Admiral W S Benson (AP 120) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 1945

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Admiral W S Benson (AP 120) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 1945 Edition, Cover
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Text from Pages 1 - 84 of the 1945 volume:

: - A j _ .i ki- !il ' .i !:iiiilt: .. »i j yj U.SS. Admiral W. S. Benson (AP.120) Admiral William Shepherd Benson, U. S. Navy Admiral Benson was born in Macon, Georgia, on September 25, 1855, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1877. During his naval career he was appointed Chief of Naval Opera- tions with the rank of rear admiral when that office was created in 1915, and was later commissioned admiral when that accompanying rank for Chief of Naval Operations was authorized in 1916. Admiral Benson held this office until retired from active service on Sep- tember 25, 1919. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Navy Department for " exceptional meritorious service in duty of great responsibility as Chief of Naval Opera- tions. " In addition to the Distinguished Service Medal he received foreign decorations as follows: Grand Cross Legion of Honor (French). Grand Cross Order St. Michael and St. George (British). Order St. Gregory, the Great (Military Class, First Order) by Pope Benedict XV. After his retirement from active duty. Admiral Benson served as chairman of the United States Shipping Board, which office he held until 1928. Admiral Benson died May 20, 1932, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. ' " ' " yf l ' ' ' U.S.S. ADMIRAL W. S. BENSON (API20) " ■ ■r ,,, " Top o boftom: U.S.S. Admiral W. S. Benson (AP-120) Pier 88, New York; San Fernando, Luzon, P.I. 8 ' ■ ' ' ■-V ' - " ; 0) lA yxA .A l i iyr 4 U.S.S. ADl RAL -.v. 3. BENSON (AP-120) c o Heet Post Office San francisco, C=ilifornia RESTRICTED - HOT TO LSAVE SHIP Saturday, 25 August 19 PLAN OF THE DAY 0600 - Call all I ' sters-at-Ams. 0630 - keveillo. Up ill hands. Sunrise - Light ship. The snoking If .p is lighted on all ineather decks. 06 45 - Turn to. Clean sweep d?wn. 0700 - Wess Gear. 0715 - Brcakfafit. ' Call all officer- , 0300 - T-arn to. ' Muster on stationt. } ' ■ . : preparati ' oni to move chip insi breakwater and moor alongside of nvr ' sckcd vcsSel. Make preparntior. to load Army advance detail. 0330 - (About) Station Sp ' jcial Sea ani richer Details, Stt t ' ateriai L-r BAKEIl. Sick call. 0900 - (About) Get undei-way. Establish fresh water schedule. 0930 - (About) Co;:OTonce loading Arrry advance detail. 1130 - Clean sweep down. Trc.ops and passengers go to your corpartmcr.ts. 1U5 - Mess Gear. 1 00 - Dinner. 1300 - Turn to. Liborty for Fort ' Vr.t-h to expire en dock at 1 1530 - Clean sweep down. Troops md parr n.-er;- no V. v-ur ' ' onpartff.erts. 1600 - Sick call. 1 ' ' 15 - ! ' .ess Gear. 1730 - Supper. Sur.set - Darken ship. The smoking lanp is out on .- 11 wco.thrjr decks. MOTE: 04 o CO (1) Division Officers submit ns.r:r i of m;n for Shore Pa ' .rol to tn Executive Officer ' s Office not later than 09CC. (2) Division Officer;; will insure thr.t morning reports arc r.ade promptly to the Executive Officer ' s Office. (3) Men going in liberty are cautioned against .eating cr drinking ashore . (U) All men are rerdnded that permission must be obtained frcm th Executive Officer prior to bringing vi. ' itors abnard ship. X CO © D. E. ALi.Er! Commander, USNR Executive Officer. CAPTAIN FRANCIS H. GARDNER, USN Captain Gardner has had a varied and interesting career in the U.S. Navy. A native of Portland, Oregon, he was appointed to the Naval Academy in 1920 and graduated in 1924. After graduation he was ordered to the U.S.S. Arizona for engineering duty, and since that time has spent twenty of his twenty-five years of naval service on sea duty. Leaving the Arizona in 1925 Captain Gardner served five years as Engineering Officer aboard the destroyers Reno, Wm. Jones, and Aaron Ward consecutively. Next came duty aboard the tanker U.S.S. Ramap o in the capacity of First Lieutenant. His first shore duty came at the Navy Yard, Boston, where Captain Gardner, then a junior grade lieutenant, filled the billet of Ordnance Planning Superintendent. At the end of two years ashore a shift to new duties came with assignment as a gunnery officer aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma for a period of thirty-five months aboard which ship he was promoted to Lieutenant. Immediately following came a tour of duty as Junior Aide to the Commandant of the I Ith Naval District. On June I I, 1938, he reported aboard the destroyer Monaghan as Executive Officer and Navigator. Two years of destroyer duty with the battle fleet followed and then back to battleship service on the Nevada as Engineering Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Leaving the Nevada after eleven months Captain Gardner took over his first command, the U.S.S. Ellet (DD 398) of the Pacific Fleet, on 22 June 1941. Under his command the Ellet saw plenty of action in the critical early months of the war, serving in task forces with the carrier Enterprise and doing other escort work in battle areas. After almost two years of exacting combat duty in the Pacific during which time he was promoted to Commander, Captain Gardner was again given shore duty In the U.S. and spent thirteen months In the Subordinate Operational Training Command, San Francisco. On 23 August 1944 the Captain placed in commission and assumed command of the U.S.S. Admiral W. S. Benson (AP 120). Under him the " Mighty B " has travelled over 125,000 miles, has seen five continents, called at various ports of five countries and several Pacific islands, and carried over 40.000 troop passengers. CAPTAIN FRANCIS H. GARDNER, U.S.N. 10 EXECUTIVE OFFICER . iiiiiiS--, COMMANDER D. E. ALLEN, U.S.N.R. " " -vy x ' ' DEPARTMENT HEADS (Left to Right) Firs! Row: (sitting) Lt. CoL Brown. Troop Commander; Cmdr. Allen, Executive Officer; Captain Gardner. Commanding Officer; Lt. Comdr. Anderson, Navigation; (standing) Lt. Pike, Supply; Lt. Morris, First Lieutenant; Lt. Heard, Gunnery; Lt. Goodale, Communications; Lt. Cmdr. Gregory, Engineering; Lt. Cmdr. Vitt, Medical Dept. SHIPS OFFICERS (Left to Right) First Row: Lt. Cmdr. J, Heard; Electrician Cockrell; 1st Lt. W. A, Gaqola; Lt. (ig) J. Barbaro; Lt. J. C. Stone; Lt. (ig) Wm. Delaney: Lt. R. R. Felver; Lt. J. S. McGowan; Captain O. L. Bristol, U.S.A.: Lt. J. E. Spiegel; Second Row: Lt. G. E. Pllce; CPC W. Burgess; CPC R. E. Taylor; Lt. D. S. Morris; Lt. Col. H. E. Brown; Cmdr. D. E. Allen; Captain Francis H. Gard ner, Commanding Officer; Lt. Cmdr. J. F. Anderson; Lt. Cmdr. M. M. Gregory: Cmdr. E. F. Vitt; Lt. V. A. Pagnotto; Third Row: Ch. Mach. J. E. Newman: Ch. Pharm. W. F. Thomason; Lt. D. B. Marsh; Lt. (jg) J. E. Durley; Lt. Cmdr. H. M. Hough; Lt. (ig) J. D. Wyclcoff; Lt. R. L. Goodale; Lt. (ig) W. N. Larimer: Lt. D. Huff; Lt. (ig) Hutcheson: Lt. Macllwlnnen; Fourth Row: Lt. (jg) R. R. Murdock; Ch. Carp. G. R. Berilla; Ens. J. Flora; Captain J, F. Nemecek, U.S.A.; Lt. (ig) R. A. Isola; Captain Eubanks, USMC. , ii Jii£ n ' yj yy ' ' r . r» FIRST DIVISION (Left to Right) FInf Row: Seaberg. L. L.: Jackson, L. H.; Louis, F. S.; Trueblood. M. E.: Maries, V.; Smith, W. S.: Thomas, T. W.; Courier, D. L.; Smith, W. L.; Pick, M. G.; Esslinger, T. S.; Second