30 July 2013
22 June 1944
D + 16
1030:- Leaving Omaha underway for Portland. We will pick up our entire task force en route. Presumably returning to England to plan the details of our next Evolution -- against Cherbourg unless it falls in the meantime.
2300:- Interesting day today. Arrived in Portland in the early morning. Routine AM sick call. Spent the rest of the morning busy with medical report. Directly after chow dropped out on the quarterdeck for a breath of fresh air -- then planned to return to work and finish the report. There were two destroyers tied alongside -- one, the BARTON, was of the newly commissioned GLEXCHER class. The oyON’s crew to see if, by chance, her medical officer might be one of the boys from Tufts. He wasn’t, but he soon appeared on deck and invited me over for a tour of inspection. Chap’s name was Whitehouse, from Virginia, very nice guy -- suffering at the moment from a felon which he had done up in a massive dressing covered with a condom. After inspecting his minutely compact sick bay we returned to the deck where I found myself face to face with Robert Montgomery, (Now Lieut. Comdr. - executive officer for the destroyer flag of this task force.) We spent a few minutes in what I fear on my part was uninspired conversation (mostly dealing with the incongruity of the doctor’s thumb bandage.) Montgomery appears considerably older than on the screen -- very personable -- and is reported to be “one of the boys.” So much for a pin-point of glamor in an otherwise routine existence. After completing our tour of the BARTON, Whitehouse and myself returned to the TUSCALOOSA where I trotted him around in a like manner -- feeding him some ice cream by way of compensation. After he left, Dr. Mitchell and I worked at and finally successfully removed a piece of shrapnel from the shoulder of one of the ELLISON’s men. (The conquest was Dr. Mitchell’s - who finally grabbed it under the fluoroscope.) That sutured, I shaved and at 1745 pushed off for Weymouth in the doubtful company of the Chaplain. We repaired through the rather pretty streets of the rustic English seaport town to the Gloucester Hotel where we met Capt. Willkie (British Royal Artillery Officer aboard) for a few drinks and supper. Leaving Captain Willkie to meet what I am told is his charming wife, the Padre and self started on a tour of exploration. These wanderings soon led us by a WREN headquarters and the undaunted little minister had us inside those virgin walls and invited to a dance before I knew what was going on. After a few dances with these sprightly representatives of England’s might we returned to await a boat back to the ship. While I was waiting I bumped into an old Tufts man -- Harvey Crocket -- who was one year ahead of me at Tufts undergraduate and medical school. Harvey is M.O. aboard the O’BRIEN (destroyer -- see not of 6/17/44, 0100). He has had no casualties as yet. Likes destroyer duty -- as do most men who have had it for a while. Personally, I duly bless the old Tusky. Returned to the ship at 2300 and turned in. This liberty completes our visit to the United Kingdom (Scotland - Ireland - England) and thus represents a satisfactory complement of liberty for me.
Posted by E. Belanger at 09:18