1945 ORIGINAL, MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN ARMY OFFICER RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OF THE COMFORTS ON A LIBERTY SHIP FOR THE RETURNING HEROES OF WWII AND THEIR GERMAN PRISONERS

By: L.D. KOOP [?]

Price: $6,855.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a superb, significant original World War II manuscript diary hand written from a very unique perspective of an American Army officer aboard the US "Victory Ship" SS Frederick Victory. Historians, researchers and collectors alike will appreciate this diary as a rather rare look at the demobilization of US Troops after the war and a side of the war not much written about. [And few will write with such frankness and spirit as our author.] The officer, L.D. Koop [?] if the gilt stamped name on the book's cover is testament, using a 1924 dated book with dates written over, was in charge of the ships PX and Canteen and responsible for all provisions aboard ship. The diary details a great deal over the 200 pages of writings including rare entries regarding German prisoners of war and even caustic entries about America's allies: the Belgians are "dumb", the British troops looked sloppy and the "French just wanted the US to fight the war for them." He writes about the American soldiers, officers, even the chaplain. He discusses their morals and his opinions of the German prisoners of war. He also relates some fascinating stories concerning picking up troops in Antwerp; mentions many hiding animals they found on the battlefield in their duffle bags. The soldiers apparently drugged them, and took them aboard ship. One officer even had a deer with him he found in the Black Forest. He mentions them carrying German POWs and German mines in the Atlantic. At one point his ship is almost blown apart by a mine and his descriptions of the remains of the towns and battle damage is very descriptive. Readers will get a palpable sense that they were done with the war and ready if not anxious to go home. Some of the entries are very critical of how operations were being run. Beginning July 15, 1945 they depart from Pier 6 Bush Terminal Brooklyn, and returned to Brooklyn on January 30, 1946. Here are some snippets: July 15, 1945 New York City. Reported aboard the "Fredrick Victory" 12:30 am ship departed from Pier 6 Bush Terminal at 7:25 am two hours spent within the harbor testing compasses. Weather rainy and sea fairly rough after leaving Harbor, passed Sandy Hook at 11:am It was the last land sighted due to rain and fog prevailing. This ship is a really rough job- The Chaplain is the first man seasick at 2pm with two of the C.M. soon to join him. One of the crew told me this was a fairly calm day but the ship is still rolling at steep angles. So far I feel ok - I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We began to unpack some of my PX supplies and equipment including a brand new cash register- They certainly give you everything. We are traveling at quite a rate and average about 400 miles a day baring breakdown. Thought it would be a good idea to take photos on deck this afternoon but decided against it because of the disreputable appearance of all. The standard uniform is non existent here - Whatever you want but coming back will have to be a difficult story - Strictly G I ! July 17, 1945 - The Atlantic The sea is calm today and it is actually hot. Good for sun bathing and I did take advantage of it. The water situation aboard will be rough I'm afraid as we have exceeded our quota for the past three days and if the destination is France as it probably will be, we won't be able to pick up any additional water. The Chaplain is proving to be a source of amusement for all with his "droll remarks "He's over his seasickness now but we all predict it will return with the first rough day. The Master predicted that we will be back in port at New York by the 10th of August of not before I wonder ?? July 20,1945- The Atlantic We were informed by radio today that our new destination is Antwerp, Belgium and probable time of arrival will be late Wednesday nite or early Thursday morning. We expect to discharge cargo and pick up troops from that port. The weather is still cool cut somewhat calmer than yesterday. We passed by a very large ship tonight - either America or Isle- de France. To date we have been doing most of the passing but this ship really flew by us. Finished by Troop messing plan today so now its only a matter of hoping it works in practice. The Chaplain is sick again - Something he ate this time he claims?? He has been trying to convert us all we believe - passing out bibles, etc!! Have written several letters but from the looks of things it will be several days before I can mail them. July 26, 1945 Belgium The