Row; Bartle. C. H.; Cranford, T. E.; Olden- kamp, E. M.: Brantingham, E. M.; Sydebotham, S.; Burns, J. F.; Evans, T. R.; Braunling, K. L.; Bergman. T, H.; Alexander, G. B.: Craner, D. L.; Schaeffer, I. H.; Third Row: Looker, W. A.; Mammons, D. L.; Counts. F. F.; Weisler, W. M.; Topmlller, P. E. Division Boatswain Mate; Lt. R. R. Felver: Lt. J. E. Spiegel, Division Officer; Ensign J. D. Wyckoff; NIckerson, E. M.; Walling, H, C; Milliard, C. L.; Roderick, M. D.; Duncan, J. O.; Fourth Row: Beck, J. C; Schneider. D. M.; Zink, J. W,; Ball. L. K.; Willett. W. M.; Moody. H. M.; Butler. J. W.; Mumphrey, C. T.; Marlow, J. A.; Chapman, C. M.; FUth Row: Deal, N. E.; Parker, W. M.; Bagwell, E. L.; Whiteside, W. M.: Hall, C; Steppick, A. C; Dumich, F. A.; Ferrante, P.; Whitworth, W. D.; Norton, R. C. SECOND DIVISION (Left to Right) Rint Row: Riddle, H. L.; Workman, F. D.; Childers, L. D.; Jellison, D. L.; Jones, B. L.; Crosser, O. L.; Trujlllo, D. E.; Gonzales. J. M.; Shelley. R. E.; Smith, S. T.; Riser, C. W.; Thomas, S. V.; Second Row; O ' Brien. J. J.; Henry, S. L.; Jones, E. S.; Hosier, J. B.; Genail, G. L.; Johnson, L. M.; Meier, R. A.; Shaffer, C. W.; Scott, F. M.; Lowe, H. R.: Scherer, F. C; Harney. E. L.; Malek. A. K.; Lothian, T. E.; Third Row: Suggs, J. M.; Gagliardi, V. J.; Blankenship, A.; Flaherty, A. A., Division Boatswain Mate: Lt. J. C. Stone, Division Officer; Lt. (jg) J. E. Durley; Vallado. C. J.; Johnson. C. H.; Welter. L. H.: Gunn, R. T.; Liostman, A. J.; Fourth Row: Milhollin. J. E.; Von Feldt, V. J.. Gladson. B. L.; Staniford. W, P.; Martine:, M. D.; Stone. V. L.; Davis, D. v.; Molt, J. 8.; Ferney. R. E.; Orf. G. A.; D) ,9u, g. R.; Koehler, A. H.; Hack. A. W.; Fifth Row: WooK. J. A.; Colantino. P. p.; Garlow, P. W.; Snow, W. C; Rushing, [,, ' i!rXe]SV:- i.: Sims, M. E.; Jones, H. C; Casey, J. A. -- -A " I... ' (Left to Right) firs Row: O ' Brien, V. R.; Tognetti, P. E.; Stout, J. E.; Piatt, C. A.; Piatt, S. L.: Wuertti, W. THIRD DIVISION C; Mitchell, A. W.: Second Raw: Dunbar, G. M.; Heinz, F. C: Dicl erson, P. L.: Koontz, R. H.: Ellades, L. J.; Gasliins, G.; Keesling, J. L; IhUi Row: Kearney, R. B.; Vay, S. B.; Haldeman, D. F.; Telle, H. L.: Lt. D. E. Huff, Division Officer; Johnson, W. H., Division C.P.O.; Lt. J. H. Heard, Gunnery Officer; Greco, R. W.; Heeringa, G. J. ' (Left to Right) Fini Row: Corp Aspley; Corp. Boroff; Corp. Bauslaugh; Sgt. Heald; 1st. Sgt. Casanova; FOURTrl DIVISION Capt. Eubanks; Sgt. Baum; Sgt. Harris; Corp. Aughenbaugh; Corp. Moden. Second Row: Pfc ' s Burns; Barnes; Chestnut; Rich- mond; Kratz; Oronhime; Lasicowsiti; Beeson; Borisic; Burnham. Third Row: Pfc ' s Schmidt; Kaiser; Elliott; Long; Tucker; Lund; Fairbanks; George; Blackstone; Baker. 13 f . t i ■U " ' r W r ' Ov V i " , 5A DIVISION (Left to Right) Pint Row: Johnston. D.: Morrison. 8.; CMM, Peterson, H.; CMM, Weishaar. J.; Funclk; Fowler, F. Seconc Row: Reed. T.; Grabeel, I.; Corbett. R.; Proctor. 1.; Fineran, R. 5B DIVISION (Left to Right) Finl Row: Schuette, L.; King. R.: Hetu. D.: Fleischer. L.: Heavrin. F.: Foley. J.; Canione. F.; McDonald, R.: Graves. E.: Johnston, M. Second Row: CWT. Lash. W.; Groeger, W.; Hetherlngton, C: Same, P.; Hetrick, C; Copon- haver. F.; Keller. J.; Roberts, H.; Reisert. S.; Helle, E.: Meyeres, W.. Blomberg, E.; CWT. Lambert. D. viiiiv 14 ' ' s 1 bfh- r ' v ' ' Tt ■ i V s. (Left to Right) Flnf Row: Mascavage, P.; Aekerman, D.; Frens, J.; Black, J.; Kelley. E.; Cox, M. Second Row; Jt DIVIjlON Ivy, R.; CEM Nunn, M.; Elec. C. Cockrell; CEM Bodlmer, R.; Sawyer, T.; Fitzgerald, T. Third Row: Bricler, M.; Hendrlclcson, C; Robinson, C; Hart, H.; Fleming, F.; Neeley, M.; Bennyworth, J.; Groth, D.; VanWIe, H. (Left to Right) FInl Row: King, S.; Thomas, C; Jones, J.: Walker, D.; Bell, T.; Bell, W.; Noble, J:; McGee. W. 5AA DIVISION Second Row: Coley, J.; KInnard, C; Williams, J.; Odegard, R.: Goodson, R.: HIckson, R.; Schilperoort, J.; McFarlan, R.; CMM Walker, C; Wilson, H.; Coulson. R. Third Row: DeAngells, H.; Parrish, J.: Brown, D.; Paraylla, J.; Kent, R.; Hilton, F.; Mayer. E. 15 ' " y ,,rf ' ' ' SI DIVISION (Left to Right) Flnt Row: Lt. (jg) W. Larimer: CPC, Taylor, R.; Lt. G. Pike; CPC, Burgess, W. Second Row: Marturello. R., SSML3c; Carlisle, R., SSMB2c: Smith, G., SC2c; Newell, C, SC2c: Keel, M., SCIc: Frydrychowicz, T., Bl r2c; Bentch, J., SCB2c: Renkas, E., SC3c; Roberts, D., BkrBc: Gaymon, H„ SC2c: Marti, E., SSMB3c. Third Row: Rowan, D., SCIc; Sheehan, R., SKIc: Rusnak, S., SSMT2c: Boone, T., SKIc; Kennedy, E., Sic; Barrett, SKIc; Buresch, F., SK3c; Wahl, A., SKDIc; Marks, N., Bkric; Walton, W., SCIc: Charles, T., SCB3c. Fourth Row: Shives, 1., SSML2c: Squires, G., Sic: Remesal, D., BkrIc: Bretz, R., Bkr2c: Luhrs, C, SK3c: Chadburn, A., Sic. Standing: Prevost, J., CSK; Newlon, J., Sic: May, H., SC3c: Buchinger, A., SK2c: Day, J., SKD3c: Erichkson, N., SK2c: Muzik, W., Sic; Groce, D., SK2c: Bross, A., Bkr3c; Smith, J., SC3c: Vogel, E., SSMB2c: Quarry, J., SC3c: Tigner, M., SCBIc; Ingram, G., CCS. ir . S2 DIVISION (Left to Right) Fint Row: Smith, R„ StMIc; Ford, J., StMIc; Robinson, R., StMIc; Sutton K., StMIc; Edwards W., StMIc; Miles, R„ StM2c. Second row.- Green, A., StMIc; Stewart, L., StMIc; Mitchell, L., StMIc; Lorick, T., StMIc; Riley , , .., Vincent, R., StMI_ W., StMIc; Hudleston, C. StMIc: Franklin, J., Ck3c T., StMIc: Barron, L., StMIc; Walker, W., StMIc; Jones, R., StM Ic; Love, M., StMIc. Third Row: Lee, J., St3c: Anderson, A., Ck2c Alexander, E., St3c; Weathers, J., Ck3c; Badua, E., Stic; Fraiser, J., Ck3c. Standing: (Left to Right) Edwards, L., StM2c: Gipson, V StMIc: Sawyer, A., St3c; Pierce, J., StM2c; Milton, R., StM2c; Pendleton, J., StMIc; Coleman, S., StM2 ' " " ' " " Lindenmuth, H., StM2c; McKinney, L., StMIc: Milam, StMIc: Rodgers, W., StMIc; Hudleston Smith, L., StM2c; Briggs, C, StM3c: Carr, A., StMZ«ii?iVeTy 2j i tM I c; Nelson, W., Stic; Burgess, W., CPC. 16 ' ' ' ■ ' ' r,,r " ' ' ,J. Tm V«P t J- f,. ' . ■, (Left to Right) Flni Row: Lt. Comdr. VItt: Lt. Hough; Lt. Marsh; Ch. Pharm. Thomason; Bowles. Second Row: H DIVISION Froelich; Chun; Barnett; Babyalt; Prohaslca. Third Row: Beardsley; Walser; Vincent; Carder; Donahue; Pahl. (Left to Right) Kneeling: Spaulding; O ' Donnell; Gambino; Maness; Fallon; Henry; Campbell; Ondak; Buck; " UlVljlUri Lee; Buford. SIffIng: Pershall; Cassaday; Chf. Malone; Chf. Lallme; Lt. Conner; Lt. Goodale; Ens. Flora; Chf. FIndley; Wilder; Ballard; Shaloglan. Sfonding: Barnhlll; Toevs; Rochat; Twill; Shorls; GIffIn; McAdams; Mire; Richter; Bachnnan; Crayton; Prestwood; Hoagland; King, O. V.; Malda; Garvey; Whlteman; Schallert; Gulterez; Kenney; Hall. 17 ' ' ■■r y " ( ' " " H jj ' jiiii |jii " " i!(|iiiiii h -III Y XubA — R DIVISION (Left to Right) Fini Row: Wrest; Heitkemper: Martin: Weniger: Kennedy: Sorenson. Second Row.