Tag Archives: WW2

November 1940

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

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.

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June 3rd, 1940 Dear Mae

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Monday morning

Dear Mae,

Read your letter this morning, sure was glad to hear from you. I am having a good time but not as good as I had last year. Of course I didn’t expect to, it is entirely different, but it will be cheaper. It is very pretty here but nothing much to do but swim, but I am enjoying that. We have been going to the Gulf and Tampa Bay, we went to church yesterday morning and had dinner in town. Spent the rest of the day at Treasure Island, it is on the Gulf. We are planning on leaving here Thursday morning and go to Silver Springs and part of the East Coast. Hope I don’t get disappointed. They want to stay with Mr. Taylor as long as they can. Think I will go to town and see a show today. Hope Lucille will get to go to Mobile, I know she will enjoy it.

I haven’t heard much about the war. We don’t have a radio and haven’t seen but one paper since we arrived, so you see I don’t know much.

Thank you for sending Blondie, I got a kick out of it.They want to know who my letter was from when they heard me laughing.

Will try to send Mr. Kaplan a card, hope you can read this.


June 4th, 1940 Winston Churchill delivers his, “We shall never surrender”, speech to the House of Commons.


From Grandma’s photo album. Taken in Sarasota Florida, year unknown but possibly same year as this letter.

The hotel in this postcard is in the background of the photo.

Mae & Lucille are Pauline’s sisters.
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