USS Bristol February 24, 1946 WWII Era Letter

This letter was written by a sailor serving aboard the USS Bristol, as his ship was leaving for home. The letter is dated February 24, 1946, 0326. At the top of the letter, is written 31 degrees 4’ N. Latitude, 141degrees 8’ E. Longitude.

Homeward Bound:

   Estimated time of arrival (ETA) March 16, San Pedro, Via Eniwetok Atoll and Pearl Harbor.
   Task unit 55.6 _ USS Compton (DD-705), USS Garinard (DD-706), USS Soley (DD-707), USS Hyman (DD-732), USS Purdy (DD-734), and USS Bristol (DD-857). DesRon 11
   At last we are taking our eastbound cruise homeward. Boy, oh, boy, we are surely glad to be doing this too. We weighted anchor shortly after then yesterday morning. Our ship was the last one of th six to move and it was very nice. The battle ship Iowa sent up flags spelling out “aloha” and signifying Bon Voyage to us. I’ll bet we were the envy of a lot of those other ships. However a lot of them have been home since we came out.
   Well, it’s now time to wake up the 4-8 watch and “hit the sack” so I shall continue this on the next watch.
    1545 Sunday Feb. 24th Now our position is 28degrees 22.5’ N. Latitude and 143 degrees 24’ E. Longitude so if you are plotting this on the map you can see we are going to get there to Eniwetok Atoll about Thursday.
   That will be just about one third of our journey. Today has been a wonderful day. The sea has been pretty calm and the sun has been out almost all day. My cold is a whole lot better. I have been out in the sun a little bit today. I started to get a bit of a suntan. We have had very little roll to contend with on the ship. All the hatches are open and the nice air is simply permeating the ship. What a cruise! A very much more enjoyable life than we have lead in these last few months in Japan.
   My liberty section will be the first to make a liberty in Hawaii and that will probably be the only liberty I will get there. So I shall try my best to see all I can. I think I shall send a cablegram as instructed when we get there. This letter will reach you probably the day we arrive in Pearl Harbor since it will leave by airmail at Eniwetok. It will take five or six days to reach you.
   I’m getting a box of thins ready for mailing when we hit the states. We have a lot of spare parts boxes on board which formerly contain radio and radar spares. We had to combine a lot of these boxes in order to have some for all the spares in our small storage compartment. Mr. Coe has shipped some things home in some he has taken from us. Several boxes we have used for steel radio chassis and coffee pot stands; others are used as tool boxes. Well, I have a couple I want and one I shall send to you soon after we hit the states. I shall put it inside a regular wooden box and send it via parcel post or railway express. There will be other thing sin it, of course. I intend to repaint it when I get it home and to use the box as a good book case for school and traveling case. Capable of being locked and with handles on each end they make swell utility boxes.
   This watch is really a humdinger. We have all the lights on, and none of the radars are on. We are only using our surface search radar at night. One ship out of the six has the regular duty each day with all radars going. All the rest of us remain in communication and maintain our regular station in the column. “Note: at this point in the letter, the sailor made a drawing of the position of each ship, which I will include below”
   So it is  nice easy going daily routine. And I really like that! I’ve worked enough recently:
   Friday morning , Joe Dawson changed the magnetron tube on the SG radar. Shortly after that, the whole dam set broke down. Joe worked until noon on it and was completely baffled. We worked all afternoon and by evening we had Schwartz helping us. Mr. Mallett was on liberty all day but he turned to with us when we informed him of the trouble after he returned. Well, we worked all night on that gadget and finally got it fixed at about 0600 Saturday morning. Boy, oh, boy what a night! We practically remodeled and replace the entire set. Found several bum tubes, a transformer that was burned out, and several other very disturbing thing. By now, I’m becoming quite an Electronic Technician’s Mate. And you will find out that I am valued a little more highly pretty soon. I naturally wanted to be up to make sure we pulled out of Tokyo Bay as planned so I didn’t go to bed on Saturday morning until we were underway. Well, I finally retired around 1030 and slept all day. I’m fairly well rested now although I’ll go to bed pretty soon.
   Last letter received was Feb. 14. It cam thru in 8 days. Thanks for the dope on transportation home from the coast. I surely hope that yu9ou had a nice trip over to Steamboat Springs, Dad. And Mr. Mallett is one swell fellow. He thanked us for our work on the SG; more than Coe? ever did, Just heard Tokyo airport on the radio  525 miles distant and very nice to know my equipment is working so well.

So until next time, adios

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