- DeCosta: Lt, Morris: Lt. McGowan; Chf. Carp. Berilla; CSF, Romanchulc. Third Row: Faron: Pratt: Donaldson: Mallory: Millison. Lasi Row: Lasley: Meelt; Reyes: Sewell. f W ARMY UNITS (Left to Right) Kneeling: Pfc. Crosetti, Fred: T 5, Denton, Jonah; S Sgt., Willis, Stanley: T Sgt., Jones, James: Redmon, Kenneth, Standing: Pfc. Nelson, Pat: Capt. O. L. Bristol; Lt. Col. H. E. Brown; Capt. J. F. Nemecek; 1st Lt. W. A. Gagola; M Sgt., Hodge, C, A. 18 ' ' ■ " , ' ' I NS©M : ItHl THE SAGA OF THE BENSON By E. M. NICKERSON. BMIc Since all good biographies begin with vital statistics, so must this Saga of a sound and trusty ship, our home for the last fourteen months, conform with standard procedure. The Admiral W. S. Benson, (API 20) was conceived in the Bethlehem shipyard, Alameda Branch on 10 December, 1942, and designed for ultimate use as a luxury liner of 22,380 tons, with an overall length of 608.1 I feet. Built on temporary lines as a navy transport with a pas- senger capacity of 4800 enlisted and 263 officers and spaces for ship ' s company of 533, she was the first of a fleet of ten ships of her class with a cruising range (without refueling) of 34 days, and capable of a speed of 21.3 knots. She was the largest ship constructed on the West Coast since the Battleship California was launched on 20 November, 1943, and was turned over to the Navy on 23 August, 1944, on which date she became our home. Commissioning day will be a long remembered event in our lives. The almost unbelievable confusion, mislaid equipment and all the attendant misfortunes which all ships undergo while in the throes of labor-pains, were with us on that day and then some. Surely, we thought, we can never get this ship squared away, plus the fact that seventy-five percent of the crew had never been to sea before, which didn ' t help matters any. But commission her we did, and in grand style too; and when the Bos ' un piped for his mates and set the first sea watch, little did we know that in the next fourteen months, she would take us all over the world and cover almost 150,000 miles; most of it in overseas waters to be considered one of the most efficient transports in the service. After spending about five days at the Naval Supply Docks taking on provisions, we sailed for San Pedro to undergo our shakedown cruise. Now a shakedown cruise Is difficult to explain to a landlubber, for It is an experience so startling, soul-shaking, and disillusioning as to beggar description. For three weeks you are subjected to drills, more drills; rigging every conceivable piece of equipment, and then unrigging it, and learning to do right the hard way; refueling at sea, crash stops, zig-zag, firing practice, fire drills, collision drills, abandon ship, gas attack, drills, drills. Practice must make perfect. By the end of the first week, you greet your buddies with a malignant stare; you hate the navy and wonder how in the devil they ever won a battle, and you mutter dire imprecations against your officers. This finally came to an end for us — only to start all over again! For several more weeks we became a training ship and proceeded to train pre-commissioninq crews in the same manner, until finally the ship and crew, on the verge of collapse, retired to Todd Shipyard in San Pedro for 30 days rest and badly needed repairs. Would we ever go to sea, we wondered? We began to refer to our " Big B " as the " U. S. S. Never-Sail. " TRIP NO. I The great day finally came. 28 November, 1944. We set sail from San Pedro with a capa- city load of " Doggies " bound for Bombay, India. Before we were out of sight of the Breakwater, most of our passengers and crew were sea-sick. What a mess! The first big event at sea came on 6 December, on day north of the equator. For several days previous, conspirinq shellbacks had gathered in dark corners to plot unspeakable indig- nities upon the lowly pollywogs, which, unfortunately for them (the shellbacks) outnumbered them about eight to one. So this day, pandemonium reiqned supreme. The pollywoqs had done a little conspiring on their own, and loosed all available firehoses on the boat deck upon their salty brothers in the traditional water fight. The shellbacks had their revenge the next day with interest, however, for as we crossed the " line " . King Neptune and his diabolical Court came aboard and subjected the neiphytes to a rigorous initiation (a gross understate- ment), the likes of which, to quote the Captain, he had never seen in all his naval career. Several days later, we crossed another rubicon — the I 80th Meridian, and thus also became members of the " Realm of the Golden Dragon. " Now were salty indeed, albeit somewhat black and blue, but then it was worth it, and we knew we ' d have our turn next time — if our wounds healed by then. 19 ' " ■ ' yyyyy l ' ' Melbourne, Australia, our first port of call. What a city! Beautiful parks and buildings, the quaint British trains with their first and second class carriages, the winding Yarro river snaking its way through the city under frescoed fairy-book bridges, the tall cathedral spires, congenial buxom bar-maids serving the finest beer in the world, and the national dish of " styke and iges " ; — oh yes, and men-hungry hoards of gorgeous girls swooping down upon whole liberty parties and picking them off the streets like June-bugs off a bush! December was mid-summer here, and the city was a riot of vivid color from millions of flowers and summer dresses. Balmy nights on moon-drenched beaches. Certainly there never was a sailor ' s heaven like this. At least, we ' ve never found another to compare with it. All too soon we sailed to plunge into storm-tossed waters for the second leg of our journey. Around the Bight into the placid Indian Ocean, where we had our first Christmas at sea. An ingenious Christmas tree built of scrap lumber with twists of wire for evergreen spikes; a tur- key dinner with all the fixings — but all this did not compensate for home and family. We were a lonely and thoughtful bunch that day as we opened our Red Cross boxes. Across the Equator again, where we were picked up by two British destroyers to escort us through the Arabian Sea, and finally on the bright morning of December 31, the mystic domes and spires of Bombay came into view. After being warped into Ballard Pier by panting coal- burning tugs, and discharging our load into the maw of an odorous warehouse, we set out to see and smell the wonders of the Far East. Our first impression of the stronghold of Allah, Brahma, Buddha, and forty-eight other and lesser Deities was a series of strange and almost overwhelming stenches, each one competing for the utter dismay of our olfactory senses. The city itself proved to be a chaos of architecture, as though the incredibly old and the very new had been dumped into a bowl, thoroughly mixed with an eqg-beater and spewed forth all over the landscape. Modern office buildings crowded ancient mosques, while creaky ox-carts vied with the latest in motor cars and double-decked busses. All these wonders we viewed ' midst ear-shattering cries from thousands of almost naked children with the national greeting of " Haba Haba " , followed by a declaration of the nation ' s foreign policy — " Baksheesh, oh Bis- mallah Sahib, Baksheesh for the love of Allah! " , then an amazing round of obscene curses when their plaintive cries failed to move us to the point of scattering coins largess among them. The Taj Mahal, Green, and Argentine hotels became Benson hangouts with bad liquor at three rupees a throw. For five exciting days we shopped and took in the sights. Haggling until ex- hausted with well fed merchants who called loudly upon Allah to witness our intention to ruin them with our niggardly offerings for their exquisite wares, and finally emerging from the shops loaded with goods which cost us only three times their worth. — Wandering mendicants everywhere with baskets of cobras and mongooses on leash — A beer party at a nearby beach — Lepers displaying their mutilations — beggars — peddlers — smells everywhere; basking in the cool of the evening on the roof garden of the Green Hotel watching " red sails in the sunset " and the grotesque skyline of the city fade gracefully into the shadows. Such is India — an aura of mysticism faintly sensed through a babel of confusion and smells. Finally, we shoved off. Homeward bound, loaded to capacity with war-weary troops, mis- sionaries from China, evacuees, and Chinese army and navy cadets. Wonderful Melbourne again, then at long last San Pedro. Bands on the pier and crowds to greet us. Three weeks availability in the shipyard again, with short leaves and Stateside comforts. TRIP NO. 2 26 February, 1945. A cold misty morning. Loaded with troops, army nurses and Red Cross lassies, we slipped our moorings at San Pedro and steamed down the channel, bound for Bom- bay again. Once more across the equator and the Domain of Neptunus Rex. Now did the initiates of two months ago wreak their vengeance upon a handful of hapless pollywogs; the 180th Meri- dian — the unbelievable South Pacific sunsets — afternoon dances on No. 5 hatch for crew and passengers (the peace-time Navy was never like this) — the coast of Australia, and Melbourne, here we come! Our arrival was greeted with astonishment at this time, for we were not expected. It seems that we were supposed to have been diverted to Sydney three days previous by radioed orders, a message we never received. The girls knew we were coming though; they have a strange 20 i intuition about such things. Scores oi thenn were waiting at the gate for the first liberty party, and the rest hunted uptown. Only two days here, and off again for Bombay where we arrived eleven days later for a stay of one week. The same smells, confusion, and haggling with merchants. Prices up about twenty percent this time due to mounting inflation and free spending Americans. Another beer party at the beach, this time at a private mansion taken over by the Army. 31 March, and homeward bound, loaded with troops, civilians and gruesome casualties of war. We by-passed Melbourne this time (loud screams of anguish from the the crew) and pro- ceeded to Brisbane. Friday, the thirteenth, and an unlucky day indeed, for over the air came the announcement of President Roosevelt ' s death. A stunned and sorrowing ship as we put into Brisbane that morning, our flag at half-mast. We did not like Brisbane. Nothing like Mel- bourne. Smaller, not so hospitable and too crowded with military personnel. Here we took on more passengers, army and navy, headed out for New Caledonia. Everything aboard from a pregnant missionary to a Chinese movie actress. Several days later we arrived off New Caledonia, and felt our way cautiously through a great barrier reef thrown around the Island like a magical protective ring; a ring of thunder- ing breakers as far as the eye could see, filling the air with rainbow studded foam resembling an endless row of sparkling jewels wrapped in filmy gossamer. Then into the placid land-locked harbor of Noumea, a charming old French village populated by colonials, husky natives, and thousands of American marines and sailors. Here was the crossroads of the Pacific, where one met buddies from other ships over endless quantities of beer and hamburgers at the Stockade, a military canteen supreme. We took on about a hundred Seabees here and weighed anchor for Espiritu Santa. After wending our way through the countless bright green Islands of the New Hebrides, we arrived at our naval base on Espiritu Santa, a tropical place of great beauty, with sandy beaches slid- ing into limpid emerald water, which mirrored the lush and waving cocoanut palms. (This in- spired description will no doubt be met with a disgusted " Nuts " from such of our personnel who were marooned there for several years). Near the entrance to the harbor Is seen the watery grave of the transport " Coolidge ' marked with a square of buoys. Our stay here was only a matter of hours, and then off for the States once more. At sunrise on the morning of 3 May, the breakwater of San Pedro hove into sight. We were met at the pier with the inevitable bands and crowds of shouting people. Somehow one ex- pects to become inured to these homecomings, but the bright overjoyed faces of our passen- gers, some with tears streaming unashamed down their faces, the cheers drowning out stirring music from the band, never ceased to move us with that feeling of pride in being a part of all this. We brought ' em back alive. TRIP NO. 3 Again we were moored alongside the embarkation pier at San Pedro, but no passengers came aboard. Scuttlebutt flew thick and fast like autumn leaves. Something different this time, we knew, for the Mighty " B " slipped out from her mooring quietly this morning of 17 May with only our crew, but fully provisioned for a long voyage. Hardly had we cleared the breakwater than the announcement we had been waiting for sounded over the PA system, " This ship is bound for the Panama Canal. " Then we knew we must be headed for some European port. Six days we sailed down the coast of Central America and then Balboa, the western entrance of the Canal hove into view, with the red tiled roofs of the city of Panama nestled into the hills off our starboard bow. We docked for the night at Balboa and enjoyed an amazing lib- erty in Panama. This city is an ancient one indeed, and existed when the first Spanish invaders came to plunder, leaving ruin and devastation in their wake. Burned and sacked many times over a period of three centuries, it still remains, timeless and colorful. Here the inhabitants whitewashed a gold-plated altar in their cathedral to hide its magnificence from the last in- vader, the pirate Morgan, in the eighteenth century, and it still exists to this day for all to see. The following morning, we took on our pilot and began the trip through the canal. This day we count as one of the most interesting In our repertoire. After only a mile up the Big Ditch we were warped into the first of a series of great locks. Massive gates closed noiselessly behind us, the hiss of rushing waters, the insistent clanging of the busv little donkey engines, and we were gradually lifted ninety feet above sea level, then to continue under our own power along a narrow waterway winding through mountains and thick jungle. Here and there 21 " ' ■y yyf " a filmy waterfall cascaded info fhis man-made wonder hued fhrough solid rock, breaking fhe very backbone of a mountain range. Then into vast Gatun Lake where we anchored to await our turn through the last set of locks, the panorama of the Caribbean in view on the distant horizon. The call for swimming party sounded, and we enjoyed several hours in these warm waters before the red neon arrow on the locks announced it was our turn to enter. By 2000 we cleared the canal and steamed off across the historic Caribbean and into the north Atlantic, where about ten days later we entered the English Channel with Land ' s End faintly visible on our port beam, and anchored at sunset in the Bay of the Seine off Le hHavre, France. The next morning we entered the breakwater and moored at an army pontoon pier amidst an appalling shambles. This once busy French port gave mute testimony of the efficiency of our bombers which had systematically wiped out over half of the city. Those