Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31, 1945

31 _____ We finished carrying Amm at 3:00. We had Mail call at 400. I got 6 letters _ heard from Dell & home. We carried st[ores] ... on from 430 to 600. We left U_____ harbor at 700. We dont know where were going. I guess [its] to meet the fleet. I went to confession _ the dope going around is were head for (G____)

Yes, that's 3 in the morning that they finished carrying on ammo, and mail call at 4 am. Then they carried on supplies and left Ulithi at 7 am. All before breakfast.
Mailcall photo above.

Catholics traditionally receive the sacrament of confession sometime during the week before Easter. March 31 was Holy Saturday.

G = Guam? They might have started sailing northeast toward Guam, but eventually they steered northwest.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 1945

30 _____ We went into AA defense when a group of Jap planes tryed to bomb here (_____) but were driven off by our planes _ they got within 14 miles. We fueled today & had another AA defense after leaving tanker. We started to carry on Amm at [2100] it rained most of the time we were carrying it.

"Here" is still Ulithi Anchorage.

The time was smudged from getting wet, I guess because of the rain, but it looks like 2100, that is, 9 pm.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29, 1945

29 _____ We entered (U_____ this morning about 10:00. It rained almost all day. We expect to fuel tonight or tomorrow. dont think well stay here long. We haven't taken much on yet.


U = Ulithi Anchorage (photo shows anchorage with the island in background).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

March 28, 1945

28 _____ It was still rainin[g]...[t]his morning when I got up. Not much d[oin]g today. This afternoon U.S.S. S_____ passed 36000 yards from us on her way [ba]ck to states. It rained off & on all day .... today is holy Thurs.
27 days out of states.


Could not find which ship "S___" is.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 27, 1945

27 _____ Weather was bade today _ rain most of the time, time went back another half hour. Right now were [on]ly 130 miles west of (T._____ ) _ I wrote to Dell, Lucy and home.
1 day & 6 1/2 hours different then W Coast.

T. is possibly Truk Island

Lucy was Lucy Rose, Joe's next door neighbor in Norristown.

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26, 1945

26 _____ Not much doing up to 10.00 _ Dope going around is that Germany has surrendered but by the mornings news there was still fighting over there. We passed close to (E_____ ) about 330 this morning. It was raining up to 10.00 _ time went back another half hour at 1900 (7:00)
(time) 1 day & 6 hours different then W Coast.

Germany didn't surrender until early May.

E = probably Eniwetok Island, about halfway between Hawaii and Okinawa.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25, 1945

25 _____ Today is Palm Sunday _ we had mass at 1430 in after messing space. We pa[i]nted the for room this afternoon. time went back another half hour.
(time) 1 day & 5 1/2 hours diff, then W Coast.


Photo shows an on-deck mass on the Mobile for the Catholic sailors. Since the vestments are white, it's probably an Easter mass.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24, 1945

24 _____ At 1500 [we]...[ce]labrated the 2nd ann. of our ship the...[M]ighty Moe. We had a big cake [in]...[me]ssing space for all hands & all the ic[e cre]am we wanted. Cake was over 5[0]...pounds.
23 days out...[sta]tes


As mentioned before, the Mighty Mo is a ship nickname most often associated with the Battleship Missouri, but the crew of the USS Mobile also used it, spelled with an "e".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 1945

23rd _____ This [af]ternoon we fueled a DD. time went back another hour at 19.00
(time)1 day 5 hours diff[erent]...Coast & 8 hours diff. then home

DD = destroyer

Because they had crossed the International Date Line that morning, they gained a full day. The 23rd began at 11:45 am.

1 day, 5 hours different from West Coast, USA. "Home" is Eastern Standard Time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 1945

22nd _____ We crossed the 180 M at 11:45 _ we had [fun]...with the new guys _ we told them [to] be on the lookout for the date line, [so] today was a very short day

He meant "short day" literally. Crossing the date line, the 22nd became the 23rd at 11:45 AM.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 21, 1945

21 _____ We had a lot of work today. in quarters we were told, were now headed for U_____ should be there in ten days. don't expect to stay there long. We had fighting school on main deck aft. This afternoon I help fix messing space for ships second birthday. We had payday today, draw $80.00 sending $60.00 home.

Quarters: an normal assembly of the ship's company, as opposed to "General Quarters" which is an emergency assembly, a call to "battle stations".

U = Ulithi Atoll, West Caroline Islands.

Joe wrote only first initials of destinations--he wasn't allowed to write the names out for security reasons. Often he'd leave space after the initial, as he did here, as if intending to go back and fill in the names someday. He never did.

March 20, 1945

20 _____ Today was suoposed to be payday but they didn't pay us. Weather is pretty good so far. Changed time again today now four hours different the[n] W.C.
(time 4 hours different the[n] W. Coast

W.C. = West Coast

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 1945

19 _____ We did a little AA firing this morning. (USS) Olkland & one DD joined us at 1200 & we left the Pearl Harbor area then USS Olkland turned back ... [because] of engine trouble. Time went ... back another half hour at 1700. No[w] ... its 3 1/2 hours different then west [coa]st. Sure left a swell girl be[hind] ... 19 days out of state[s] ... time 3 1/2 hours diff.


