Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September 30, 1945

30- _____ Today is sunday _ we had mass in after messing space this morning. After mass we had chow & this after noon we went on a sight seeing tore of the city of Sacabo. The people here seem very friendly _ all but the girls are but not the men.

Sacabo = Sasebo

Photo shows a Sasebo family.

September 29, 1945

29th _____ Today we were still in Sasabo Harbor. This morning we had a sight seeing party. I was on it. We road around the harbor on a L.C.V.P. to land at the sights. we got over by the carriers. they are still in Jap hands but have no guns on them. One is completed but the other two are still building.
_____ This after noon they decided to give us liberty so half of the 1st & 4th sections went off. I had the watch & well probable get it tomorrow. We had to wear whites.
211 days out of state
L.C.V.P. = Vehicle & Personnel Landing Craft—the kind that looks like a big shoebox with one end that can be lowered to make a ramp.

Photo shows sightseeing tour of Sasebo harbor. Impossible to tell for sure if Joe was in the photo, but he might be the one with the dark cap, center, bottom.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28, 1945

28- _____ We pass Nagasaki this morning _ reach S_____ at 11.00 & went into harbor _ we drope anchor at 1200. USS Wich & USS Sa Fey is also here. I really dont know how long well be here. There also three Jap carriers & a few Jap DD & some DE. also subs and other small craft of the Jap fleet. These are the only carriers they have left. We were tied up to buoys.

S = Sasebo

Sa Fey = Santa Fe

Wich = USS Wichita. The photo shows the 5 Horton brothers who served on the Wichita together in 1941. The Navy supposedly had a policy of separating siblings, but it was ignored at least twice, with the Hortons and, most notably, with the 5 Sullivan brothers, all of whom went down with the USS Juneau in 1942. Since the Sullivans, the Navy has been more strict about following the policy so whole families won't be wiped out.

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 1945

27 _____ Ship got underway at 600 for S_____ _ expect to get there tomorrow at around 1200. We took on US Mail also mail for Sa Fey. Cond. III section II had first watch 4 to 6 this morning.

an = announcement

S = Sasebo, Japan

Sa Fey = USS Santa Fe, the Moe's third "sister ship." She was also the flagship of Rear Admiral Morton L. Deyo who was in Sasebo to accept the surrender of the naval base there. The photo shows the the surrender papers being signed aboard the Santa Fe on September 21.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26, 1945

26 _____ Made a special an that the ship would get underway at 1800 but later changed it to tomorrow at 600. Movies in Mess hall.

an = announcement

Photo of Mobile from above.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September 25, 1945

25- _____ Were still in Buckner Bay _ dont know when were going out.

Photo shows one of the few political cartoons of the day that showed the Hiroshima bombing in a negative way.

Friday, September 24, 2010

September 24, 1945

24- _____ Nothing of importan happen _ only the ships of the so called 3rd fleet left here for the states. that is the
USS Alabama
USS Indiana
USS Miss

Wis = Wisconsin
Miss = Mississippi

Photo shows the USS Indiana followed by another battleship and 2 cruisers.

Probably the largest ships were sent back to the states because they could hold the most soldiers going home. The smaller ships like the Mobile were left to ferry soldiers and ex-POWs back and forth to Okinawa. This whole operation off getting the soldiers home was dubbed Operation Magic Carpet.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 23, 1945

23 _____ Ship got underway for Point Bowlow this morning _ reached there at 1000 & drope anchor. LSMs came along side & took off Dutch & rest of prisoners. We got underway at 1400 for Buckner Bay _ reached there at 1700 & drope anchor. Old BBs left here for the States.

USS Texas
USS Ark.

Ark. = Arkansas

NY. = New York, of course. Photo shows the battleship arriving home in NYC the next month.

& = Joe's last entry was crossed off but he left the ampersand.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 22, 1945

22- _____ Got into Okinawa at 1200 & drope anchor in Buckner Bay. The ship also fuel from tanker but didn't drope prisoners off. Movies on focastal.

Photo shows the USS Inca, a Liberty ship that was in Buckner Bay. She was severely damaged in May of 1945 and was being used as a floating dry storage facility when the typhoons of September and October finally beached her.

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 21, 1945

21- _____ More prisoners came on today. They are mostly Dutch. who were captured in Java.
_____ The hole ship went on a sightseeing tore of the City of Nagasaki where the second Atomic bomb hit. We left in sections one quarter at a time.
_____ Ship got under way at 1200 for Okinawa. One DD 378 was with us.


Java was invaded by Japan in February of 1942, so the Dutch soldiers had been prisoners for more than 3 years.

Photo shows the sightseeing tour of Nagaski, only 6 weeks after the bombing.

DD 378 was the USS Smith.

September 20, 1945

20- _____ Reached Nagaski at 1300 & tied up to mooring buoy in outer harbor. Started to take on more prisoners at 1500. they took up forward compartment so we had to leave. We took on 321 by night fall _ well take more on tomorrow.