of us who went on liberty that afternoon were touched by the pinched faces of the inhabitants, digging about in the runins of their former homes. But whatever sympathy we felt for them was almost wiped out after we had sampled the national drink of " gasoline and bitters " labelled " Cognac " , and dispensed shamelessly from all bars for thirty francs a throw. Everywhere we encountered work parties of German prisoners clearing rubble, or marching in small groups under the watchful guard of American negro troops. This must have been galling to those proud members of the " Master Race. " Upon our return to the ship, we found her already loading our happy passengers, all of whom had recently been evacuated from German prison camps. By early morning we had a full load and were underway once more, out through the crumbling breakwater and past a sunken Liberty ship, lying there like a silent sentinel, her superstructure awash in the lazy swell, and set our course for the States and New York City! When only six hours out, and in mid-English Channel, we had a very close brush with a float- ing outlaw mine. The shio hove to, and we sunk it with our 40mm. guns. Nothing further oc- curred to break the monotony of six foggy North Atlantic days until we passed the Ambrose Light and anchored off Staten Island at sundown, with the towering spires of lower Manhattan aglow in the distance. Came morning, we dressed ship fore and aft with rows of bright signal flags, weighed an- chor, and proceeded down the crowded bay, and up the hHudson River to our berth at Pier 88. As we glided past " The Lady " and the skyscrapers of Manhattan, we were greeted by thou- sands of whistles, a boatload of " Pulchritude " alongside, and a tumultous welcome such as only New York can give to returning heroes. One hectic month in New York. Times Square, Broadway, Radio Center, Greenwich Village, Coney Island, thousands of bars and night-clubs, and all the latest shows. A grand climax was our ship ' s dance at the exclusive Roosevelt Hotel. Our sojourn here left us broken in purse and health, but all agreed that never had we had such a time as this. TRIP NO. 4 6 July, and we slipped out of our berth at Pier 88 quietly. No ringing cheers or a symphony of raucous whistles this time, for we were unloaded, and with the longest cruise yet ahead of us. Our destination — Marseille, France, where we were to load soldiers for transportation to the Philippines via the Panama Canal. We anchored off New York harbor overnight to refill our magazines with shells and powder, then off across the Atlantic for the third time. Another uneventful crossing; nothing to break the monotony of endless water for about six days except for several of the Azores, which we slipped by one night at dusk. We entered the Straits of Gibraltar on a bright sunny morning with the gloomy, rocky coast of Africa on our starboard, and the arid coast of Southern Spain on our port. At one point, the straits narrowed down to seven miles, and we could see the old city of Tangiers clinging to a precipitous hillside, while on the Spanish side, numerous little villages, each with their protect- ing castle, or walled tower sprawled just out of reach of the surf. Then mighty Gibraltar, jut- ting out into the channel — massive, formidable, menacing, her towering steppes bristling with large guns, and challenging us with inquisitive blinkers. Now the bright vivid blue of the Mediterranean creaming under our bows — the continuing coast of Spain and Southern France — the Balleric Isles faintly visible on our starboard. We felt a sort of thrill to be in these waters, the cradle of world history and the battleground of antiquity. Schools of porpoisps frisked about us, and quaint fishing boats dotted the horizon. 22 --v » -x ' ' - The next evening af sunset we arrived In Marseille, and were subjected to the usual routine of feeling our way through a maze of sunken ships and ruined docks. The city itself had not suffered much damage, but most of the waterfront had been systematically destroyed, with almost every pier blocked by scuttled shipping. After clearing the narrow channel inside the breakwater, we were finally moored alongside a scuttled ship which the army had ingeniously converted to a loading platform by virtue of building a gangway from the pier across her superstructure. Marseille, known as Messallna to the ancient Romans, was built In 50 A.D., and Is one of the oldest and largest cities of France. Her gray stone houses are so mellowed with age, they seem to blend into the hills that encircle them. Topping the city is a cathedral, a jewel of per- fect Byzantine architecture, perched precariously upon a crag overlooking the city. Out In the harbor sprawls a gloomy fortress on a small island, the Chateau D ' lf, made famous by Alex- andre Dumas ' novel, " Le Comte de Monte Cristo. " We spent four days at this famous watering place and were subjected to the same vile cognac everywhere. Paramount in the interest of the crew were the quaint " sidewalk urinals " which never ceased to be a wonder to us, and second in the Items of vital statistics was the complete absence of any restaurants In the city. One could starve to death In this place with- out some feeding connections. We enjoyed another beer party here on the shores of the Mediterranean, and some of us even went bathing. Much to our amazement, the water was icy cold, but the women warmer. Meanwhile, German prisoners swarmed over our ship, loading gear and provisions. Soon our troops came aboard in steady streams, among which, we were pleased to note, were a goodly number of nurses and Red Cross girls. On July 7 we got underway for Panama, and arrived there about 10 days later. After being shoved through the canal without delay, we moored to a pier once more In Balboa for the night, and our passengers were all taken ashore for an overnight party, which must have been a good one, judging from their condition as they were poured aboard the next morning. Of course we had liberty, too. Good time again. Up anchor and bound for the Philippines, almost a 10,000 mile run from here. This leg of the trip was an uncomfortable one, paralleling the equator all the way. It was Insufferably hot. The first welcome break In the monotony of the endless Pacific was our passing Enlwetok, in the Marshall Islands, reporting in by blinker as we passed. This was the first land we had seen In almost sixteen days. Several more days went by, and we arrived at Ulithl, where we dropped anchor for the night. Ulithl Is probably one of the least known of our Pacific conquests, yet one of the most Impor- tant. It resembles an emerald necklace thrown upon blue velvet, with its ring of twenty-six small atolls. It is situated about sixty miles northeast of Yap, and was taken from the Japs in 1943 without the loss of a single man, to become one of the most important fleet supply bases in the Pacific. The Navy refers to It as its " grocery store. " The day of our arrival here was a momentous one, for just as we passed the submarine net, hundreds of ships here were sounding their whistles to celebrate official news just received of the surrender of Japan, earlier than was generally expected, which required severe changes to be made In personnel. Several days later when we approached our destination in Leyte Gulf, a confusion of blinker messages greeted