USS Maryland Weekly Letter, 1930

Though this letter was written a little over a decade before the attack on Pearl Harbor, it is an interesting look into some activities of the USS Maryland at the time.

This "Weekly Letter" of the U.S.S. Maryland, was mailed home to his family, by a US Marine serving aboard the USS Maryland, in September, 1930. At Anchor, San Pedro, California.....From the letter......The last time I had a chance to write to you we were riding on the Golden Gate in San Francisco Bay. As I have already told you in the past, we had a very busy and also a most enjoyable time in the city of St. Francis. Except for the morning of our arrival and the morning of our departure, which was August 25, we had most exceptional weather. It seemed for a time after the anchors of our mighty ships had been hauled up that the heavy fog that had settled over the Bay that morning would greatly delay our departure to our home ports, but after a short delay the sun of the Golden West beamed down on us and we were underway in perfect formation.
Soon after the start the Maryland was off by herself, and our Engineers were busily preparing for our annual Full Power Run. Well might they be contented and delighted with the success of their efforts, for they drove "Mary", whose weight is 32,600 tons, plowing through a water turned into foam, and not a wisp of smoke was permitted to leave her funnels. 29, 882 horsepower was generated and 3,789 gallons of fuel was consumed in one hour. "Mary" had well responded to the test put upon her.
 Arriving in San Pedro, and after greeting those who had waited anxiously for our return, "Mary's" personnel got busy on a ship's Ball. The ball was held in the Gold Room of the Biltmore Hotel, in Los Angeles, and it is impossible to exaggerate the good time enjoyed by all. The Starboard watch was given 72-hour leave because they had won a good behavior contest, which had lasted about a month. By ten o'clock of the night of September 5, the Gold Room was crowded with Sailors and their girl friends, with Officers in formal service dress, and with motion picture celebrities most gorgeously attired. After the Grand March, which was led by our Commanding Officer, fifteen minutes of the night was given over to the Master-of-ceremonies, the able and popular motion picture producer, Billie Joy. After paying proper tribute to Admiral Schofield, Vice Admiral Leigh, Captain Taussig and Commander Clarke, he presented a big number of movie stars. Among those were: Mr. and Mrs. Finis Fox, Sally O'Neil, Mona Rico, Lou Desmond, Dianne Esmonde, Peggy Hamilton, Thelma Todd, Lina Basquette, Alberta and Ida Mae Vaugh, Adrienne Dorne, Mr. And Mrs, Glenn Tryon, David Newell, Charles Morton, Billy Bakewell, Clarence Brown, James Hall, Merna Kennedy, Teddy Marcel, Ivan Lebendeff, Raquel Torres, Pauline Garon, Patsy Flynn, Joy Auburn, Alyce McCormick, Anthony Bushell, Hazel Hayes, June Marlowe, Dorothy Phillips, Gwendolyn Houlabour, Mary Archamboult, Rosemary Sisterom, Holdreth Poynter, Kent Holland and Wingate Smith.
We are now entered on our Gunnery Year with full speed ahead. Everyone is interested and on their toes, and all are anxious to find "Mary" decorated with the coveted "E's" ("E's" stand for efficiency) when the season is over. "E's" are precious jewels for battleships, and we all want our "Mary to be properly bejeweled. You'll be hearing form me again soon. Write to me in care of the Postmaster at San Pedro.
    Good Luck!

During the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Maryland was somewhat protected by the USS Oklahoma, and was damaged, but did not sink, and went on to serve during the rest of the war.

Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC
Titled: Pearl Harbor bombing. USS Maryland. Moored inboard of the USS Oklahoma, which capsized, the 31,500 ton Maryland was damaged slightly and was one of the first ships to rejoin the fleet after the Japanese attack.
Call # LC-USE6- D-007399 [P&P]

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