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September '41


September 24, 1941                                                                     San Francisco and at Sea

Wednesday--CAMCO leaves for the orient from pier 23, Frisco, on the S. S. Boschfontein, Dutch Motor ship.  And so starts a new chapter for Burgard--to be recorded in this book, a gift form a fine woman, Annie Stringer.  Appointments of the ships are excellent, but 35 days of this are in prospect, so there is much time ahead.  I'm ready to fly again--the sooner the better.  Charlie, Jim and myself are  occupying cabin 34 and it was inaugurated in fitting style tonight with a c--- game.  Let's not allow the sordid word to appear herein.

                                                          GTB

September 25, 1941                                                                              At Sea

Thursday--No doubt.  One day is like another when you are at sea.  No wonder doctors recommend sea voyages for your health.  They are so healthy it is a wonder they don't kill you.  The sea is exceptionally calm which is a break for us non-sea farers.  Chief engineer eats at my table and is a very interesting person.  Tells us we will have a 7 day layover in Surabaya, Java, and a 4 day stay in Singapore.  Manila and Hawaii will just be brief stops of a few hours.  CRB, JDC and myself are already plotting an invasion of Bali while we are docked in Surabaya.  Bali lies about 50 miles to the east of Java and is easily accessible by small boat.  My ignorance of far eastern geography embarrasses me.  Tomorrow, to the library to correct that deficiency.  Oh--for an Atlas.

                                                                   GTB

September 26, 1941                                                                                       At Sea

Friday--Another splendidly, boring quiet day.  The lack of something physical to do is irritating.  I fear that I am far to phlegmatic to be able to stand up either long or well under inaction.  An interesting feature of the voyage has been the nightly blackout.  All lights on deck are forbidden, and tarpaulins are placed over the windows at sunset.  The blackout exists from sunset to sunrise.  We understand that naval vessels of the combined American, Australian and free Dutch navies are within a 2 hour call at any time day or night.  The course of the ship is plotted on direct command from the consulates of these 3 powers.  The effects of cholera and typhoid shots taken yesterday have me on the verge of illness.  So--early to bed.

                                                                   GTB

September 27, 1941                                                                                       At Sea

Saturday--Four days on the high seas and this afternoon marked the first other naval vessel spotted.  The Boschfontein changed it's course sharply on sighting the strange ship but after an interval resumed the original course, probably after wireless contact had been made.  Lots of sleep last evening killed the vestiges of illness I had been experiencing from the typhoid-cholera shots and today I felt like a million plus.  My gal Veve is the only additional thing I could want at this point.  (Had intended to keep this thing free of personalities but that just slipped in too smoothly.)  The sailing is so smooth that its hard to believe.  May it continue this way.  Played quoit tennis this aft. and developed a commendable sweat.  Otherwise a most uneventful Saturday.  Still haven't had a single drink since boarding.  What self-restraint.

                                                                     GTB

September 28, 1941                                                                                      At Sea

Sunday -- Broke the drought today and old man abstinence beat a hasty retreat after recognizing  the superiority in numbers of the enemy force.  There was the usual, miraculous nonexistence of anything capably resembling activity during the day, but before dinner the gang assembled in the bar, and after a few preliminaries, began beating the drum for the "British Spitfire" collection  The campaign was both boisterous and successful.  Several "strategy sessions" were held during the drive, and at one of these  Bond got hooked for a five dollar round of drinks.  Confoosin', but not too amoozin'.  Talked to Bernsdorff in a serious vein tonight.  He is either brave beyond belief, or a fool.  I am inclined to believe the former.  He is experienced, brilliant above the average, and pleasant of person.  One of the best in the group.

                                                                   GTB

September 29, 1941                                                                                At Sea

Monday -- Spent the day in idle pursuits -- as usual.  We are nearing Hawaii rapidly, should be there in a few hours.  Early this afternoon the chief engineer reduced the speed to ¼ as we could not make it in time to be in the harbor by 12 noon.  No ship can enter the harbor after noon, due to harbor restrictions.  So -- tomorrow morning bright and early will find the three of us up and off.  Our stay will be very brief - probably only eight hours -- so we must make hay while the sun shines.  Have three letters to post, some papers to buy, Veve's picture to be reframed, and a few personal items to take care of -- if you get it.  Gang was well on the way to getting lit up in the bar, so I retired with Jim before we got bit by the bug.

                                                                    GTB

September 30, 1941                                                                               Honolulu, Hawaii

Tuesday -- Docked at Honolulu at 6:15 this morning and that was the start of a wide open day.  Had a few drinks at the Royal Hawaiian, visited Waikiki, bought some britches and shirts, dispatched the mail to the mainland and all that sort of thing.  During the morning we visited Hickman Field, but I missed seeing Neal Day, of 40-D who is stationed there.  Hawaii, more specifically, Honolulu seemed like a great spot but not the sort of thing you expect from publicity and propaganda.  Ran into Curtis Smith and Gregg Boyington late in the afternoon and polished off sufficient to get into the mood.  For a time, it was thought we might stay overnight due to the difficulty in obtaining a harbor clearance but we finally shoved off at 8:15.  Aloha, Hawaii!

                                                                    GTB