December 1945

 <November 1945<   >January 1946>

Letter from Sister in Law Ruth

December 1, 1945 – NEWS FROM HOME.  I got  a letter from my sister-in-law Ruth today.  The news from home was good.  She had a tea for Dona and many of my girlfriends were there.  It sounds like Dona is happy.  Clifford Beck is home and doing well.   Myrt is going to school to study dentistry.  Lucky guys to be home, especially for Christmas.  My brother Reed is busy getting the store in Blackfoot going.   It was nice of her to think of me.  It will be good to get home.

Lt. Donald D. Diers was detached from the ship today.  He has been ordered back to the States for tempoary duty pending further assignment by DuPers.  We took on fresh water supplies in preparation for our departure

December 2 to 7, 1945 – Sunday to Friday.  SAIPAN TO ENIWETOK.  At 8:00 am we held quarters for muster and colors.  Davis changed the water in the life raft kegs and at noon we headed out for our assignment to Eniwetok Atoll.  Eniwetok is about 1000 miles east of Saipan and will take us several days to get there.  We we were there on May 21, 1945 as we made our way up from the Solomon Islands earlier this year.   We are acting as OTC and we’re are steaming ahead in company with USS LST 560 at an average of 9 knots.  We continued our voyage a total of 6 long days.

December 8 to 10, 1945 – Saturday to Monday.  ARRIVE ENIWETOK.  At 7:10 am we entered Eniwetok Atoll.  We anchored at berth Peter 3 and remained here till Monday afternoon when we refueled and took on fresh water.  By 5 pm we were underway from along side YO 187, proceeding on various courses and speeds to take our station in the convoy.  LCI Group 8 was acting as OTC in accordance with routing instructions to Pearl Harbor.  We steamed on into the night.

December 11, 1945 – Monday.  DEPART FOR KWAJALEIN ATOLL.  Our convoy was underway today en route to Kwajalein, another atoll that we visited briefly on our way north back in May.  We were there before on May 14th.

December 12, 1945 – Tuesday.  ENGINE TROUBLE.  We continued on course steaming a course of 100 degrees bound for Pearl Harbor, however at 10:30 pm we had engine trouble and had to turn back to Kwajalein for repairs to our main engines and for further routing.  This is truly a disappointment and a set back as I was hoping to get back to the States or at least Hawaii for Christmas.  This probably will change those plans.

December 13, 1945 – Wednesday.  BACK TO KWAJALEIN. We traveled all through the night and in the morning at 8:30 am we entered the sea channel and at 8:50 we were moored once again at Kwajalein starboard side to USS LC(FF)782.  In the afternoon we fell in convoy behind USS ATR 52 using an engine combination of set at 2 engines per quad.  This convoy is headed to Johnston Atol about 1600 miles east of Kwajalein.  This convoy will also go to Pearl Harbor but will arrive much later than the other.

ATR 52 Rescue Tug Boat

December 15, 1945 – Saturday.  OLD MAIDS.  Our convoy is like the old maid bridge club.  ATR 52 is towing YF 730 and we limp along behind them with only two engines.  I feel like we are in the drum and fife brigade with bandages hanging off us.  We continued our journey for several days.  Sometimes I think I could swim faster than these ships can go.

December 21, 1945 – Friday.  WATER SPOUT SIGHTED.  We are about half way to our destination and an unusual thing happened today.  At 7:50 am we sighted a water spout about 1500 feet off our starboard beam.  The spout lasted for about 20 minutes and then dispersed itself.  I’m not sure what the explanation might be for the water spout, but we are very near the Hohnhaus Seamount so its possible that we are observing some underwater volcanic activity.  A Seamount is an underwater mountain that rises up from the bottom of the ocean almost to the surface of the water and can have many unusual characteristics such as sea life and geological activity.  The Hohnhaus Seamount rises some 13,000 feet from the bottom of the ocean.  Strange things indeed happen at sea.

December 21 , 1945 – Friday.  CROSSING THE DATELINE.  At 7:25 pm we crossed the International Date line.  So now we repeat the day all over again!  We continued our journey towards Johnston atol at a blazing 5 knots.

December 23, 1945 – Sunday.  On Sunday we moved into position alongside ATR52 to share some of our fuel with her.  It took us nearly 3 hours to transfer some 4200 gallons of diesel.  At noon we resumed our postion 3000 yards on the starboard beam of USS ATR52.

December 25, 1945 – Tuesday. CHRISTMAS DAY.  Today felt anything like Christmas and there certainly was no Christmas spirit aboard the 222.  At 8:50 am Captain Angelides held a Captain’s Mast.  Apparently L.J. Laramore, S1c was convicted of drinking aboard ship and was sentenced to deprivation of three liberties.  J.S. Parsons MoMM2c was also convicted of drinking AND of being disrespectful in his language and deportment to his superior officer while in the execution of his office.  He was sentenced to a reduction in his rating from 2nd to 3rd class.  This was a sobering day in more ways than one.

December 26, 1945 – Wednesday.  JOHNSTON ATOL.  Early this morning we started preparing to enter Johnston Isle channel.  By 10:20 we were moored alongside USS ATR 52 in the tiny harbor.  Johnston Atol is such a small place out in the middle of nowhere. It is only about 1 mile square in the North Pacific Ocean about 860 miles west of Hawaii. There are 4 small sand islands here.

FAREWELL TO FRIENDS – This has been a day of good byes as some of my old pals transferred to the Naval Dispensary here on Johnston Island for dispatch to Hawaii.  The names of the men who were transferred off today are G.M. La Combe F2c, R.P Davis PhM1c, A. H. Wolf and my good friend Harold Kesinger SM3c.  Adding to the comedy of errors that has taken place on this wacky trip home, USS PC 486 came along our portside at 3:45 pm and collided with us, causing a hole in the engine room 3 feet long and 6 inches wide!  During this war we have been hit more by our own navy than by the enemy!  This is at least the 3rd collision I know about.   At 4:20 pm we commenced taking on fuel and fresh water and at 4:30 a welder and shipfitter came aboard to repair the hull damage.  At 6:00 pm we had evening colors and when repairs were finished we turned in for the night.

December 27 – 31, 1945 – Thursday.  BOUND FOR HAWAII – BATTLE OF THE BUOY.  At 8:00 am sharp general quarters were sounded for muster and colors.  We got our lame ship out into the open water and fell into convoy with LST 818 behind ATR 52.  Then we struck out for the open seas.  We continued our voyage with little change in scenery except for the occasional unidentified object that on closer inspection turned out to be a white net buoy.  We decided to have some fun with it so we changed course and decided to attach.  For about 10 minutes we laid down a blanket of bullets but finally we called a cease fire and let it slip away.  We were unfortunately unable to sink the blasted thing.  I say its just a good thing we never did come under direct attack because we can’t even sink an unarmed buoy!  We rejoined our convoy and continued our course to Hawaii. On the 31st we approached Hawaii and at 10:10 pm we took our station 500 yards off the port beam of USS ATR52.

<November 1945<   >January 1946>