Photo shows Mobile taking on more soldiers for their next "Magic Carpet"run.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19, 1945

19- _____ This morning we had revillie at 500 to fuel from tanker. We expect to leave here some time this morning for Japan. We left Point Bowlow for Buckner Bay _ got in at 14.00 took on Admiral of all Cruisers Divisions. left harbor right away.

After Okinawa was taken by the Allies, Nahagusuku Bay was renamed Buckner Bay after General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. (photo) who was killed during the closing days of the Battle for Okinawa. He had commanded the Tenth Army there.

Point Bolo was on the west side of Okinawa, so they sailed southwest along the coast, then southeast around the bottom of the island, then north to reach the bay.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

September 18, 1945

18- _____ This morning & all the rest of the day a large number of ships pulled into Point Bowlow _ one Carrier one Hospital ship & large number of AHs PA APs & all other kind of transports. At 1630 LCMs came along side & began taking off soldiers. They went to the beach to be flown back to the states or ther home. Only a few soldiers left at that time but at 22,00 An LCT came along side & took the rest off.
200 days out of states

AHs, PA, APs were all various classes of transport ship.

Photo shows LCM taking soldiers from the Mobile.

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 17, 1945

17 _____ We were somewhere off Okinawa this morning since the typhoon is still bade _ we might not go in untill this afternoon. At 1200 we got speed up & we headed for Okinawa. Reach Point Bowlow at 1800 & drope Anchor _ only a few other ships with us.

The typhoon was called Makurazaki. On the 17th, the eye hit Hiroshima, Japan. Since much of Hiroshima had been destroyed by the first atomic bomb on August 6, there wasn't enough infrastructure left to protect the survivors. 3000 more people died from Makurazaki. Photo shows the typhoon's damage to a Japanese Army hospital.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16, 1945

16 _____ We got underway at about 600 & headed for Okinawa. We made between 25 & 30 nots all the way untill we hit a typhoon about 2100. We expect to go in tomorrow if its not too bade.
98 days

Photo shows the rescued POWs sunning themselves on Mobile's deck.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 1945

15 _____ Today we got underway at 1030 _ tied up to a deck at 1140 _ we had to wait for a train carrying prisoners _ it got here at 1300 _ we started to take on 604 A_____ prisoners at about 2154 _ finish at 830 tonight.
_____ Prisoners have the hole second deck & part of the third deck _ we will get underway at 600 tomorrow morning.
_____ The troops we took on were almost all taken prisoners at Singapore almost 4 years ago. They all look pretty good but they were really glad to see an American ship again. One guy said _____ Hi Navy, Where the hell have you been for the last four years.
_____ Most of them are Dutch with some English Philippinos & Al

Singapore, which was British at the time, was captured by Japan in February of 1942. 60,000 prisoners were taken.

"A" and "Al" might stand for "Allied" or "Australian," which some of the prisoners were.

Top photo shows released prisoners leaving train. In the other photo, the prisoners dictate letters home to USS Mobile sailors at typewriters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14, 1945

14- _____ this morning we were told we were going to enter Nagasaki Bay & drope anchor in the outer harbor. We might stay there for 5 days.
_____ We drope anchor at [1150] & we were just a hundred yards from shore.
_____ A lot of sunken ships are laying around & we found USS Wichata also Hospital ship Haven in here taking on prisoners of war to be transfered back to Okinawa. Also here is a small carrier & about 5 DDs. also 5 LSTs.

Wichata = USS Wichita, a heavy cruiser

Photo is of the Hospital Ship USS Haven

DDs = destroyers
LSTs = Tank Landing Ships

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 1945

13 _____ Today we came in around the entrance to Nagasaki Bay & just went around in circles. again. & went out again tonight.
__________Photo shows Mobile after they finally entered Nagaski Bay.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 12, 1945

12- _____ This morning we find ourselves within sight of (Nagasaki Bay) _ This morning it rained a little _ the sun is still not out. It seems a little colder. A new point system came out today _ there now counting over seas duty.
_____ Three Jap ships are being used by mine sweepers to clear out the mine fields. they loaded them with wood & there pulling them through the mine fields _ if they do hit a mine _ they wont sink.
_____ Fellow who died last night was transferred to DD - DD went back to Okinawa. Also transfered mail.

Point system: Used to determine length of service for military personnel. The new point system assigned more points for overseas duty, meaning Joe would be able to muster out sooner. The government could afford to do this now that the war was ending. Photo shows the Army point system rating card.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 11, 1945

11- _____ This morning we sighted the Hospital Ship USS Hope _ the CA Wichita & one DD was also with her _ She also had 5 Mine sweepers. They all entered (Nagasaki Bay) this morning to pick up our prisoners there. We came back in closer to (Nagasaki Bay) this morning & went out again tonight. I saw one plane turn over on the S___ No 27. It rained about all day. (A fellow died in sickBay from heart acttack)

Photo: Hospital Ship USS Hope

CA = heavy cruiser

S__ No 27 = Probably the USS Suwannee, ACV-27. She was an escort carrier (a small aircraft carrier).