DD = destroyer

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 1945

17th _____ We finish taking on Amm early this morning then we carried a few stor[e]s on, shifted birth this morning & tied up to a morring b[uoy]. The (USS Olkland) was souposed to tie up along side us. No liberty today. Tomorrow were soupose to leave Pearl for good. I sure hope so _ Im tiered of this place.

Olkland = Oakland (photo)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 1945

16th _____ We had G[Q] ... [to]day we did a little Bombarding prac[tice]...This afternoon while on our way in ... a large whale, that was bleeding ... of the ships must of hit it. We came in ... [af]ternoon & tied up to Amm depot. We work the rest of the day loading Amm. all H.C.

GQ = General Quarters, an emergency assembly of the ship's crew. This time was likely a drill.

Amm = ammunition; H.C. = high caliber -- That is, they stopped at the depot to take high caliber shells on board.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 1945

15th _____ We [k]nocked a few radio controll planes down in AA practice. Were souposed to get back in tomorrow. We also did a little bombarding pr[a]ctice. by the looks...Id say our next operation [will] ... bombardment.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 1945

14th _____ We done a little firing today but outside of that we had reagular sea routine.

Photo: Part of their shipboard routine was to dye white caps blue. Supposedly, sailors wearing white caps made the ship easier to spot by enemy planes. Of course, the officers still wore beige hats and, during battle, everyone wore helmets.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13, 1945

13th _____ We got underway at 800 but the dope is that were going back in, in 4 or 5 days. We did a little AA. fire.

AA = Anti-aircraft practice

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 1945

12th _____ [Supposed] to get underway today but something is wrong with turrits & starboard got liberty. Wasn't much to do.

Photo: Joe holding life preserver that says "Mighty Mo."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 1945

11th _____ Went ashore again...Wanamaker & McKnight were along couldn't real[ly] we went to show & had something [to] eat. We ate four banana splits.

One thing that never changed about Uncle Joe--he really enjoyed his food. Reading about the banana splits made me smile.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 1945

10th _____ Starboard rated liberty today but spent most of day looking for chirch. found [the] pla[c]e around 1600 but had to go ba[ck]...00 he was on night shift. We were really [glad] to see each other. Got my first letter from D[ell]...was really glad to hear from her. I am...letter tonight after show. 10 days out of state.

This would have been during Lent, so it's possible that Joe was looking for a church so he could receive the sacrament of confession. Or possibly he just wanted to make an extra visit before heading out into battle again. (Photo pictured is St. Joseph's in Hawaii. Who knows? Maybe that was the church.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 1945

9th _____ Went ashore again today rented a few bikes _ Wan & Ba[rns] were along. We also rented a camera & took a roll of fi[lm]. When we got back on[,] found the ship had shift birth. it was tied up along side the B.B. Mississippi

Shift birth = the Mobile had moved and was now tied up alongside the Battleship Mississippi. B.B. will be used frequently in the journal to stand for battleship.

Photo from that roll of film: Joe and, presumably, Barns.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 1945

8th _____ Not much doing today, except for a little painting, got whites ready for liberty tomorrow. Had movies on main deck aft.

Painting must be done regularly aboard ship to protect the metal from the corrosive effects of salt water and air.

Joe writes later in his journal that liberties in port were usually every other day. The starboard and port side crews would take turns, so the ship always had at least a half crew aboard.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 1945

7th _____ We got liberty today _ Wan. & I went to Diamond head & rented a bike, I came close to getting hit by a car. Pearl hasn't changed a bit, its still no good for liberty.

Photo shows infamous bike and presumably Wan. whose full name was Wanamaker.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 1945

6th _____ Weather was...good, we fired AA defense this morning...afternoon we entered Pearl & tied up to dock, but to[o] late for liberty

AA = Anti-aircraft defense practice

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5, 1945

5th _____ Weather clear[ed]...good, water still rough today _ was pay[day]...I didn't draw any money. We had a little fir...[ar]ound 4. We will get into Pearl tomorro[w]...6th.
5 days out of stat[es]


Another damaged page.

Joe "didn't draw any money"--meaning he didn't take any for himself, but had it sent home. Photo shows payday aboard the Mobile.

"fir..." is probably "firing"--meaning gunnery practice and not a fire on board.

5 days out of stat[es] -- Joe begins his count of how many days since they left Long Beach in February. He usually wrote these in red ink and underlined them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 1945

4th _____ Weath[er] is still the same, sun came out for a few minutes. Word was passed, we were heading into a storm. Weather is changing now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 1945

3rd ____ Weather, same as yesterday. There [are] some yard workmen on board that we pick up at T.I. The ship seems to be in worst shape now than when...first [went] in. I had my first full night in.

T.I. = Terminal Island, California

"first went in" : From January 11 to February 28, 1945, the Mobile had been in drydock for much needed repairs after the previous 16 months of constant action in the Pacific. Photo shows Mobile at one of the Navy yards.

Joe says he had his first full night in, reinforcing the idea that his watch the day before was in the early morning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, 1945

2nd ____ Not much doing today _ had 4 to 6 watch _ weather was a little better. We were told we would reach Pearl by the 6th. Dope going around is that there might be some transfers there.


4 to 6 watch was probably 4 am to 6 am.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 1945

1st _____ Not much doing ... most of the new hands are sea sick, I dont feel so hot myself. We had 13 men jump ship at Long Beach. The weather wasn't so nice today.