Wednesday, 23 September 2015

24.9.45. Finished packing. Hell of a job.  Also got a good breakfast, after which things got moving. All the luck in the world – it was a fine day. Adequate arrangements had been made to shift a big crowd of us. Working alphabetically things seemed muddled & cumbersome at first, but actually all went fine. Lorries 15 men each moved out in convoys of 10. I liked the Philippine landscape en route – green with hills in the distance. Manila sure looks as though it had been fought through. Embarked on “Admiral C.F. Hughes”, Compt 63. As you stepped on the gangway you received from a lady a packet of Wrigley's gum & a packet of Lucky Strike cigs from American Red Cross. Very fine. Quarters were clean & I got a top bed – but little choice. Look round ship which is a sizable boat, lots of welding, & obviously designed for the job of trooping & at the same time easily cleared & rebuilt for passenger work after the war. There are plenty of GIs returning home plus us – about 4000 on board. Moved off about 5pm & soon gathered way. Organisation for feeding is rather marvellous. Each compartment called in turn & one “combined dish” you slide along the counter & the chow whacked into the depressions. Damn fine meal which you eat in a separate mess hall standing at tables. The whole thing is hustle but a good show. The ship washes dishes. Drinking water fountains in all compartments & heads etc right aft. So washing, living & eating are all quite separate – & very right too. You can't do that in a liner converted to troop carrying. I tried hard to get to sleep in my bunk but had to give up the attempt for the heat which is made worse by proximity to hot steam pipes. Very pleasant sail out of Manila Bay & surprised we then turned south to pass into the Pacific via southern end of the island. So that is the end of a short stay during which we have received much kindness & had lots very willingly done for us.

No comments:

Post a Comment