Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reading this Blog

Since I can't reverse the order of the entries themselves, I suggest to anyone wanting to read the story from the beginning to use the Blog Archive in the column to the right, which lists the blogs in the correct order.  Then read them scrolling from the bottom up.

Thanks for visiting,

E.A. Santangelo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 1945

1 _____ The gang being transferred from the ship are all packing _ well get in tomorrow afternoon at 1600 so tonight well be my last night at sea. Its been a long cruise but its been a lot of fun _ If every thing goes alright I alto be heading home in 14 days.

Photo shows part of the Mobile's Welcome Home festivities.

This is Joe's final entry. In the phrase "its been a lot of fun" above, a word is crossed out after "been." I've always wondered exactly what he started to write instead. I honestly don't think this was said in sarcasm. I think by "fun" he meant the friendships he made on board and the exotic places he'd seen. Still, an odd thing to write at the end of a war.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November 30, 1945

30 _____ time went ahead another hour at 1900 _ we now only have one day & a half left _ this alto be my last trip _ Ill be off by the 15 of Dec.
_____ At 0830 this morning they passed out souvanirs _ All the crew got Jap rifles & about 200 got knife also. Not much work being done on the ship _ weather is getting very nice _ we must be pertty far south.

alto = ought to

souvanirs = souvenirs. Joe didn't bring home rifle, but he did bring home 2 Japanese swords, so possibly he swapped his rifle for them. His family disposed of the swords when his Post-Traumatic Stress became acute, because they were afraid he'd hurt himself or someone else.

pertty = pretty

Photo is of the Mobile docking in San Diego.

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 1945

29 _____ We found out today the ship is really going to San Diago & well get into port on the second of Dec. at 1600 _ the passengers will be transferred as soon as we get in. Not much else doing today _ weather getting a little warmer _ We seem to be heading south east.

Photo is of a tug guiding the Mobile into port in Long Beach, CA.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28, 1945

28 _____ time went ahead at 1900 we haven't done much work because of bade weather _ Movies in after messing space at 1300 & again at 1900.

Photo shows a portion of the Mobile's final crew.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 27, 1945

27 _____ We got back into our compartment today only a few cases of disinterry left on ship _ weather very nice but ship is rolling a lot because of heavy seas.

Photo shows signal flags blowing in the breeze above the Mobile. This particular configuration meant an admiral was visiting. The admiral's staff carries the flags with them and runs them aloft so the rest of the fleet will know which ship the admiral is on.

Friday, November 26, 2010

November 26, 1945

26 _____ today we had movie in after messing space at 1300 & again at 1830 _ we changed time ahead another hour so its now ___ hours dif then west coast. Orders were changed _ were not going to San Francisco _ well most likely go to San Diego & we alto get there the 2nd which is Sun. Not much going work going on _ its pertty hard sleeping at night because we sleep most of the day. Ship was soupose to be 2000 miles from San Francisco at 800 but were behind time because of storm & heavy wind. Ship rolling a lot because of heavy seas. Ship 47°N at 173 M at 800

alto = ought to
pertty = pretty

Photo shows the crew's public relations staff. These were the men who sent press releases about the ship's campaigns to hometown papers. For a crew of 1300 men (and no such thing as "group email"), that was a big job.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

November 25, 1945

25 _____ This morning we had Mass in after messing space _ also again this afternoon _ not much doing _ we cross date line between 2100 & 2400 _ day went back to 24th of Nov. Which makes it Sat. Night.

25 _____ Since today is Sun again we had Mass in after messing space at 900 & again at 1400. Not much doing. Weather still very cold & windy.

Joe made two entries for the 25th because of crossing the date line. Interesting that it happened on a Sunday and therefore they had religious services/mass two days in a row.

Photo shows one of the Mobile's signalmen.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24, 1945

24 _____ time went back another hour today at 1900 which makes us ___ hours dif than west coast time _ will cross date line tomorrow. Still very cold.

Photo shows the Mobile's final "scorecard." The flag symbols on the left are airplanes. The diagonal stripes probably represent battles, since the Mo received eleven battle stars.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 1945

23 _____ Not much today except movie in messing space at 1300 & again at 1830. Not much work on ship because of sick bay sick. over 100 fellows have disenterry _ I have a slite case.
_____ Ship today ____ N. on ___ M. at ____ heading for Frisco.

