Censored Us Navy/aef Submarine Chaser Sailor Letter, Harrowing Uk Voyage 1919
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Censored Us Navy/aef Submarine Chaser Sailor Letter, Harrowing Uk Voyage 1919 :
This is a seven page (single sided) letter on American YMCA American Expeditionary Forces letter paper, headed "Penzance Feb. 18th, 1919" and mailed from Belfast, Ireland Feb. 24th. The writer was one Bruce Wetmore, updating his father W.A. Wetmore in Los Angeles, California regarding his current whereabouts.
There's a small handwritten note added at the top of the first page indicating that the letter was received Mar. 25th and answered Mar. 26th.
Here's some of the text:
"Dear Dad, We are in a little fishing port called Newlyn [in Cornwall] near Penzance on account of bad weather on our trip to Inverness, Scotland.
We started from Plymouth Sunday morning and made Newlyn that night. We left here the next night for Ireland against the desire of our crew as we were afraid of a storm. All went well until we we rounded the most southerly part of England when we started into an exceptionally heavy gale blowing down the Irish Sea. We should have turned back as the gale was increasing and other trawlers had put into port. However we kept on and about midnight we found that the forward compartment was flooded with water and the next compartment was filled up to the floor. A big wave hit the pilot house and broke the windows and soaked everything in the officers quarters.
This looked bad for a while as our distress signals were unseen as each boat was shifting for itself and had its hands full. Nevertheless we turned back and soon lost the other boats but about an hour later we got them by wireless and they turned back with us and we finally made port the next morning.
One of the other boats sprung her seams and filled up pretty well with water in fact faster than they could pump it out.
Everyone was intensely sea sick and wet and we had a rather miserable time of it.
We have had so many miserable times that one more dont matter much.
We are now ready for sea again but with a reduced crew as five are in the hospital and two or three more are sick from "flu" or "something."
It is a wonderful experience on board a chaser in a storm. On one of the boats their cupboard got loose and started roaming around the forecastle breaking every dish, everything in the boat got wet and most of the fellows sick; no one can sleep as you have to hang on. In the galley they had three fires due to the stove becoming loose with a fire in it and getting uncontrollable. They lost practically everything breakable on the boat." He finishes up by describing Newlyn a bit and by saying, "It is a wonder to me how they make a living in most places in England..." and then going off on a bit of a rant about limited shop hours, tea breaks, etc., including - "One store at Plymouth closed up for a couple of days because the owner lost the key."
"Examined by L 11" [censor] rubber stamped at the end of the letter and on the cover next to the stamp.
Condition - the cover is quite fragile... the paper is yellowed and a bit brittle; its open along it RH edge, about 2/3 of the way along its top edge and in a few places along it other two edges; the letter is somewhat yellowed and it's a bit crumpled at UL where the paper clip is; the paper clip is somewhat rusted.
Thanks for offerding!