[ USS CHENANGO ]  A Personal Account of WWII Liberty in Hawaii
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  Liberty in Hawaii ...
(Journal 9 of 14)
  The Hawaiian islands are a group of beautiful islands in the Pacific. When we finally reached these islands, you could still see some of the visual effects of the Pearl Harbor attack. Sunken ships (and they were ours.) Trees and houses showed signs of the horror inflicted on them. We were greeted by HAWAIIAN men and women dressed in colorful traditional clothing playing instruments and sinning. Girls were dancing. It was a memorable experience. I would visit Hawaii several times while in the Pacific, and always enjoy my stay.

On one of these occasions, I heard that the ROYAL HAWAIIAN HOTEL, had been taken over for the exclusive use of the service personnel. I spent most of that afternoon on the beach, under one of those big umbrellas. The beautiful sandy beach bleached white by the sun, was the perfect backdrop for the bevy of beauties that had taken occupancy of it. The tide or surf would roll in and seem to tickle the bathers and cool them down. For all of the people on the beach it was surprisingly quiet. I had heard the expression R.& R, (rest and relaxation.) This must have been what they meant.

I had been on the beach simply observing, when a waiter came to me and asked if I wanted and drink. The drinking age in the States was twenty-one. When I told him he smiled, and said, if I wanted an alcoholic beverage it was O.K. here. What I wanted was to try one of those Hawaiian drinks I think he called it a Hawaiian Sunrise (I am not sure.) It was one of those things with about three kinds of rum in it, and sparkling water. I liked it, but would wind up drinking RUM AND COCA-COLA for the next few years. They called them CUBALEBRAS. Several of my ship mates joined me that night to one of the night clubs. We loved the food and drinks, and the floor show was just what one would imagine. Plenty of drums, hula dancers, swords, fire and very colorful..

After a little R. & R. We were off again, as we had receive our orders. I always felt that one day I would set my feet on Japan soil. I knew that we would finish what Japan started, and I wanted to be there for that event. What I didn’t know was that there would be other fierce battles before that would happen. For me it was just the beginning.

Next Journal: "Liberty in Okinawa"
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Journal 14