Guam, Marianas

Dear Mom,

Well after walking the bulkheads all the way down here we finally arrived at Guam.  It took us eleven days to make the trip.  We left Tsingtao the tenth and right from the start had bad weather.  We passed Okinawa the fifth day out through the straits. After that we had good weather only a little rougher in spots.

The first night out I felt pretty bad (understatement) but never got to the "leaning over the rail" stage of the game.  We stood watches 4 on and 8 off which is pretty good.  I had the radio on in the pilot house so as to get fresh air and after one day about six of us laid out on the ramp to catch the waves as they broke across our bow and washed down our ramps.  This is how it always goes and it's a lazy man's swim, no pain no strain and a lot of fun.  We thought the ship would fall apart before we got here with everything going out all the time.  We left with the deliver and the 1090, after two days out the 1090 had to be taken in tow and after seven days we too were taken in tow.  The trip was scheduled to take us eight days but they seemed to forget we were LCI's.  We went dead in the water twice when our fire and flushing went out and we were unable to run the engines.  Our electric steering went out five times and we had to steer by manual in aft steering.  These among other things were going out but here we are and out of China.

We're scheduled to make repairs by the 5th of December and be ready for sea the 8th to go to Kwajalein, another step in the right direction.  I don't know what the nature of our duty will be but we're supposed to relieve two LCI's who are in bad shape. What a laugh.

I went up to see my friend Padulla who is stationed here now and has been writing me.  He was really surprised to see me, never dreaming I'd show up here.  We ate supper with him and spent the night in the rec hall.  He sells beer, ice cream, small stores and ships service gear here, so I'm going up to see him tomorrow night and big deal some ice cream which he promised he'd make for us.  He used to be movie operator but was switched.

I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and enjoyed the holidays.  I don't know when I'll be paid again so as to be safer and less trouble I want you to take the November allotment check and instead of depositing it buy what you'd want as a present for yourself and the girls.

I got your Christmas card yesterday, It's nice, thanks.  I also got a package from Aunt Johanna with some books and candy, also a card.

With Love