September 10, 1945

10- _____ This morning we joined up with a fleet of ships. they where
2 Carriers & _ DDs-

DD-515 - 471 -

We were just 90 miles from Nagasaki at 800 this morning _ we could see Kyushu at that time. We are now out side of there just cruising around looking for mines. while the mine sweepers clear the Bay out. We went out to sea tonight not to hit mines

#27 was the light aircraft carrier USS Langley
#109 was the escort carrier USS Cape Gloucester (pictured)

DD = destroyers
#515 was the USS Anthony
#471 was the USS Beale

Kyushu = the southernmost island of Japan proper. Nagasaki is on its west coast.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 9, 1945

9th _____ This morning we got underway at 545 _ we left the harbor at about 500 _ three ships of C____ Div 12 got underway at the same time but didnt leave the harbor with us. One DD came out with us. We pass by s_____ which was on our starboard side.
_____ The captain made a special speech _ he told us that we were now on our way to N_____ where we are to cover a fleet of mine sweepers. he told us the area would be field of mines & that we had to keep a very close lookout for them. After we help clear the area the transports are soupose to bring in troops for the occupation of the big Navel Base there.

C___ Div 12 = Cruiser Division 12

s_______ = Something is crossed out before the "s" that may be "port," then a blank is left, so possibly he meant a port that began with the letter "S". At a guess, possibly Sesoko Island off of Okinawa. The photo shows the graves of Japanese soldiers on Okinawa, with Sesoko Island in the background.

N______ = Nagasaki

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 8, 1945

8- _____ Today we had personall inspection by the captain _ I was on mas...nger watch _ both CL left today _ both were of the Nashville Class.
_____ Dope going around is that were going out tomorrow which I heard is Japan itself _ the hole crew seem pretty happy about it
190 days

mas...nger watch = Messenger of the Watch, who delivers messages and carries out any other duties that the Officer of the Deck assigns. In port, he would have been part of the Quarterdeck Watch. The quarterdeck was not only the main control center of the ship in port, but where visitors entered the ship. The watch would likely have been stationed at the top of the boarding stair, wearing neater if not dress uniforms. The photo is of a Quarterdeck Watch from the 1950s. The sailor in the rear is the Messenger of the Watch.

September 7, 1945

7- _____ Today we had lower deck inspection _ two CL came in _ both were of the Nashville class. Ber___ left today.

Nashville class = Joe probably means Brooklyn-class, of which the USS Nashville was one. Photo shows the Nashville in December 1944, after being hit by a Kamikaze.

Ber = probably the USS Birmingham, one of the Mobile's sister ships (Cleveland-class cruisers).

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6, 1945

6- ______ Same as yesterday.

Meaning probably "Still in Port _ not much doing _ Movies on main deck aft after recreation."

Photo: Joe never mentions the reason they were in port at Okinawa, probably because he wasn't involved. The senior officers, at least, of each vessel were likely there to attend the formal surrender of the Ryukyus Islands, marking the official end of the Battle of Okinawa. The ceremony in the photo took place the next day, September 7th.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September 5, 1945

5- _____ Still in Port _ not much doing _ Movies on main deck aft after recreation.

Photo: In port in Okinawa in September 1945, the USS Ajax (large repair ship) and the ATR-13 (a small rescue tug).

Friday, September 3, 2010

September 4, 1945

4- _____ This morning we pulled in the anchor at about 800. We had recreation _ movies on the main deck aft.

Picture shows map of southern end of Okinawa with Nakagusuku Bay.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

September 3, 1945

3rd _____ There was no recreation because of bade weather. This morning in quarters we were told were going out tomorrow for one day of firing.
_____ This morning at 11.00 we started to holleystone the deck. Tonight all ships in N_____ Bay didn't darken ship _ this is the first time weve been in any port outside of the states or Pearl Harbor. It was really a beautiful sight seeing all ships lighted up again.

Holystone: a soft sandstone used to scrub and whiten the decks. I've seen references to the US banning holystoning on their ships in 1931 because it wore out the decks, but this reference and the photo of Mobile sailors holystoning, and several other photos on the Internet from other ships, shows that the practice was still in use through the war.

N____ Bay = Nakagusuku Bay

port outside of the states: I think what Joe meant was that this was the first time the ships could be lighted in a port outside the states or Pearl Harbor.

September 2, 1945

2- _____ Today is sunday _ we had Mass on the focastal this morning at 900. This morning on the 12 to 4 watch I heard that a typhoon was heading this way _ its only 180 miles North West of Naha, Naha is only a few miles from hear _ our two boats were put away & the planes were sent below, & get the ship underway in a few minutes notice. it rained this afternoon. We had movies in Mess hall because it was raining. There was no recreation

focastal = Fo'c'sle or forecastle: the upper deck forward of the guns. Photo is of mass there, right under the big guns.

hear = here, which was Nakagusuku Bay, Okinawa. Naha was only about 10 miles away.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1, 1945

1 _____ We fueled from tanker 73 this morning. This afternoon there wasnt much to do. Recreation for port side today. Movies on main deck aft. the two large carriers left hear this morning

"Tanker 73" was AO-73, the USS Millicoma (photo).