Price: $2,225.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good+

On offer is an amazing, original pre-World War II manuscript diary handwritten by Clarence Laken as staed on the inside cover: "Clarence Laken Gunners Mate 1st Class, United States Navy. USS Gamble #123 Pearl Harbor Territory Hawaii." This is a super relic of pre-World War II serviceman's life as the diary represents 5 years, 1936 - 1940 and we read how he was working with the mines; overhauling them, and working at the mine depot there in Hawaii until August 11th when he was transferred to the USS Roper and headed to San Diego. He then boards the USS Detroit. Takes a leave and heads to Oregon and from there takes a train for Minnesota, he then comes back to San Francisco. This is still in 1936. Then 1937 finds him on the USS Texas in Annapolis Maryland and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 1938 he's on the USS Montcalm in Florida at the Naval Station and in 1939 in Cuba in the Guatemala Bay and finally in Norfolk Virginia in 1940. A very full diary with an entry for everyday of the year for 5 complete years but interestingly Clarence summarizes his service in the back under the heading "Index of Important Notes" wherein he states: "Honorably discharged Sept. 8th, 1936. Shipped over….November 11th, 1938 observed a National Holiday for the first time 20 years after hostilities ceased in the World war……Paid off. Transferred to Fleet Naval Reserve June 20th, 1939. Class sF-4-D, after over 20 years of service…..Started to attend Coyne Electrical School at 500 So. Paulina St. Chicago Illinois July 6th, 1939 Germany attacks Poland. England and France declare war on Germany Sept. 23rd. Russia invades Poland Sept. 17th, 1939. Graduated from Coyne Electrical School Dec. 1939.….Dec. 22nd, 1939 Received my diploma from Coyne Electrical School….Placed on Navy retired list January 1st, 1940. Notified by letter about retirement. Notified by Commander and the Naval Service…..February 1st, 1940 reported to Naval recruiting office in Post Office Building Room 702. Took physical examination….Notified by Navy Department Washington D.C. that I was placed on retirement list February 1st, 1940.…March 13th, Finish war with Russia ends….Germany invades Demark and takes position. Norway attacked by Germany. Norway at war, April 7th, 1940.…Germany invades Belgium and Holland. Italy declares war on France and England June 10th, 1940.…" Here are some snippets: 1936 "January 1st, USS Gamble # 123 Pearl Harbor. T.H. Mr. Branson (?) Lt. J.G. caught the Eng Force drinking. Reported one man and took battle (?) off him. Our new years dinner was nothing to brag about." "January 8th & 9th, USS Tanager at sea. We fired our mine Tanager. Picked them up. One failed to fire out of 24. Spent the night on the Tanager. She headed for Pearl Harbor. The destroyers remained to fire……Submarine base P.H. Moved mines from Tanager to mine shed. I heard that T. J. Freeman G. M. was murdered by his wife, Oct. 22nd, 1935. We began over hauling mines. We are at sub base." "February 17th, USS Gamble #23 Pearl Harbor. T. H. I greased mine track rails. I chipped and worked on fan tail. Henry Chillingworth, Police Sergeant was murdered in Honolulu." "March 31st, USS Gamble #123. Hilo Hawaii Isl. T.H. I stood 2400 to 400. Messenger Watch. Lubricated guns. Went on shore petrol in Hilo. Got 50 ct. lunch money. Ships service. Spent 5 cts. on candy. Returned on board 2225." "April 23rd, USS Gamble #123. Pearl Harbor. T.H. Prepared for Admirals inspection. Rear Admiral Neal came on board and inspected decks, force dress whites. Conducted Force Dress blue. Mount Gowers officers assisted with the inspection. We had all general drills. Moved along…." "May 15th, USS Gamble #123. Pearl Harbor T. H. Received parts at mine depot. Unloaded mines. I had a ride with La Point on motor cycle. I learned details of Freeman's death." "June 6th, USS Gamble #123. Pearl Harbor. T.H. Oahu Isl. Inspection in undress whites. We cleaned up fan tail. Was told to report to Denson Doctor. I then had a talk with the Captain and was informed all would be well." "July 7th, USS Gamble #123. Pearl Harbor Gun #2, 3 and 4 were mounted on ship. Mr. Hill had to inspect liberty party before they went ashore. I washed and painted gun chest." "August 11th, USS Roper #147. Pearl Harbor. T. H. I was transferred to USS Roper. Left Gamble at 0900. She got underway. I am to sail on her for San Diego. I wrote Ruby. Enclosed checks." (Arrived in San Diego August 22nd. Then on to the USS Regal and then USS Detroit) "September 1st, USS Detroit Mare Island California. I got up at 0215. I put some photos views in my album. Was placed on brig watch temporarily until Mariner got the GMC Prisoners…." (San Francisco and then on to Salem Oregon. Then he catches a train for South Dakota and Minnesota and back to Salem by October 2nd.) "October 25th, USS Mexico, San Pedro, Cal. I got up at 0530. Wrote Emm. Went to F.A. Looked up Munce. I returned to S. P. Changed to uniform. I met E. Patterson there at YMCA. I reported on board New Mexico 2200." "December 25th, USS New Mexico. San Pedro Calif. I got up at 0430. Holiday route. We had a lot of orphaned children on board for Christmas dinner. And new officers and enlisted men's families." [As a side note we believe Laken was also in service during World War I. Casual research finds a "Clarence Laken" who was in the 89th Division and received an Italian War Cross. An online newspaper article from 1919 list a Laken as receiving a Distinguished Service War Cross from General Pershing. We cannot confirm that this is the same Clarence Laken as the one who owned this diary but future researchers will have substantial clues to work with.] The diary measures about 4 ½" x 5 ½". The binding looks good but the cover is worn and there is a stain on the inside front cover that affects the first 5 pages but doesn't affect the writing. Pages look good also. Overall G+.



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


Book Condition: Good+

Size: 16mo - over 5¾" - 6¾" tall

Seller ID: 0001462

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