From: Oregon, USA
June 7-10, 1942
Aboard USS Gridley
Location: 1000 miles north of Pearl Harbor
Attached to: TF 123
Mission: Surface combat
Ship's Status: Sys damage 1
Fuel: 417 (79%)
“Well, that was a waste of time and fuel,” said Red Sherwood as he dropped into a chair at the table in the officer’s wardroom, his hands wrapped around a cup of coffee. Gridley and the rest of the Allied force had just completed a wide curve to the northeast and then the northwest without finding a hint of the enemy.
“I dunno, Red,” said Jack Cameron, who was already seated. “All those Marines are disembarking at Pearl now, safe and sound. Who knows, maybe there were some Japs out here.”
“Yeah, well,” said Sherwood, “if there were, they’re gone now.”
“What I want to know,” said Ensign Puhls, refilling his cup, “is what we’re doing now. We’re still headed west by northwest.”
Cameron shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said. “If the Skipper knows, he isn’t telling. My guess is that, since we’re out here anyway, we might swing up to the Aleutians and see if we can catch the Japs napping.”
“Makes sense,” said Sherwood,” the Japs have hit Umnak a couple of times, and they’ve been damned quiet everywhere else.”
“At least it’s summer now,” said Puhls.
“Summer in the Aleutians is kind of a relative term,” said Cameron with a laugh. “But yes, better to go there now than in January.”
“Do you suppose we’re going to be invading up there soon?” asked Sherwood. When and where the American forces would begin to counterattack was a favorite topic among the men.
“I don’t know,” said Cameron. “Everything seems to be going to the South Pacific. Planes, ships, men…I’m betting something’s up down there.”
“Maybe Australia,” suggested Puhls.
“Maybe,” said Cameron. “My guess is we’ll find out about it when we get the orders, and not before.”
“Loose lips sink ships and all that,” agreed Puhls. Sherwood laughed.
“Only if the Japs have better intelligence than we do,” he said. “Jap carriers off the West Coast, what a joke.”
From: Bureau of Naval Personnel
To: Lieutenant Howard Conright
You have been reassigned as Asst. Meteorological Officer, Nome, Alaska, effective immediately. Transport already arranged. Report aboard SS Cuttlefish prior to 0600 tomorrow.