and we will leave for Saipan again sometime tomorrow.  This is the first big trip we have been on since the end of the war and it sure seems funny to have all the lights on again.  It was a tiresome trip (3 days) but good weather all the way.  These trips make the time go by faster and you get around and see different things. 

Thanks for sending more magazines.  I’ll probably get them when I get back to Saipan.  I’ll probably have some mail too.  I surely hope by now you’re feeling better.  I wish you wouldn’t work so hard.  You know you don’t have to do that.  If its money you’re worrying about you don’t need to with all the boys you have.  Mom you know if you ever need any you can go get it out of the bank of my money.  I surely wish you would.  It would make me feel much better if I knew you had what you want.  Looks like I’m stuck out here for quite a while yet, as they navy needs all the transportation it can get to bring the boys home.  And even we are hauling guys around.  I only wish we were hauling them back to the States instead of around to various Jap islands. 

You say Pauline and Joyce are going to the Y? What do they do? Ride back and forth or stay in Provo?  Wish you would get Myrt to drop me a letter.  Why don’t you ask him next time you see him.  When does he think he will get out of the Army? 

I have 34 ½ points.  I need 44 to get a discharge.  But if I could get in the States I wouldn’t have to come back over.  Earl Gray and Cliff said they would come and see you as soon as they got home.  They both sent home for a discharge.  Will close and write you when I get back to Saipan.  All my love, Dale.

October 17 – 20, 1945 – CARRYING MARINES BACK TO SAIPAN.  At 9 am we loaded 60 marines and 3 officers on board.  They are part of the 30th Marines M.P.’s.   By 3:30 pm we were finally ready to pull anchor and head back to Saipan.  We were at sea for three days and arrived back in Saipan on Saturday at about 6pm.  We put our passengers ashore and remained at the pier for the night.

October 21, 1945 – Sunday.  RESUPPLY FUEL.  This morning we pulled away from the pier and came along side a fuel barge where we refueled.  After getting our fill, we moored port side to the fuel barge (YW69) and remained in the harbor for the rest of the day.  I got a chance to write a letter home.

Letter Home 10/21/1945

Dearest Mother – Just returned from Marcus.  I think I wrote and told you about it.  When we got our mail I had one from you!  Was surely sorry to hear you’ve been ill.  Maybe your better now, at least I hope so! 

What am I going to give Dona (sister) when she gets married for a wedding present? What do you think about $50?  Hope she did well cause she is one swell gal.  In fact, I don’t see how she could have done as well as she has at her age.  He will have to be damn swell person to meet my requirements for Sis! You say Ken is going to build a home for her in the spring?  Does he have money to do that?  What kind of an education has he had? I sure would like to know something about the guy.  I know nothing about him except he has a car and his name is Ken or at least that’s what you call him.  Dona never writes so you’ll have to tell me what you know about him. 

It looks as though I’ll be quite come time out here yet before I get home.  One never knows.  I’m 19 months out here now, mother, as for me being a good clean boy,  do you realize I could be nothing but!  Sometimes for 3 and 4 months at a time I never even get a chance to leave the ship!  Its not like a big ship, it goes hardly no place and theres nothing to do except write, read, and work.  I even take correspondence courses to have something to do. 

Will close for now.  Hope you’re better.  All my love – Dale

George Koenig

October 22 – 27, 1945 –  IN DRY DOCK. We remained in port Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday we took the ship into dry dock for some repairs.  We remained there until Saturday at which time we took on some new crewmen.  They are George Koenig F2c, Gerald M. LaCombe F2c, and William Vandenburg F2c.   I became pretty good friends with George after he came aboard.

Since the name ‘Koenig’ was German he wanted to change his name to an English name because of the war with Germany and all. (Post script: Since Koenig means ‘King’ in German he went by that name later after the war.    We had a photo taken of us together in Hawaii some months later on the way home from the war.  George eventually settled in Wisconsin and has since passed away.)

October 28, 1945 – Sunday.  We pulled the ship out of dry dock today and anchored in the harbor.  On Monday we took on fresh water and additional fuel.  On Tuesday we took the ship out for a firing run.  I can’t imagine why we are on a firing run unless its just to get rid of surplus ammo.  We shot for about an hour and then came back to harbor.  This gave me some time to write another letter home.  This will be my last letter home this month.

Letter home 10/30/1945

Dearest Mother – Just received the package of papers thought I’d better let you know how I appreciate them.  You went to too much trouble for me, mom.  Wish you wouldn’t do that with all the things you have to do, and the way your back is. 

Thanks a lot for all the trouble.  Please don’t go to all that trouble again.  I drew $300 I’ve been saving and I will send it home as soon as I can get a money order.  They’re so hard to get.  I’ve drawed a $100 a couple of times before.  I could get a money order spent it.  I want to be sure you have plenty of money for Christmas.  I won’t be home, that’s for sure.  Its too hard to get a relief for a quartermaster.  It’s a pretty hard rate. 

Has Myrt had to go back yet?  He has been pretty lucky to get those furloughs.  Its sure good he’s ben able to.  Did Clifford Beck get home yet?  I sent a package home for him yesterday.  How did Grant Smith turn out?  Surely too bad.  Hope he don’t loose his eyesight.  I thought for a while this ship would come back to the States, but it looks like they’re going to keep it here for inter-island work, to my misfortune. 

I should get to come home at least shortly after Christmas.  I have 19 months today.  Eighteen aboard this ship!  Will surely seem good to get out and back in school again.  I see there’s quite a few from Lehi going to BYU this year. 

Hope your well now.  Thanks a lot for the papers.  My love to you – Dale.

The following day I wrote another letter home:

Saipan – October 31, 1945

Dearest Mother,

I Got a change to get over on the beach this afternoon and I got the money order, $300.  Use what you need for Christmas and a wedding present for Dona. I was saving it up for my leave which I thought I’d get by now but looks like I won’t get one for several months.  So use all if necessary.

Will have to wait another year to be with you for Christmas.  Please let me know when you receive the money.

All my love,




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