1944 - 1945 ORIGINAL GROUP OF FOUR [4] MANUSCRIPT NOTEBOOKS DETAILING THE ARDUOUS, CRITICAL WORK OF A REPLENISHMENT SHIP IN THE DEADLY PACIFIC THEATER THAT WOULD GO ON TO WIN 3 BATTLE STARS

By: WILLIAM J. GRAY

Price: $3,485.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a fine collection of original manuscript notes and writings handwritten by a sailor on a battle-tested U.S. Navy ship in WWII. The following details the size, condition, etc of the diaries: There are four notebooks: January-June, 1944, has 56 pages and 50% complete; July-September, 1944, - 56 pages and 50% complete; October-December, 1944 - 18 pages and 50% complete, and February-August, 1945 - 61 pages, 26% complete. All notebooks measure 8' x 5'. The cover is missing on two of them (Jul - Sept. and Oct. - Dec.), and the cover of the last notebook is in fair condition, but the pages are in good condition. Some are loose. William J Gray was a seaman second class serving on USS Lassen in 1944 and 1945. USS Lassen began life as the commercial merchant ship MS Shooting Star in 1940. After sea trials, she was transferred to the U.S. Navy and took on the role of ammunition supply ship. She was renamed USS Lassen, following a U.S. navy tradition of naming munitions ships after volcanoes - in this case, Mt Lassen, CA. Between 1941 and when Gray joined her crew in 1944, she made munitions deliveries on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and U.S. navy assets in the Pacific Ocean. After the outbreak of WWII, she made a number of replenishment voyages to U.S navy elements stationed in the South Pacific. In 1944, at the time that Gray joined her crew, Lassen was part of Vice-Admiral W. L. Calhoun's 7th Force, Pacific Fleet. The USS Lassen arrived at Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 2 February 1944. She replenished ships both in the Marshall Islands and at Manus Island in the Admiralty Islands. As part of the supply train of the fleet at Kossol Passage, Palau Islands, from 25 September to 2 October and at Ulithi Atoll from 4 October to 18 November 1944, she earned her first of three battle stars: "On the afternoon of the 20 th , we sighted 3 tankers and 2 DE's [Destroyer Escorts] just over the horizon. At about 1400 we had GQ [General Quarters] and could see the anti-aircraft barrage the other convoy was firing. It drove the 3 planes (3 Zero's) off and one of them came in our direction. Our DE and the tanker fired but it was out of range and soon disappeared. ... Secured from GQ at about 1600. At 1700 ... GQ sounded again. ... went to my station (starboard 1.1 pom pom guns) The DE was in the lead, Lassen next and the tanker last. ... the tanker fired on it. ... it appeared off our starboard side. ... we and the tanker opened fire on it. It went aft of our fantail, turned and went back over the tanker (some said it dropped several bombs then) ... I had a good view from the bridge..." [Nov 13, 1944] ; "... the largest unit of the fleet we had serviced appeared about daylight - several major carriers, 3 battleships of the South Dakota class, escort carriers, cruisers and cans [destroyers]. We took the Washington alongside and she took 900 5" projectiles and powder. …" [ July 28, 1945]. Gray also listed the ships in some of the Task Forces of which he was part. He also included the text of a message received from Task Force Commander, Admiral Bill Halsey "after three record-breaking days of reaming". His last entries are from August, 1945: "... We continued loading and at 8 AM August 15th, learned that the Japs had accepted our counter proposals. Finished loading, thinking we were leaving the 20th ... Waiting for orders." [Aug 20, 1945]. The USS Lassen departed for the United States on Oct 25th and arrived at Port Discovery Nov 20th, 1945. This is an excellent description of life at sea in the midst of some of the greatest naval actions. Gray's notes are replete with details of ships serviced and rearmed, types of ammunition transferred, etc. For a naval historian, this is a valuable piece of source documentation. It can serve to paint a picture of a little-celebrated but vital part of naval operations - replenishment at sea and provide a different perspective on the war in the Pacific. Gray writes well and his words bring to life the events so often related in the pages of history books or on movie screens.

Title: 1944 - 1945 ORIGINAL GROUP OF FOUR [4] MANUSCRIPT NOTEBOOKS DETAILING THE ARDUOUS, CRITICAL WORK OF A REPLENISHMENT SHIP IN THE DEADLY PACIFIC THEATER THAT WOULD GO ON TO WIN 3 BATTLE STARS

Author Name: WILLIAM J. GRAY

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

Publisher: U.S. NAVY - PACIFIC THEATER SOUTH PACIFIC, 1944

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008224

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF; 20TH CENTURY; 1940S; WW2; SECOND WORLD WAR; AMERICAN NAVY; AMERICANS IN WW2; WILLIAM J. GRAY; USS LASSEN; ADMIRAL WILLIAM 'BILL' HALSLEY; WAR IN THE PACIFIC; ATOMIC BOMB; AMMUNITION SHIPS; US NAVY; 7TH FORCE, PACIFIC FLEET; NAVAL HISTORY; PACIFIC THEATER; WAR HISTORY; MILITARY HISTORY; AMERICAN SHIPS; AMERICAN VESSELS; MARITIME HISTORY; UNITED STATES NAVY; US NAVAL HISTORY; AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL