Monday, May 27, 2013
My Granddaddy was a radio operator in WWII...these are a few excerpts from his war journal.
"Maybe you have never seen the sunset on the sea. If you haven't I can truthfully say that you have missed one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights. It is something you can't put into so many words. The water was as smooth as glass and most of the men lolled about on the deck stripped to the waist to get the full benefit of the sun and salt spray. In the distance we could see a whale spouting a farewell to the dying sun as it dipped, it seemed, into the blue Atlantic.
It was the last day of May, and although the ocean never ceased to amaze me I was getting pretty tired of water. It was a very hot day and the many soldiers on the crowded transport made it seem even hotter. I still hadn't felt that little bit of nuisance they call sea sickness but some of the boys were hit hard and I lived in constant fear of catching it too. They say it is all in the the mind but some of those boys seemed to have it in their stomachs too, or maybe I couldn't tell; course I'm not a doctor.
D-day passed and our boat neared Liverpool. There was much excitement and general good feeling aboard when we came in sight of England's emerald shores. Thousands of squawking sea-gulls swarmed around the the ship from stern to bow picking up scraps thrown from the gulley port holes. If man could ever learn to fly like those birds he would have mastered a truly fine art. They would glide gracefully from a good height and skim deftly over the edge of the waves without touching the water except when a piece of bread or other morsel hit the water.
The beautiful and aged British-Isles - where history is written on every hand in the time mellowed ruins of its old castles or the tranquil beauty of a glassy canal with an occasional barge plying the still water. The cities had suffered and truthful evidence was everywhere. There were whole blocks without a house standing and as I traveled through the United Kingdom I found that every large city and most of the smaller towns and villages had had their quota of bombs on their factories and residential districts. The blitz had taken its toll in lives and property, but the Englishmen could still smile and look forward to a brighter future."
I love reading through his journals and poems...maybe I'll share a few more soon. :)