British control this town and are far more numerous than Americans. They certainly make sloppy looking soldiers - Never wear neck ties rolled sleeves' etc. Tried to buy some souvenirs, but everything costs like hell so ended up buying a few postcards at 1 franc- July 21,1945 The Atlantic We sighted our first mines today- floating ones which evidently had broken loose from their moorings. We have received several radio messages telling of mines in the vicinity so I guess these waters must be full of them they have a constant two man lookout for them and as soon as we enter the English Channel out Navy gun crew will take on a watch as an added precaution. These waters are still plenty dangerous. July 25,1945 Off the coast of Belgium We are passing along the coast of Belgium now and are only 5 or 6 miles from the shore all of the German defenses are still visible and the beach literally bustles with anti -tank defenses and gun defenses. We first passed a Belgium town called Kuocke- which looked pretty intact but the entire channel here is full of half sunken ships and wrecks from the air raids. The coast of England is clearly visible from the other side of the ship and I can't imagine why the Germans were unable to make the crossing after Dunkirk. Early this morning we passed within 25 feet of a mine. A narrow scrape and one the escorts tried to detonate it with gunfire. July 27,1945 Belgium Took Lt. Boyles place as duty officer today as I'll have tomorrow off and am planning to go to town together with Capt. Moore and Mr. Chaffee. They began unloading cargo at 2 pm. Yesterday and by tonite two hatches are about empty with 3 more today. They estimate that we will finish unloading either Sunday nite to Monday morning. The Belgians are fair workers but dumb and I caught one crew hosting bags of beans with baling hooks and breaking the bags. August 12,1945 - The Atlantic We were making 16 knots today until a fog came up which caused it to be reduced to 10. We certainly have not had a break on the weather on the return trip. About 20 cases of Ptomaine have broken out among the men as a result of a bad ham. As a whole seasickness has been the chief illness to date however !! One of the officers aboard has a small deer aboard which he captured in a German forest altho pests are forbidden we have several dogs and rabbits aboard in addition. They were brought aboard by drugging them and carrying them in duffle bags, some ingenuity. It wont be much longer (3 days) and we will be in the U.S.A. and I certainly cannot wait for this ship to tie up at New York Pier. Sept, 15, 1945 - The Atlantic Departed from Pier 9 at 2 pm today with our destination set for Antwerp Belgium. We are carrying 226 German PW's and 10 guards this trip and those PW'S certainly aren't anxious to return as they are going under Russian control. They really have cut down on the PW men since my Alabama days. I learned this evening supper for the PW's consisted of beans, sauerkraut, franks, bread and coffee. No butter or desert etc. We are in charge of the Germans but it is a rather loose control so we won't have the problems we have with the troops. It is raining a bit tonight so I guess the weather is the same at home. I certainly was lucky getting that at at the beach Thursday !! In my service questionnaire I requested immediate relief from active duty today so here's hoping. Sept 17, 1945 The Atlantic Today was PW work day and we really got plenty done which should save time on the turnaround in Antwerp I had about 40 PW's working on the troop compartments and were got the decks painted in two of them bunks set up and life jackets on each. The Germans are good workers and seem to actually enjoy the work. Today was a calm day but there wasn't much sun around compared with yesterday. We are approximately 800 miles from New York now and really making good time. We are having a movie tonite - " Totilla Flats " which the PW's' are being allowed to attend altho I suppose most wont know what it is all about.Am going to try and get some snaps of the PW's tomorrow if possible as I never was able to get any when I was in the camps in the South. All entries are hand written in ink and easy to read. The diary is leather bound with some wear to the exterior. Binding is tight with no pages coming loose, detached or missing.

Title: 1945 ORIGINAL, MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN ARMY OFFICER RESPONSIBLE FOR MANY OF THE COMFORTS ON A LIBERTY SHIP FOR THE RETURNING HEROES OF WWII AND THEIR GERMAN PRISONERS

Author Name: L.D. KOOP [?]

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary,

Publisher: FRANCE ENGLAND NORTH ATLANTIC, 1945

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0002594

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