Sunday, May 21, 2017

Censorship Ain't No Mo

U.S.S. OCELOT (IX-110)
c/o Fleet Post Office
San Francisco, California
Tuesday 4 Sept 1945, 9:30 PM
Dearest Eleanor,
     Hello Honey, the lid is off. Censorship ain't no mo? Fire away.
     Briefly here is what happened when we got to Pearl. Commodore Carter, Commander of Service Squadron Ten was looking for a flagship and since the Ocelot had no definite duty to perform, she was it. For nine weeks we lay along the dock while the shipyard equipped the ship for his duty. A service squadron has the duty of supplying food, clothes, ammunition, fuel, personnel and anything else you can think of to the fleet. The Ocelot was the floating headquarters and we housed about 85 officers and 700 men on our ship. Squadron 10 grew by leaps and bounds and soon there were several divisions functioning at Eniwetok, Ulithi, Leyte, Saipan and Okinawa. When Commodore Carter went back to the states, Rear Admiral A. E. Smith relieved him as Commander of Squadron Ten. In addition, Service Division 101 under Commodore Du Val also was established aboard. Now that the war is over, the Squadron is breaking up. 101 is going to China and Korea and Squadron 10 to Okinawa and then Japan.
Here's the good news. The Ocelot is very old and has no place in a peacetime Navy. There are many newer vessels suitable for flag ships. Admiral Smith has asked for another and is supposed to get it within thirty days. Further the Ocelot has no heating in crews' quarters and isn't suited for duty in a cold climate. So the scuttlebutt is that as soon as the Squadron gets its new flag ship we'll go back to the U.S. for decommissioning.
     I've never even intimated it before but we did have a few visitors while we were in Ulithi. I saw a tanker torpedoed and sunk about 2000 yards from our ship. One night before the movies while we were singing Red River Valley, two Jap planes flew overhead. We all cussed them out thinking they were our own. The reason for the cursing was that they were flying very low and without lights. Anyway the Randolph, a carrier, was about 1000 yards astern. Suddenly one of the planes dove and the whole anchorage lit up. There were numerous casualties but the ship was repaired and back in action in two weeks. We've had other lesser excitements but we came through OK. I'm surprised you never read about it in the Outlook. Dave saw the item about it which was broadcast by Tokyo Rose. He cut it out and sent it to me. He hoped you hadn't seen it and didn't call your attention to it lest you worry unnecessarily.
     So much for that. Today was quite a busy day for me but no dentistry, just collateral duties. We are slated to leave for Okinawa on the 7th and it'll take 5 to 6 days to make the run. We will be anchored in Buckner Bay so if Leon does ship out tell him to look for me. The Ocelot is a famous ship and anyone who has seen duty in the West Pacific knows about her. He shouldn't have any trouble finding it.
     Just think Darling in another month or six weeks I may be homeward bound. I get so excited just thinking about coming home to you and the kids that I wonder how I'll act when the thought becomes a reality.
     We had a good movie tonight. Gary Cooper and Loretta Young in "Along Comes Jones" was it and quite good.
     I got five letters and a card all from you but they were marked the 22nd and 23rd of August. I've already received some of the 25th so all the news was old. By now you are home and I hope the stay up at Lake Arrowhead was real nice. Yes Dear we have a honeymoon to go on and I hope it's real soon. I'm a lousy writer of love letters but when I get back I'll prove personally that I'm no amateur.
     So Sweet, I'll sign off. Goodnight and pleasant dreams.
Love
Gil

Outlook Article About Bombing of the Randolph