Sunday, May 14, 2017

World War II Letters - 2 and 7 December 1941 - Written by Stan Cooper

December 7th, 1941 - A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

A week before the committed involvement of the United States in World War II with Japan, Stan was assigned to his first “boat,” the USS MELVILLE AD-2, a destroyer tender, a non-combatant support service which “tended, repaired, and supplied destroyers and other small ships. Destroyers were small, fast ships, jammed full of machinery and weapons, with necessarily small crews. Destroyer Tenders serviced the destroyers at sea, so the destroyers did not have to return stateside for most repairs.”1

Stan dreamed of serving on a “tin can,” a destroyer ship as seen in this letter.

He served on the USS MELVILLE until the following spring.

During the time Stan served on the MELVILLE, the vessel was returning from Bermuda servicing "neutrality patrol ships until returning to Norfolk on 28 November [1941]. Melville got underway on 12 January 1942 for Europe, reaching Derry, Northern Ireland on 31 January to begin tending escort ships of Allied convoys crossing the submarine infested Atlantic.”2

1) Sherman, Stephen. “Destroyer Tenders, US Navy Service and Repairs Ships of WW2.” 2012.

2) Wikipedia.

December 2nd

This letter was written from the Tower Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a transient resident hotel, as seen from the letterhead. Stan is excited over his first assignment on a ship.

His brother's marriage took place on 29 November 1941. Stan was so sorry to have had to miss it.

December 7th

This letter was written and posted before Stan heard of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. News travelled much slower during those times. Stan wrote another letter on the 5th of December as mentioned in my next future post. This was when the military started to censor their soldiers' mail. I would think they would have done this much earlier. Did his parent's even get this letter, as I do not have a copy of it?

Stan's mother would pass around Stan's letters to other family members, including aunts and uncles. Thank you, Nana, for keeping all of my father's letters.

No comments:

Post a Comment