I written to you yesterday but I don’t believe I told you about our sailing, we will leave here about Thursday for San Pedro there for one day then to Honolulu again. We are due back here about Sept. 15th or there about. I will write you from Honolulu so when I say in my letter from Honolulu. Sam’s Birthday is September 15 that will be the code for the date we will arrive in San Diego or any name stating date so you understand what date we will arrive back.
I passed my exam for promotion as soon as the president signed it. I will be drawn $230 per month and when I get married it will be $300 per month. I saw those pictures you and I made together, boy what an animal I look like.
I am longing when the time come, when I can see you in California.
I will leave this with thee pilot mail. He will be dismissed in about 10 minutes and we will be on our way to our destination.
Gee jack I wish I had more time off while you are out here, so I could be with you more.
I want to tell you that you are swell & sweet as you can be. I do hope you can come back soon, and I hope you will have a good time on your vacation; for Woody and Pauline certainly will make you have a good time for they are swell.
Well goody by. Abb R Truett U.S.S. Cuyanna C/O Post Master San Diego Calif.
An excerpt from “The Life Story of a lucky Tennessee Sailor that Lived to Retire” by Abb R. Truett:
This entry may depict some ethnic and racial prejudices that were once commonplace in American society. Such depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. These transcriptions are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.
November, 1940, as we came up from the south to New York on a Standard Oil tanker, I was called by the Navy for active duty. The Navy dispatched me to the U.S.S. Santee at Baltimore as a Commissioned Officer. The U.S.S. Santee at that time was on oil tanker rigged for fueling ships at sea.
My first assignment aboard the Santee was First Lieutenant and loading officer. A few days after I arrived aboard, we set sail for the West Coast through the Panama Canal. When we arrived on the Pacific coast at Los Angeles harbor, we did a few practice drills loading ships at sea. Then, sometime in April, we sailed for Pearl Harbor and in May, 1941, the U.S.S. Santee was getting in shape to convert into a light aircraft carrier. I was transferred to the U.S.S. Cuyama, another oil tanker that also fueled ships at sea.
U.S.S. Cuyama Offitcers
P. R. Coloney- Commanding Officer V. F. Rathbun -Executive Officer W. F. Huckaby – Navigator Officer D. D. Lett-A.A. Battery Officer E. M. Tellefson- Communication Officer C. W. Lowith – Engineer Officer R. G. Brown – Gunnery Officer P. A. Bane -First Lieutenant A. R. Truett – First Division Officer F. E. Mullins – A.A. Battery Officer J. J. Reidy -Second Division Officer I. R. Strickland -Asst. Engineer Officer J. W. Root- Medical Officer B. A. Chandler-Supply & Disbursing Officer R. F. Hitchcock -Asst. Supply Officer
The U.S.s.Cuyama loaded cargo of diesel oil and fuel oil in San Francisco Bay for Pearl Harbor. We also went to some of the South Pacific Islands lohninson Is., Palmyro Is. Wake Is., and Midway Is.. We met Lieutenant Colonel James P. Devereux, Commander of the Marines who later made the heroic stand against the Japs for sixteen days before he and his Marines surrendered. We were back in Los Angeles Harbor sometime in the late summer of 1941.