NEW YORK — The S. S. Kokomo Victory arrived in New York from LeHavre, France, with 1600 returning veterans, weary, seasick, and very much battered and bruised, but very happy indeed to be back in their native land.
The trip, which took 12 days, will long live In the memories o£ the hundreds of sea-going G. I.’s who were aboard the “Kokomo.” The vessel was buffeted by severe gales and hurricanes, which dogged lier all the way across the North Atlantic. Icy cutting winds reached a velocity o£ 90 to 100 miles per hour and 50 to 75-foot waves cascaded over the bucking vessel. The ship rolled and pitched sometimes as much as from 37 to 51 degrees and anyone who was foolish enough to venture out on deck was guaranteed an icy bath or broken bones. The majority of the soldiers were very seasick and were continuously asking the ship’s officers if “these tubs ever capsized.” Christmas Eve was spent holding on to stanchions or any other immovable objects that would save a man from being bounced around like a ping-pong ball. All in all it was a trip to remember.
Bob Grow of Railroad avenue, Norwood, a returning veteran of two and a half years in England, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and France, was one of the storm-tossed passengers. This young soldier will be given a furlough and is eligible for an honorable discharge. Two 18-year-old Norwood youths served as ordinary seamen in the ship’s crew, this being their first memorable baptism to Father Neptune. They are Joseph Hennessey and Joseph King of Nahatan Street Norwood.
The boys were very much disappointed in LeHavre which is a scene of desolation and destruction wrought by British and American bombers. They found the French people very unfriendly towards American soldiers and sailors and were more than glad to return to their ship after one night’s shore leave in France.
The S. S. Kokomo Victory is practically a brand-new vessel. She Is 455 feet in length, weighs 10.000 tons, carries a crew of 1001 officers and men. and is skippered by Commander James Maitland. ‘ U.S.M.S., of Salem, Mass. The navigating officer Is Lt. t. U.S.M.S. of Winslow Avenue. Norwood, who, incidentally, has just completed his 29th trans-Atlantic crossing.
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