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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

AP-22 Mount Vernon

Cruise Book 1941 to 1946
Page 8

Contributed by Robert E. Houle, CM2c, SSMT1c

All images in this section are taken from the cruise book. Narrative has been transposed and added to the photos where appropriate.

Click on Thumbnail Image to See Enlarged Picture

"Nothing compares with BOSTON. As a home port, she reflected her many facets upon the ship. She was Beacon Hill and Back Bay; Scolley Square and East Boston. She was damp fog; she was musical moonlight; she was a sunny afternoon on the Commons. Her music was the symphony on the Esplanade or the jive at the Lighthouse. The Statler, Essex House, and Imperial knew when the ship arrived. They missed us when she left. We missed Boston, too.

Arrival in Boston 22 May 1944 marked the beginning of the ship's Atlantic operations. Summer had not yet arrived in Boston, and the day seemed doubly cool after continued exposure to tropical and southern Pacific climate. Commonwealth Pier was to become the welcome mat and the scene of fond farewells.

Boston is a bank in which much of the country's historical richness has been stored. One can reflect the pre-Revolutionary Days of the Massacre, of Paul Revere's ride to destiny, or Redcoats and red blood in the snow. The State House still overlooks the Commons and the antique stores around its base. Paul Revere's Home, Old North Church, and the fields of nearby Lexington and Concord lead one into the past, along roads lined with field stone fences, once gun supports but now quietly ivy-covered.

One of the quartermasters had not learned of the lifting of the blackout. He distinguished himself and saved the darkness by climbing the hundred foot mast and personally blowing out the light which was burning there. Such action, of course, followed arrival aboard from liberty.

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Two all hands evolutions which caused no griping were the Ship's Dances at the Bradford Hotel ballroom. Continuous dancing was made possible by the alternate use of two dance orchestras. Chiefs Jenny and James played hosts at the dance supper.

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In addition, dances held by the steward's mates proved extremely successful during the stay at Boston. Because she was a troopship and destined to carry hundreds of passenger officers and officer status civilians, the number of stewards and steward's mates assigned to the 'Mount Vernon' was large. Chief Steward Wilson returned from the Fleet Reserve to take charge of the first group who joined the ship at commissioning, and was on the ship at the time of the Boston party. Before he was to retire sometime afterwards at the end of third-three years service, he and his stewards were commended for their efficiency in caring for the passengers.

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A duty of the Marine sentries was the inspection of boarding passengers for animals and other pets [which] could not be allowed aboard. One small puppy, however, proved too much for the sympathetic heart of one Marine sentry, and was allowed aboard--to stay. She grew up as 'Dinah', the pride of the commanding officer, and the unofficial ship's mascot. Her watch on the bridge wing amaze and sometimes intimidated the Army passengers aboard.

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Dinah enjoyed the distinction of being the only dog to be ordered to the bridge via the ship's public address system. As ordered, she proudly reported to the bridge bearing a note; 'Captain, I have inspected the fo'c'sle'. For more than a year she never strayed from the ship, but the afternoon prior to her scheduled departure with the commanding officer, Dinah jumped ship, and for three days explored the Norfolk Navy Yard, and Portsmouth, Virginia. When found she was returned to the ship for further transfer to civilian life.

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To insure the maximum order and best handling of the thousands of passengers, Marine sentries and guards patrolled [the] ship. The peculiar conditions which arise on a troopship led to many incidents not covered by the accepted Marine 'Instructions to Sentries'. On one voyage, the efficient 'A' Deck sentry was seen helping a young female passenger hang up her washing, a service above and beyond the call of duty."

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Back to the Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Transport (AP) Photo Index Back To The Mount Vernon (AP-22) Main Page Back To The Mount Vernon (AP-22) Cruise Book Page 7 To The Mount Vernon (AP-22) Cruise Book Page 9

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