us with all sorts of conflicting orders, and we were re-routed to Lingayen to unload Instead of Manila. The trip to Lingayen was an interesting one through the heart of the Phllipplne ' s 7000 islands. We steamed through narrow Surlgao Straits, which could be called " Iron Bottom Bay No. I " , for the reason that the flower of the Japanese navy was resting in its depths as a result of the great naval battles fought there. Lingayen proved to be another disappointment, for we could unload only I 1 00 of our pas- sengers there, and we were routed to Manila to dispose of the balance. Overnight from Lingayen found us passing between Corregidor and Bataan at sunrise, and a few hours later Manila hove Into view. Manila Bay proved to be a vast graveyard of sunken ships, with spars and superstructures awash as far as the eye could see. And the city, once known as the " Pearl of the Orient " lay in horrible ruins, almost completely gutted. We wan- dered through these ruins, taking scores of pictures. These ruins more deeply Impressed us, than those In the European theater, because this more resembled one of our cities at home. 23 and gave us a chill to know that this was what our homes would have been if they had been sub- jected to the horrors ot invasion. Almost a week was spent here, unloading, then reloading soldiers and sailors for transporta- tion to the States. Finally we got underway for San Francisco, retracing our course through Surigao straits to Homonhom, where we joined a convoy to Ulithi, and from there on our own again. The morning of 14 September dawned clear of the usual dense fog, and the Golden Gate bridge loomed into view ahead. Our passengers had been eagerly searching for this famous landmark since before daylight, and many of them were crying unashamedly. Before noon, we were safely moored at Pier 15, and discharging our load. Then, liberty in Frisco! We had been looking forward to this for almost 70 days. TRIP NO. 5 On 28th September we started on our fifth trip. This time we were loaded entirely with sailors bound for the Receiving Ship at Okinawa to relieve high point men due for discharge. We sailed the Great Circle route to the north and soon ran into nasty weather which per- sisted a day beyond the 180th meridian. As we proceeded down the southern arc of the circle, a new menace threatened us -- a monstrous typhoon, forming near Saipan and headed in a northerly direction, certain to bisect our path. Close tabs by radio was kept on this storm which developed a contrary attitude and constantly changed course, causing us to do the same in a sort of a game of tag played on a grand scale. Meanwhile, our course took us through the islands of Haha Jima and Chichi Jima in the Bonin Group, and Iwo Jima, with its famous Suribachi Hill which inspired the theme picture for the 7th War Loan Drive. Some of these islands were sheer cones rising from the sea like aquatic Fujiyamas and were active volcanoes as recent as 1919. At Iwo Jima we learned that our typhoon had changed course again, and instead of head- ing for China as indicated in the last report, was now blowing straight for Okinawa! We had nothing to fear from it now, as it was ahead of us, so we rode its tail into Buckner Bay, Okm- awa, arriving there two days behind it. Words cannot aptly describe the devastation we found there. The destructive force of a wind of 140 knots is hard to conceive, but it simply flattened everything, damaging or de- stroying 82 ships. Instead of being able to unload, we had to play Good Samaritan and take aboard over a hundred survivors off some of the reefbound ships, and since no quarters were available now ashore, we could not unload, and were stuck with over 4600 sailors, which no- body seemed to want! For eleven days we swung at anchor there, in the course of which we were able to debark some 800 SeaBees, then were ordered to Japan to dispose of the rest. We did not relish this new assignment, for we were advised that the waters adjacent to Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu had been heavily mined by our B29 ' s, along with all ports on the Inland Sea, and con- stituted a grave hazard to all shipping. So, with orders to passengers to wear life belts at all times, and training them constantly In abandon ship procedure, we proceeded to Sasebo, one of the major cities on the Island of Kyushu. Our first glimpse of Japan while approaching Sasebo was a fascinating one. The country is extremely mountainous. The lower hills are precipitous; dropping abruptly into the sea. Dot- ting these hills are picture-book farm houses and villages, and the mountainous terrain is made to produce by a series of terraces, each so painstakingly built and reinforced with stone, as to appear In the distance like many carefully tended formal gardens. Sasebo is situated on a completely landlocked bay, and was one of Japan ' s most Important naval bases. The base and the adjacent city now exists only in the Imagination, for a good three-fourths of it lies in complete ruin. Here was our frst contact with the Japs, and we found them to be docile and resigned, and seemed even eager to please us. This attitude was prevalent everywhere we visited. Most of the men were still wearing remnants of army uni- forms. After we had managed to dispose of a few more passengers at Sasebo, we proceeded to our second port — Matsuyama, on the Island of Shikoku. To arrive here, we had to take the (Continued on Page 7 ) 24 CROSSING THE EQUATOR By K. A. SPAULDINS, QMS C JLSLSLSLSULSUULSlJLSLSJiJULSLSLSLSLSiSLSLSU innririnr Tnreirsirins-iririrsinrinr The Greeks, as usual had a word for it. To the ancient salts who girded themselves to sail around the Mediterranean the water just outside the Strait of Gibraltar was a river encircling a disc-shaped earth, an ominous sea ruled by the dread Oceanus. To this fearful deity the sailors of ancient Greece made costly sacrifices, but it was not until Roman times that any- one dared sail the waters beyond the Pillars of hHercules. And even the Romans paid tribute to the god — now named Neptune — who ruled the grey Atlantic. During the centuries that followed, the abode of Neptune was shifted from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Equator, although he retained the old Greek symbols of fish spear, dolphin, and sea horses. Why the change was made is a mystery, but for several hundred years seamen have been forced to pay tribute to Neptunus Rex on first crossing the Line. In modern times the ceremony consists of gathering the Pollywogs and bringing them one at a time before the Royal Court. Neptunus Rex and attendants then try the neophytes for crimes committed against the King, the Court, and the Royal Domain, and test their worthi- ness to consort with citizens of the Deep. After they have been clubbed, shocked, soaked, and frightened for an appropriate period of time the Pollywogs are tossed into a saltwater bath to determine whether they are still alive. Those who sink are dredged up and tossed over the side. But those who float are skimmed off and proclaimed fit company for dolphins, mermaids, eels, and all other denizens of the Mighty Deep. In other words, they are Shellbacks. Having satisfied themselves that all remaining aboard are worthy citizens of the Royal Domain, Neptunus Rex and Court then depart by way of the hawse pipe to await the next shipful of