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HST-FBP_14-80_01 - 1945-07-12

Transcript Date

[Aboard U.S.S. Augusta] July 12, 1945

Dear Bess:

This has been a most restful and satisfactory trip. Haven't been sick a minute! We left Norfolk Sunday, July 7, at seven o'clock and spent a pleasant sunny day. Went to church at ten-thirty with the ship's captain, officers, and men. It was a nice, short service such as we attended at Bethesda. Sat around and talked to Secretary Byrnes and Admiral Leahy most of the morning. Took a nap in the afternoon and discussed some important business with Charlie Ross and the newsmen. Went to a dull picture show in the evening and to bed at 11:00 P.M. Monday inspected the ship from bridge to engine room. Gave the boys a treat I suppose. They saw the President and he saw them. Found a boy aboard named Lawrence Truman from Owensboro, Kentucky. He's the great-grandson of my grandfather's brother and a very nice kid. He has eyes just like Margaret's. Been in the navy four and a half years.

On Tuesday we had firing practice. They fired the eight-inch, five-inch, and forty-millimeter guns. Nice entertainment for an artilleryman. Up to the time we were ready to shoot we'd had the sea to ourselves, but when it was time to fire two merchantmen and an airplane hove into sight.

The forties are antiaircraft and are most interesting. They fire like a machine gun and have a range up to a mile or so. We have a couple of planes on board and they expect to launch them today. They are launched by a catapult and loaded with a crane.

I sure dread this trip, worse than anything I've had to face. But it has to be done. Lord Halifax brought me a longhand letter from George VI asking me to visit him and the Queen at Buckingham Palace. I thanked him and told him I would if I could. Think I'll come home as fast as I can when it's over though. If you and Margie were along, we'd stop.

Love to you, a lot of it, kiss my baby, Harry