Thursday, April 11, 1918
This letter was begun on stationery Harold had presumably bought or been given; as he was running out of it, he writes on both sides of the sheets before switching mid-letter to Y.M.C.A. stationery, at which point he writes on only one side.
View full letter
April 11, 1918
My darling Mother: -
Well I left Pedro Sunday the 7 of April 1918 at 2:30P on the Revenue cutter USS Unalga a coast Guard boat. We towed a Submarine the 0-15 from San Pedro to Mare Island and landed there the 10th at 3 P.M. droped the Sub and then we went to Frisco. It was some rough trip but I had a great time and like it fine.
I was on watch the first night. midnight to 4 am. I watched the Sub and saw that it didn’t get loose. The hamocks are swell to sleep in if you don’t fall out as its 6 ft to the floor. We sure get good food.
I worked in the mess hall the next two days, it took us about 74 hours to make the run. Yesterday they picked me to wait on the officers table and they treat me fine and its easy work only a few dishes to wash and sweep their quarters. I am standing on the upper deck and writing this on one of the hatches so excuse the writting. We were going to San Diego and then back to Pedro but now we have order to lay here until the 20 of April and then run to Alaska, a trip of about one year as we turn around in the ice bergs. We have some guns as it is a Coast Guard boat and will be fine training for me and the war may be over in a year.
Last night half of the fellows went ashore and to-night I get off at 6 PM and get back on board at 7:30 am.
We are anchord about a mile from Frisco and go ashore on one of the Gas launches. Frisco looks good at night.
Well we were the first ones to leave the way we did. Didn’t have a band to send us away. They sneaked us thru the sub base and put us on board so quick and then pulled anchor. They waited over two weeks at Pedro for us and I am well pleased as I want to go to Alaska. I’ll bring back an Eskimo and some polar bears and maybe two whales.
There was 30 of us put on this boat, she is over two hundred feet long, steel boat painted gray, 6 life boats and a launch, two anchors and everything. Also a dog and a cat, the dog and I are good friends.
I am new at the officers table so will write some more I shined by shoes about ten minutes ago as I want to get cleaned up for to-night. If I had had any paper with me on the trip I would have a longer letter for you.
I am going to by some tobacco and stuff I need on the trip as I won’t get any pay until we come back from Alaska but then I’ll get it in a bunch.
When you write to me address it to Harold W. Lampshire, USS Unalga c/o Commandant 12th Naval District, San Francisco, Cal. and they send it where ever the boat is as they know where we are going. I sent you a card last night by one of the fellows as he was going ashore. I bought a blue flat Sailor hat with “USS Unalga C.G.” on it and I look fine, when I get to Alaska I’ll have my picture taken in it as I can’t wear it here. Well Mother it is 11 P.M. and I guess I will set the table for the officers and if I can bum some more paper I’ll write more this afternoon as I am out of paper and tobacco.
Well Mother it is 1 PM and I am thru until 5 PM then I get their supper ah this is some life.
Say, I sure have a darling of a friend in my dear little Mary and I never can repay her for half that she has done for me.
I am having a hard time to write to you as it is now 9 P.M. and Pratt and I got in Frisco at 4 P.M. had supper and then went out to Golden Gate Park where some people picked us up in their machine so we had a very nice ride we then went to a show and now we are at the Army and Navy Y.M.C.A. where we will stay for the night as the launch leaves the pier at 7:30 am for our ship and we must be their.
I bought 12 sacks of bull Durham and some pipe tobacco so I’ll be ready for the trip also a writing tablet.
Well Mother Dear Tell Mary all the news as I can’t write so very often but will do the best I can. I think we stop at Seattle to coal the ship and if we do I’ll get a letter to you also one every time we pull in to a port.
I just met one of the head fellows of the Los Angeles Foundry in Los Angeles and he was some surprised to see me. You remember I checked cars there some time ago.
Well Mother give my love and best regards to Grandmother and Gertrude and all my friends as I won't have time to write to every body but I’ll write to you and dear little Mary as often as I can so cheer up and smile. I went into a drug store to buy my paper and the girl wanted to know why I was so happy and I told her it was my disposition and that it was just as cheap so I cheered her up and she thought it was about right.
Well Mother I think I’ll go upstairs and go to bed so will close for now but will write again Sat. as I think I get shore liberty then.
Take good care of yourself and I’ll do the same.
Give my love to all.
Your little boy in blue (not blue).
All rights reserved © 2019-2020