unfortunates. The ocean boils no more, and the vessel slides smoothly through blue water with only her bloody decks to mark her as Neptune ' s own. Vale, Neptunus Rex! 25 flntiloaU — 4ntTinj(ti4. tMlr« AM trprnrs. Porpoiers. ifrh.irks. f ris Dolpliins ifrk.iirs. »uckr[9. Cr.ib4. lototrrs. jnti all Mbti liDinQ (Things of ihr i a i;iiotD pr ihJl on itiis tn Ijiuii r vWVO anB lonaitiibt rhtrr jpptarttt ©ithiti Out ftoi-Jl Sanjin tbf boitnP oiitltajr«ui.iib fot ilir ifan-Hor. ilir •■our! ' 9t: . ' ; ' " Ss Oriy If.il.iiia .mft Jlnsiudjii potrs Zim ibr wib Vrss»l jntt Offitrrs .leiB CirtL thrtrot li.iuf tcr:; iii ; frrre jnb wsicS on br Ourstlors jnft Eorjl AlAtt: AMD BE IT KNOWN Bp All Pf Jilor Jflarints Linblubtirs ifrolO ns. .1116 .lil orhns U ' ho mjf br hononrrb br his prrsrntf. fhJt PoIIpWOB V SOLDIERS, MARINES CREETIN6S1 bdOinQ tiffn (ounb buorrhr to br numbrrtb js am of oiit 7iusii ' ibhfUljJife ht has brrti buir mitutrb mio ttit Be tt Further Underttoodi Clui br oiiuit of tbf pour mbratrb m mr 9 Do tirrrbn tomm.inb jlt ml siibtnis 10 atioir but tionour anb rrspttt to tiim tohfrfwr hf ni,(j ' br Disobey this Order under Penalty mt Rttyal Displeasure. " rf iwn untPft our hand anb stil ttiis . ' Calrr A tl ' .r liOTna flc. t f ._ Top: " Royal Court " ; Center leff: Whack! Cenfer right: " Davy Jones, Where Art Thou? " ; Bottom: Shell- back? .. iiiiiSs?-,, 27 " ■ ' y yf ' " iw at «■ " A bit off the top " ; Center: Ouch! The Royal Baby. 28 CHRISTMAS AT SEA 1944 Christmas 1944 found the Admiral Benson steaming through the Indian Ocean bound for Bombay. Loaded with GIs, a few assorted Red Cross girls, USO workers, and civilians, the Mighty B was on her maiden voyage. With a businesslike British destroyer as escort off either bow the tropics in wartime seemed an unlikely locale for Yuletide festivities, htowever, St. Nick ' s helpers got busy. There being no Xmas tree lot nearby Boatswain Elam and the boys up in the forecastle manufactured a tree from wood and wire rope. From their supplies the Red Cross people produced decora- tions, and the resplendent tree was set up on the main ladder for all to see. Thanks to the Red Cross and the folks back home everyone on the ship received a gift package. Much of our mail hadn ' t caught up yet, and those little Stateside gifts pleased everyone. Special religious services for all denominations retold the beautiful Christmas story, and silent prayers for peace came from throughout the ship. Topside on hatch five the Army shows were doing a land office business. Remember that swell red-headed Irish tenor? And the sing- ing of White Christmas under a blistering tropic sun? Finally on the superstructure deck the ship ' s company gathered to hear the Captain ' s Christmas message and to exchange the traditional season ' s greetings. Everybody got his two-bits worth in and shook hands all round. Good company to be in on Christmas away from home! 29 4W- BOMBAY 30 Top leff: Marine Drive; Top righf: Building by fhe Park; Center: Beau- ty and the Beast; Bottom left: Blacksmith; Lower right:lhe Cages. ' ■ " ■y ' ' ' Top leff: India Proposition; Top right: Hanging Gardens; Center: Free Delivery; Lower Left: Heavy Traffic; Lower Right: Hubba, Hub- ba! BOMBAY I 31 BOMBAY . AiiSJias 32 Top: Snake Charmer and Friends; Center left: ziizzz (Dennis)!; Center right: Milk Vendor; Bottom: Beer Party. i:- Top: Flaherty Views Destruction; Ludendorff Pill Box; Cenfer left: Ruins; Bofiom: Sunken American Ship. LE HAVRE t ' iC 33 v- xx - " ' LE HAVRE ,, ' i iis . 34 lop left: German 105mm Emplace- ment; fop rigbf: Archway; Center: Nazi Cemetery; Lower leff: Pill Box After Blockbuster Hit; Lower right: Wrecked Hotel. ' ' ' ' ■ ' ,,r " ' Top: Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Gare; Center: Palais de Long- champs ; Bottom: Candle Vendors, Cathedral Steps. MARSEILLES ,l ii ££iS 35 " " " y-yy yf " MARSEILLES Top; Marseille From the Cathedral; Boifom: Comblen? 36 Top leii: V-J Services (Chaplain Hu+cheson); Top Right: Catholic Mass (Father Nemecek); Center right: " Keep Silence About the Decks " ; Center left: First Anniver- sary, Mighty B; Bottom: Captain Cuts the Cake. SPECIAL OCCASIONS 37 ,: w y ' ' ' MANILA ,i ii ::C£ r ' 38 lop left: Liberty Call; Top righf: Liberty Boat; Center: Fleet Land- ing; Bottom Left: Attermath of War; fio om Right: Shell Marked. Top: Public Building; Center: Fruit Vendors; Bottom left: Legislafive Building; Bottom right: Philippine Mint. MANILA ; 39 MANILA Market Scenes 40 „ ;m:££ ' ■ ' j- jyff ' Top lefi: Shoppers; Top right: Chinese Cemetery; Center left: Red Cross Club; Center r gA : Busi- ness Section; Bottom left: Taxi?; Boftom right: Carabao. MANILA 41 EN ROUTE OKINAWA Top left: Heavy Weather Aft; Top Right: Haha JIma; Center: Iwo Jima; Bottom: Heavy Weather Forward. 42 " ' • ' -vyyx - ' ' ' Top leff: Hillside Cemefery; Top righf: Okinawa Tomb; Cenfer left: Burial Urns; Cenfer righf: Ameri- can Encampment; Boffom leff and righf: Path of the Typhoon. OKINAWA 43 " -vvyvyr " OKINAWA Bd-l-tlefield Scenes on Bloody Ridge. ,itf£i ::£ 44 Top: Shuri Castle; Center right: American Cemetery; Center left: Seabees; Bottom: L.C.T. ' s Landed Here. OKINAWA Aiii2£52i 45 .- ' ' v OKINAWA Okinawa Scenes. 46 „ im £ ' " ' ■ ' ■ y f ' ' ' .%W!c4. :k ilL«:; Hiroshima After Atomic Bomb. JAPAN 47 " " " y ff ' ' ' JAPAN Life Goes On — 48 More Japanese. JAPAN , V Vi;V v _ 49 Nagoya Street Scenes. JAPAN 50 ' ' ' " ' rrf ' ' ' ' Top: Civilians; Center: Wakanou- ra; Botfom leff: Jap Junk; Bottom right: Vendor. JAPAN . iiiiiio.. 51 JAPAN Arita (near Sasibo) 52 " ' ' -», x " ' Top: Transportation; Center: Sub- urban Home; Bottom left: Farm Home; Bottom right: Kids. JAPAN iii£2 53 ■= y -xy - " JAPAN 54 . lii ii li ,. Top: Mother and Child; Center leff: Old Timer; Center right: Gei- sha Girls; Bottom: Threshing Rice. " ' ' Vyy y " ' Top: Two-man Subs; Center right: At Anchor, Wakanoura; Center left: Rubble of Hiroshima; Bottom: Exit Air Power. i a a sr- JAPAN 55 Ii k 1«ii JAPAN Wak anoura. 56 Top: Washdown Aft; Cenfer: De- costa and Friends; Bottom: Engine Room. LIFE ABOARD SHIP f y m , 57 LIFE ABOARD SHIP Top: Wardroom Bridge Game; Center: Appendectomy; Bottom: Unloading, San Fernando. 58 Top: Sightseers; Center right: " DH- to " ; Center left: Assisfant Navi- gators (and Boss); Bottom: Gun- ner ' s Mates. LIFE ABOARD SHIP i ' i i is: 59 LIFE ABOARD SHIP Top: Barbershop Quartet; Center: " Friendly Game " ; Bottom: Boogie Woogie. 60 " " -vvr r " ' r j Top: First Glimpse of Home; Cen- ter: Troop Show Audience; Bof- fom: I ' ll Call Ya! LIFE ABOARD SHIP Aiiii iS 61 ' ' ' ' ,,f " ' LIFE ABOARD SHIP 62 Top: Seabiscuit No. 2; Center: " Sweepers, Man Your Brooms " ; Bottom: Sunbathers on Hatch Three. ifcl, .-Jk Top: Inspecfion Below:; Cenier: Washdown Forward; Boftom: Any Afternoon. LIFE ABOARD SHIP 63 LIFE ABOARD SHIP M Top: Leaving San Francisco; Cen- fer left: Mooring Aff, Nagoya; Center rigHi: Dunbar, G.M.I c; Bottom: Checking Ammunition. Top: Golden Gate; Center: Far Astern; Boftom: Swinging Around. LIFE ABOARD SHIP „ y i 65 ' " • ' y y ' ' LIFE ABOARD SHIP Top: Ballard and Haldeman, Min- dora Background; Center: Loading Passengers, San Francisco; Bofiom: Washday on the Benson. 66 " T ' ' ' " ' " ■ " J- ,, ! ' ' Top: Swing Band; Cenfer: Tug o ' War; Bottom: Pie Eating Contest. LIFE ABOARD SHIP 67 :; ' " ' 1 LIFE ABOARD SHIP iiiiia--,. Top: Free for All; Center righf: Pillow Fight; Center left: Flag Hoist Drill; Bottom: You Guys Again! 