27 April 2012

27 April 1944

On April 27th we cruised up the Firth of Clyde and dropped the hook off Greenoch, Scotland. I recall -- if vaguely -- one rather besodden liberty made with some war correspondents we brought across and then routine duties until 7th May. On that day and in the company of Chaplain Legg -- my liberty companion for many a subsequent venture -- we took a boat to Helensburg and from there walked via the historic “high road” to Loch Lomond. The hike carried us through the famed Scottish highlands and was punctuated en route by repeated “pulls” from a bottle of altar wine that the Padre had thoughtfully brought along. On arriving at Bulloch at the head of the Loch we had tea with two wee Scottish lassies, took a short row on the Loch and then caught the bus to Glasgow for dinner -- then by train back to Greenoch and home. A most delightful day -- one which set the motif for subsequent trips -- when we concentrated most of our energies on the people and the countryside rather than on the bars and shops. (Not through any temperance convictions, however, but chiefly because we took liberty on Sundays.)

23 April 2012

Message From the Admin: On Time Gaps

The next post is due on the 27th of April, the one after that on May 14th. In the interim I'll publish some pictures from the diary, including some beautiful illustrations.

He gets into a regular, daily schedule of writing starting on June 5th, 1944, the day before D-Day. Everything up until that day is set-up for the pending invasion. It's an interesting slice of history, though not quite so riveting as a battle.

So, please check back in June - there will be much more to read.


- The Granddaughter

18 April 2012

18 April 1944

On 18 April, 1944, sometime in the early afternoon we lifted the hook and pulled out of Casco bay. I spent the long last hour on the fantail watching the then snow-speckled shores of Maine drop away in the distance. The crossing took nine days and after gathering my wabbly sea-legs beneath me during the first forty-eight hours, the trip was quite pleasant. The idea of actually crossing the Atlantic was sufficient recompense for any hyper-activity that my vagus nerve might present.

17 April 2012


On Doctor George Lester Cushman

I never knew my grandfather, Doctor George Lester Cushman to many and Par to his family. What I knew of him came secondhand from my mother, aunts, and a few old pictures, faded by time. He died before I was born.

Reading and transcribing his World War II diaries, I got to know him on a one-to-one level, or the closest I would ever come to that. A no-nonsense Yankee with a cool temper and dry wit. A young man in love with a girl back home, Jane Farwell.

You've probably never heard of him. History remembers so little, even modern history, where the documents and photographs remain. He was a Navy doctor on the U.S.S. Tuscaloosa, forced into action by the threat of war on American soil. He flew no planes, stormed no beaches, piloted no ships. So while others did that, he cared for the injured. And wrote. Wrote about what was going on, what he couldn't say in the letters back home.

First person accounts of history are important - even more so ones that are written at the time, instead of pulled from jumbled and hazy memories. My greatest hope is that this blog serves as color, to enrich the basic outline most have of the Second World War. And it will serve in both theaters: my grandfather was at the storming of Normandy, and at the battle for Iwo Jima. Writing about what he saw.

I hope these entries mean something. I think they do.

On Format and Style

Every entry will be posted on the same date when it was written - the first will be on April 18, 2012 (68 years after the first diary entry).

On Outside Contributions

My grandfather met various people throughout his naval career. To any surviving relatives of those mentioned who read this blog, I hope you reach out, so we may enrich the tale of history with your own stories.

If there are any old photographs of this time remaining, please let me know. I would love to add some photographic "color" to the blog - his diary contains so few.


The Grandaughter