Photo shows the Mobile at sea.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November 22, 1945

22 _____ Weather still getting very cold _ time went back another hour so its now ___ dif. then west Coast. Expect to be there by 1st of Dec. Had new point system out _ will let me out by Dec. 15. So this is really my last trip. 34 men from 1st Div. getting out & 2 getting New Constriction. first Div will have 18 left.
____ ship today ____ N. at ___ M. at ___
_____ Still getting very cold _ time change at 1900


Photo shows Mobile's machine shop.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November 21, 1945

21 _____ Weather wasn't to[o] bade today _ getting very windy heard were going to keep two guns manned during the trip. Movies this afternoon at 1300 & again at 1830 in Messing space. First div. was force to give up compartment for sick Bay because of wide spread of Disenterry about 50 cases.
_____ Ship today _____ N.


Joe may still have been leaving these blank for security reasons, but likely he just meant to fill the information in later and forgot. I suspect with the end of his service in sight, he wasn't as motivated to fill in details.

Photo is of the homebound pennant catching the breeze. Each end was attached to the bow and stern so that it flew out sideways from the ship.

November 20, 1945

20 _____ Today was pertly nice day, the weather was really nice sun out most of the day.
_____ At 1400 this afternoon the ship was about 100 miles from the entrance to T_____ Bay, we pass between four islands called (_____ Shima). we are now traveling North east & this alto be the last bit of land we see for about ten days.
_____ At 1600 we sighted a ship & it pass in front of our bow just a few hundred yards.
_____ At 1700 time well be setting a head one hour which will still make _______ different then our west coast time.

The letter T actually looks like an L or a C, but following the coordinates given the previous day, the islands mentioned are those strung out south of Tokyo, so likely the letter is an uncrossed T and Joe meant Tokyo Bay.

The islands were likely Oshima and Toshima (pictured), which are right outside Tokyo Bay. The other islands in the vicinty are Niijima and Shikine.

alto = ought to

Joe probably meant to go back and fill in how many hours each time the time changed, but he never did.

Friday, November 19, 2010

November 19, 1945

19 _____ I started the day off with a 2400 to 400 watch. Only four forty Mil. guns are being mand for a few days till we get clear of the area where we might run into a mine field.
_____ This morning we saw the last of the Jap islands _ one was a high volcano with smoke coming out of it. At 900 we turned out & we haven't seen land all day _ heard were pulling into San Franscisco or San Diego eather the 1st or 2nd of Dec.
_____ Today we holly stoned the deck _ the weather is pretty good so far _ we was out most of the day but the wind was a little cold. The ship is going as far as 47° north.
_____ Right now we seem to be traveling south east.
(260 days out of states)

[written in bottom margin across 2 pages:] at 1200 ship was 5000 miles from Frisco—31°North on 132 M. at 2200 ship was 31°N 135 M.

The Japanese islands are dotted with volcanos, so it's hard to know which one Joe meant. Pictured are two such volcanoes on the island Hachijo-Jima.

Holly stoned = holystoned. As said before, this was a soft sandstone used to scrub and whiten the decks.

The Mobile followed the Japan current, which moves clockwise around the Pacific. They went southeast first to clear the Japanese islands and get out into the Pacific.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November 18, 1945

18 _____ Today is the day we've been all waiting for. We took on 800 passengers this morning & this afternoon _ 2 LCT came along side this morning at 900 & each had about 200 men _ two more came along side this afternoon about 1300 with 400 more passengers. The side was souposed to get underway at 1700 but we didn't clear the harbor till 1800. We flew our homeward bound pennant which was 1000 ft long. It sure is going to be some sight when we pull into the states.
(Sacabo is located 33°N. on 130 M.)

[written in bottom margin:] change course on 18 at 32°N. on 129 M

LCT = Tank landing craft

The homeward bound pennant was a narrow strip, 1300 feet long, one foot for every man in the crew, constructed of pieces of flags. Photo shows the crew constructing it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November 17, 1945

17- _____ today we had inspection of personall & living spaces. tonight we heard we are taking on passengers tomorrow morning & were getting underway tomorrow afternoon for the good old USA.

