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Dry Dock at Espiritu Santos

Nov. 5, 1944
Kay Dearest:

We have arrived at Espiritu Santo , will go into dry dock tomorrow.

We will also have Liberty tomorrow.

I have let the last few days pass as all we have been doing is travel.

We are among three islands. Two are very small and have coconut plantations all over them.

Beaches of Espiritu Santo, now a destination for scuba divers.

The water here is very clear. Some of the fellows have caught some rather large sharks and other strange fish.

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The SEA-BEES are sure doing a great job

Nov. 6, 1944

My Darling:

We are now in the largest floating dry-dock in the world. I just cannot see how it manages to pick us up.

West Virginia in floating drydock, ABSD-1, 1944

When we were in the Phliippines, we went so close to the beach we ran aground and it bent the ends of our screws.

The SEA-BEES, are sure doing a great job. They are also fixing up the ship.

Well, I went on Liberty today. We had two choioes on where to go. One- to go the the main island and go sight-seeing or two- to go to the small island. and go swimming and get 2 cans of beer. Well, I went sight-seeing and it turned out pretty good. We rode around for 4 hours. I only saw 1 white woman and there were about 6 officers with her. We saw some natives. They looked like natives too. The older ones looked like all their teeth were going to fall out.

Natives of Espirito Santo

Some of the guys bought some shells and bracelets. There was nothing there worth while. The only kind of money talk was one dollar bills.

We ate lots of coconuts.

The islands were nothing like I expected, I’ll tell you that.

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We are all fixed up

Nov. 7, 1944

My Darling :

Well, we are all fixed up now and all loaded up except for l6-inch ammunition. We are going back to the Admirality Isles and I guess we will get it there. I am going to let the next few days pass till we get someplace or something happens.

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Japs Blew Up the Cargo Ship That Had All Our Ammunition

Nov. 11, 1944
Sweet Kay:
We have arrived at the Admirality Isles, and come to find that the Japs were here two days ago and blew up the cargo ship that had all our ammunition on. I don’t know where we will get it now. We don’t have too much aboard now.

Hurray! I got 4 letters from you and 3 from mom.

Well, I guess we will leave here tomorrow. No use hanging around if there is no ammunition.

The USS Mount Hood Explodes in spectacular fashion a day before it should have transfered ammo to the Wee Vee.

The ship referred to here was the USS Mount Hood, which exploded for unexplained reasons on Nov 10th, 1944. The explosion was so violent that no remains of the crew were found, a neighboring ship lost most of her crew, and a huge trench was created in the sea floor.  Click here for more info.
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Ammunition On And Are Just Waiting For Orders

Nov. 18, 1944
Dearest Kay:

Well, here we are at Uluthi Island, it is just 60 miles from Yap Island, hope the Japs stay there.

We are going to take on ammunition today. Hurray !

Well, we have all the ammunition on and are just waiting for orders.

Boy!!  We have a lot of ships here. Some of the new ones.


We are going to stay here for three days waiting for our Cans to get ready. Then I guess we will go back to the Philippines.

Nothing happened in the three days so no use wasting paper.

We left on the 21st.

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Another Invasion

Jan. 1, 1945

Hi Honey:

Left Manus, guess we are going to make an invasion some place.

There are 17 C.V.G’s. with us and 3 Battleships, fifteen Destroyers and four cruisers. Nice way to start out the New Year.

I am going to start out the New Year by loving you twice as much. I am going to wait until we get someplace and continue.

Escort carriers were smaller and more numerous versions of the big aircraft carriers.

“CVG” is in reference to carrier battle groups.  Aircraft carriers had superseded battleships as the premier naval power during WW2.  During the battle of Luzon, there were 6 escort carrier, not 17.
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