68 • ' ■ ' y r yft ' Taking Mail From Escort. LIFE ABOARD SHIP ,1 iC ii:: 69 CONDENSED LOG OF THE U.S.S. ADMIRAL W. S. (AP-120) BENSON Commissioned 23 August, 1944 af Bethlehem Steel Shipyard, Alameda, California. Arrived Departed 23 Aug. ' 44 I Sep. ' 44 2 Sep. ' 44 18 Sep. ' 44 18 Sep. ' 44 30 Sep. ' 44 30 Sep. ' 44 1 4 Oct. ' 44 1 5 Oct. ' 44 30 Nov. ' 44 16 Dec. ' 44 1 8 Dec. ' 44 30 Dec. ' 44 5 Jan. ' 45 1 7 Jan. ' 45 19 Jan. ' 45 2 Feb. ' 45 3 Feb. ' 45 3 Feb. ' 45 27 Feb. ' 45 14 Mar. ' 45 16 Mar. ' 45 27 Mar. ' 45 31 Mar. ' 45 14 Apr. ' 45 1 6 Apr. ' 45 70 Location-Employment NSD, Oakland Fiffing oui and provi- sioning San Pedro, Calif. Shakedown with Cofc- pac Todd Shipyards, Wil- mington, Calif. Shakedown availability San Pedro Area Training vessel for APA crews. Operating un- der SCTC, San Pedro, Calif. Todd Shipyard, Wil- mington, Calif. Availabilify and embar- kation of troops Melbourne, Aust. Fueled and provisioned Bombay, India Debarked and embarked troops Melbourne, Aust. Debarked and embarked troops Los Angeles, Calif. Debarked troops Todd Shipyard, Wil- mington, Calif. Availability and embar- kation of troops Melbourne, Aust. Fueled and provisioned Bombay, India Debarked nnd embarked troops Brisbane, Aust. Debarked and embarked troops I 8 Apr. ' 45 21 Apr. ' 45 22 Apr. ' 45 22 Apr. ' 45 3 May ' 45 I 7 May ' 45 23 May ' 45 24 May ' 45 3 June ' 45 4 June ' 45 I I June ' 45 6 July ' 45 14 July ' 45 I 7 July ' 45 27 July ' 45 28 July ' 45 I 5 Aug. ' 45 26 Aug. ' 45 20 Aug. ' 45 20 Aug. ' 45 21 Aug. ' 45 29 Aug. ' 45 3 Sep. ' 45 3 Sep. ' 45 14 Sep. ' 45 28 Sep. ' 45 I I Oct. ' 45 20 Oct. ' 45 22 Oct. ' 45 25 Oct. ' 45 26 Oct. ' 45 27 Oct. ' 45 27 Oct. ' 45 30 Oct. ' 45 31 Oct. ' 45 3 Nov. ' 45 4 Nov. ' 45 6 Nov. ' 45 8 Nov. ' 45 10 Nov. ' 45 jjiiii: ; K .!ii Ot V V ttT Noumea, New Cale- donia Embarked troops Espirito Santo, New He- brides Is. Debarked and embarked troops Los Angeles, Calif. Debarked troops Naval Drydock, Son Pe- dro, Calif. Panama Canal Zone Fueled and provisioned Le Havre, France Embarked troops New York, N. Y. Debarked troops and availability Marseille, France Embarked troops Panama Canal Zone Fueled and provisioned Ulithi, Caroline Is. Fueled and provisioned San Fernando, P. I. Debarked troops Manila, P. I. Debarked and embarked troops Ulithi, Caroline Is. Embarked Navy Person- nel San Francisco, Calif. Debarked and embarked troops Buckner Bay, Okinawa Debarked troops Sasebo Kyushu Is. Debarked and embarked troops Matsuyama, Shikoku Debarked troops Hiro Wan, Japan Debarked and embarked troops Wakayama, Japan Debarked and embarked troops Nagoya, Japan Debarked and embarked troops Naha, Okinawa Embarked troops Seattle, Washington THE SAGA OF THE BENSON (Continued from Page 24) long way around the southern end of Kyushu, for the Inland Sea was closed to all traffic. Arriv- ing at Matsuyama, we found that the Army had only just occupied that area a few days pre- vious, consequently no one was allowed to go ashore. Here we peddled a few more passengers to assembled ships in the harbor, and then continued on our way across the Inland Sea to the port of Hiro Wan. Wan means " harbor " and on this wan is located side by side, the cities of Hiro, Kure, and Hiroshima. This was an important naval base and manufacturing center, and visible everywhere were scuttled battleships and other naval craft, and one huge plane factory at Hiro had been reduced to a mass of twisted steel and embers. Hiro escaped damage, but Kure nearby was over half destroyed, and Hiroshima simply exists no more. One single atomic bomb has left only the remains of eight buildings and a small fringe of dwellings on the outskirts. A few more passengers peddled to nearby ships here, and then off again, this time to Waka- yama, Honshu. Here we found a Japan more as we expected it should be. Wakayama is ten miles inland, and not too badly damaged, and on the waterfront is Wakanoura, a fashionable resort, and untouched by the ravages of war. Fashionable hotels and fine homes dot the hill- side, while along the beach a re a series of small fishing villages. We found no end of souvenirs available at Wakanoura and at outrageous prices, and the way the sailors were spending their money for these useless wares must surely have brought on the greatest wave of prosperity these parts have ever known. This was the Japan of quaint little bridges, wind blown pines, impressive Shinto temples, and kimona clad natives. We enjoyed ourselves here. Shopping was much easier too. for in the better shops, English was spoken. In fact, one of the Jap sales- ladies claimed to be a graduate of UCLA in Los Angeles. A few more passengers got off here, and then we were off again. This time to Nagoya, the third city of Nippon. Here we found another mute witness to the efficiency of our bombers. This once modern city was a rubbish heap with only a few ten and twelve story buildings still intact. Nothing much of interest remained here. Our occupational forces had only taken over a few days prior to our arrival, but had things pretty well under control. At last we were able to dispose of our remaining passengers, except for 76 which we had decided to return to the States because they had almost acquired enough points for discharge by this time. Now we were heartily sick of Japan, and ready to go home. We had had no trouble with mines except for a close call enroute to Matsuyama, when we sighted one floating near us. This, our following escort destroyed with gunfire. November 8th found us underway for Okinawa again, this time to pick up a load of soldiers due for discharge, and we arrived off Naha, the capitol city of Okinawa on the morning of the 1 0th. There was no delay this time. Within 36 hours we had our load and were on our way to Seattle. Again we encountered a floating mine over a thousand miles at sea, and we sank it with gun- fire, as usual. No other event transpired while homeward bound, and we arrived in Seattle on 21 Novem- ber, after crossing in I I calendar days. On previous trips, the first thing most of our homeward bound passengers were anxious to see was a white woman, but not these veterans of Okinawa and many other island campaigns; they had been so steeped in wreckage for so long they wanted something entirely different — the sight of a complete building devoid of all damage and shellpocks. IN APPRECIATION in years to come the voyages and accomplishments of the Admiral Benson will recall pleasant memories. By photographs and articles it is hoped this book will bring back to you the doings of the Mighty B and her people. A lot of work goes into preparation of this kind of a book. Lt. Stone and Father Nemecek, Army Transport Chaplain, took the pictures we reproduce. Beauporlant, A., S I C, 2nd Division, did much of the necessary darkroom work. Nickerson, E. M., BM I C, of the MAA force, contributed " The Saga of the Benson " . Spaulding, K. A., QM 3 C, N Division, wrote " Crossing the Equator " and devoted much time to composition and layout. The sugges- tions of Lt. Macllwinnen had a lot to do with the final makeup and content. And we hope you like the result! 71 The End . iii fas- 72 T8o 1 Hi iAi,


Suggestions in the Admiral W S Benson (AP 120) - Naval Cruise Book collection:

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