Photo shows USS Luzon, which was in Sasebo harbor at the time. She was an internal combustion class repair ship.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November 16, 1945

16- _____ Lower deck inspection this afternoon. field day all day. Not much else doing


Photo shows some of the children of Sasebo.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 1945

15 _____ Not much doing today. We fueled from tanker 115 this morning. Expect to be leaving soon.

Tanker 115 was the USS Elk.

Photo shows a Sasebo house.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November 14, 1945

14 _____ No passengers. today _ dont know when were leaving.

Photo shows some residents of Sasebo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November 13, 1945

13 _____ Not much doing except passengers are souposed to come on tomorrow _ not much going on. USS Boston left here this morning _ most likely she going down to Nagasaki

Photo shows the USS Boston. She was a Baltimore class heavy cruiser.

Friday, November 12, 2010

November 12, 1945

12 _____ Monday _ still in inner harbor but got underway at 1[3]00 & we drop anchor in the other harbor near the passage coming into Sacabo. Boston & Springfield & a hospital is anchored near us _ a lot of other ships are anchored around here. Theres a lot of sea planes anchored not far from us.___________

World War II had all sorts of seaplanes and Joe isn't specific what kind. The photo shows one of the Mobile's Kingfisher planes ready for take-off.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11, 1945

11- _____ Sun. Mass on main deck forward. No liberty.


Photo is of the Mobile in port in California.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 10,1945

10- _____ today we had personal inspection by captain all all living spaces & passageways. We had off this afternoon


all all = of all

Photo is of an inspection on the Mobile with crew in dress blue uniforms.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 9, 1945

9- _____ left outter harbor & went into inner harbor & moored to bouie No 16.
_____ Dope going around is that something is wrong with the trail & that we wont pull out till next week. today was field day & this afternoon was lower deck inspection
(250 days out of states)

bouie = buoy

trail = probably means "trial." Since their captain was on the court martial board, he may have had to return to Sasebo for another trial. In the meantime, the crew of the Mobile was given more field days (days spent cleaning the ship) and inspections, probably to keep them occupied and out of mischief.

Joe doesn't mention being granted liberty on this stay, but a photographer, at least, must have gone ashore to capture some of the photos, notably this one of Sasebo geishas.

November 8, 1945

8- _____ " _ " _ "

Meaning "In outer harbor" -- they were still in Sasebo. Photo shows the USS Terror, a minesweeper. She was in Sasebo Harbor at the same time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November 7, 1945

7- _____ in outter harbor

Also in the harbor at the time was the Japanese ship Takasago Maru (pictured). She was built as a passenger liner in 1937, converted to a hospital ship in 1941, then used to bring Allied prisoners to central ports like Sasebo where they were put on American ships for the trip home.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November 6, 1945

6- _____ in outter harbor.

The Mobile was in the outer harbor of Sasebo. The map shows the inner and out harbors.

Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 1945

5 _____ we left Nagasaki at 1100 & pulled into Sacabo about 2.00 expect to leave here by Sat. We fueled from tanker 115 as soon as we pulled in. Then drop anchor in the other harbor near the Jap ships that are in here. One large Jap hospital ship The (S____ in anchor just a few yards from us & on the other side of us a Jap cruiser is anchored _ she has three stacks. Today was pay day for crew.

Tanker 115 was the USS Elk.

Japanese 3-stack light cruisers were older ships and most were removed from the Navy list before 1945. The only one I could find that might have been at Sasebo with Joe was the IJN Kitakami (pictured).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4, 1945

4 _____ " _ " _ in Nagasaki.

He meant "Stood in Nagasaki," again.

Photo is of the Peace Statue in modern day Nagasaki's Peace Park. The statue right hand points toward the threat from nuclear weapons, the left hand is extended as a symbol of peace. Below the statue is a marble vault containing the names of the victims.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2, 1945

2 _____ " _ " _ "

Meaning, the same as yesterday. "Stood in Nagasaki."

Photo of Nagasaki residents walking through a landscape leveled by the bomb.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30, 1945

30 _____ 240 days out of states.

Pictured is a postcard that Joe purchased in Japan and brought home.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28, 1945

28 _____ Sun. Had mass on focasle at 900 & Divine services at 10.00 _ More men were trans fered at 1200 _ first Div. lost 3 more men. Rope yarn sunday. 3

The "3" was the number of men transferred.

