[ USS CHENANGO ]  A Personal Account of WWII Transfer to California
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  Transfer to California ...
(Journal 4 of 14)
  It was a pretty good distance from Virginia to California, so the Navy got me a train ride with all the trimmings Pullman births, dinning-car, nice. I stowed my gear, got on board and settled down for a long cross country ride. I had brought a note book with writing paper, as I owed everyone a letter or at least a note. I had started a letter and was sitting deep in thought about what I was doing. The next thing I knew, someone had me by the shoulder. It was not a hard grab but it did startle me for a moment.I looked up and saw an M.P. (Military police) He asked me to stow my gear and follow him. I did as he requested, and followed him through several cars, and entered one of the last ones. There, was a Navy officer, and the Navy M.P. who I followed. After the usual salute, I was asked to sit down. I could not comprehend what he was telling me. I had been selected to assist these M.P’s through the travel to San Francisco. I was not asked, It was an order. I was given the M.P. paraphernalia and a talk about how to conduct myself, and what to do in the event of an emergency. My head was spinning I heard the word, but I had a hard time digesting this conversation. Gee, I was only eighteen years old. I don’t know why they selected me, there were a lot of service people on that train. It might have been my boxing record while I was in Boot Camp, I never learned.

Basically I was to walk through the train about once an hour, and report anything that did not look proper. I was to get off the train at all stops and observe the routine comings and goings, and report anything unusual. That was about it. It took several days to get to California, and I did not experience any problems throughout the trip. I was told that my service record would reflect that I had served in an M.P. capacity, and a report on this matter.

There was one good thing about this episode. In all the walks through all those cars, I started to get my sea legs. I was definitely going to need them when I was out to sea. At this point in time we could not get there fast enough. My days were occupied with the M.P. duty, while my night held dreams of Chenango on the high seas. There was a lot going on in my young mind. I had all the emotions except fear. That never crossed my mind. There was a lot of CLICK ADE CLACK of the wheels on the tracks, and then we were in California. What lied ahead for me?

Next Journal: "Bob Hope in California"
Journal 1
Journal 2
Journal 3
Journal 4
Journal 5
Journal 6
Journal 7
Journal 8
Journal 9
Journal 10
Journal 11
Journal 12
Journal 13
Journal 14