21 September 1955
Greetings from the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, CVA 14, the pride of the U.S. Navy. We’ve just sneaked back into Norfolk Harbor, after intermittently pursuing & being pursued by good old "Ion." She passed right over Norfolk, but as usual there are 3,000 different versions as to the extent of damage, or lack of it.
We are now three days behind schedule on loading supplies, & everything is in mass confusion—we need three hundred men to load them on board; we were given 227; of these, many are married & have families in Norfolk & are anxious to see how they rode out the storm. We are still anchored out, waiting for a pier to be opened to us. Then the fun will really start!
Speaking of storms, I was fascinated by the rough seas we battled for two days. I’ve never seen anything like it—waves as big as hills; mountains & valleys forming & disappearing in an instant. Some of them appeared to be leaping for the sky, only to fall back upon themselves in a cloud of spray. Very impressive, though I was told that it could (& did) get worse.
Aside from feeding of our regular crew of 3,000 today, plus all the confusion, we are having 200 civilians on board to dedicate a new 30 cent stamp to Robert E. Lee. Why in God’s green Earth they should pick the Ticonderoga for such an honor is completely beyond me. The battle of Fort Ticonderoga was fought in the Revolutionary War, not the Civil, & it took place in New York, not Dixie. The "Mississippi" is in port—why couldn’t they use her? Ah, well…
At two o’clock this afternoon I’m looking forward to receiving three shots prior to the Med Cruise. I hate, loathe, abominate, & abhor needles; always have & always will. I suppose a pound of prevention is worth an ounce of typhus, but I’d just as soon forget the whole thing!
It is now 8:00 the same night, & happily the ordeal of the needles was put off in the chaos.
Imagine, if you can, having 9 freight cars of food to bring on board & store. God knows what will happen when we go to the Med.
The brownies came today, much to the delight of yours truly & the Supply Department of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga. They are very good, though had been smashed & crumpled in the process of shipping. The tin came through with flying colors, & is an ingenious little gadget. I’ll probably be able to call home tomorrow night.
Do you realize, Dad, that I will not have seen you for almost two years? Now, don’t go blaming anyone—it couldn’t be helped, but I would like to have seen you. Oh, well, you’ll still be the same--& don’t give me any of that "your old man isn’t getting any younger" routine—you aren’t even half-way through middle age yet.
Another batch of papers came with the cookies—sure hope I can recognize Rockford when I see it again. So, with your kind permission, I will close now & read them. Until later, I am