Rope Yarn Sunday = Originally in the Navy, this was any day BUT Sunday when sailors were given a day or a half day off to do sewing and mending. Usually it was a day in port when a tailor came aboard. Later, the term just came to mean a day off, either for personal chores or recreation. Joe used it on a Sunday, and since this is the first he's used it, he probably meant they were given the afternoon off for personal chores. He might have used the time to mend uniforms or write letters. This photo from the Mobile's cruise book was captioned "Feurt the Tailor." No clue if that was his real name.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 1945

27 _____ Sat. _ Navy Day.
_____ The Ship was all dress up with flags from focasle to fandtail. Sure look swell _ Marines from Shore came over to look over ship this afternoon. Some of the fellows were transferred today more is going off tomorrow. First Div lost four in the transferry 4

transferry = transfer or transferring. Joe begins to count how many are transferred.

Photo shows Navy Day 1945 aboard the submarine USS Puffer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 1945

26- _____ Fri. _ Had field day & lower deck inspection. Japs are bringing unfinish cargo ships back to rapair dock to be completed. One tied up to dock today about 500 yards from us.

A field day, to remind all, was a complete cleaning and organizing of the ship. In this case, it was for Navy Day on the 27th.

Photo shows what was left of a Nagasaki munitions plant.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 1945

25- _____ Tue. A few fellows were told to get ready for trains ferry tomorrow. All those who do not have 9 months of sea duty will be transfer to other ships or shore base.

Tue. - should be Thursday.

trains ferry = transferring

Photo of Mobile sailors.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 1945

24 _____ Wed. _ Still in Nagasaki. News going around is that were going back to the states Nov. 15. also new point system came out which will let me out by late Jan or early Feb.

As of May, all G.I.s were required to have 85 battle points for discharge. In October, with the demobilization ahead of schedule, the total was rolled back to 75 (some sources say less).

Photo is of a Nagasaki Shinto shrine.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 1945

23 _____ Tue. same as yesterday movies on main deck aft.

Photo shows buildings in Nagasaki not leveled by the bomb.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 1945

22 _____ monday not much _ movies on main deck aft.

This begins a few days of short entries. The sailors (according to Joe's later entries) were given shore leave some of the days. Despite the devastation, Nagasaki still had a few sites worth seeing, and some were published in the Mobile's cruise book. Photo shows a fisherman's junk against a backdrop of terraces.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21, 1945

21- _____ Today being sunday we had mass & divine services on focasle I also had liberty in after noon. Got a Jap commona.
(231 days out of states)

commona - kimono.

Ed. note: Joe brought home 3 silk kimonos. 2 are pictured. My brother and I often wore them as Halloween costumes, never knowing that one, at least, might have come from Nagasaki only 6 weeks after the bombing. Mine was the small gray one -- a child's kimono, about 3 feet in length. Joe also brought our family a purple one with a brilliant red obi (sash).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20, 1945

20 __ from 14 to 20 _ Stayed in Nagasaki

Photo: A dramatic photo of a Nagasaki bridge taken the day after the bombing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 1945

20 __ from 14 to 20 _ Stayed in Nagasaki

Photo: A bombed out Nagasaki torpedo station.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17, 1945

20 __ from 14 to 20 _ Stayed in Nagasaki


Photo: Devastation around a Shinto temple. Amazingly and appropriately, the torii was left standing. The torii is a symbolic gateway between the profane and the sacred.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 14 & 15, 1945

Ed. Note: Circumstances prevented me from getting to the PC yesterday. Though you'll note that Joe's entry covers 7 days, so I'm combining the first 2. I'll post photos of Nagasaki at the time over the next week.

20 __ from 14 to 20 _ Stayed in Nagasaki


Today's photo is of two Nagasaki women with the bomb's destruction behind them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13, 1945

13- _____ Had inspection this morning in dress blues _ another Jap mine sweeper pulled in with soldiers & left after unloading them _ same was (Sweeper) a Jap hospital ship pull in at 17.00 Jap ship yards here a starting to work again building ships. three transports have been completed. Liberty this afternoon at 1245 to 16[4]0.
(224 days out of states)

1640 - I put the 4 in brackets because it looks like a 3 with a 4 written over it.

At the war's end, the Japanese needed to evacuate their armies from the islands they'd taken over. Many Japanese ships had their guns removed and were converted to transport ships. The painting shows the IJN Soya, an ammunition ship converted to a transport in September of 1945.