Letters to ...

More echoes from World War II

... without incident, thanks to your ...

from Wally Burr in Los Angeles

To Jerry Norton --

I was a 19 year-old 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Group when in early December of '43 (exact date in question) aboard the Highland Chieftain (a Brit refrigerator vessel converted to troop carrying) we departed New York Harbor to join a convoy that would get our vessel safely to Liverpool. My recollection is that the voyage took 21 days -- without incident, I believe, thanks to the various defensive measures you note in your "Down to the sea... into troubled waters" that were employed by then. Incidentally, I found your account fascinating. However, a little research suggests that my recall of the trip having taken 21 days may be inaccurate.

Are there any records that would help me straighten this out? If it might be of any help, I do vividly recall that the Queen Mary was tied up on the opposite side of the pier where we boarded the Chieftain and, in fact, our first thought when we off-loaded from our train from the Camp Shanks, N.Y. staging area was that the Mary was ours. I believe that we later learned it was awaiting either the 82nd or the 101st Airborne division. One of the two had been at Shanks at the same time were.

Wally Burr
Los Angeles, CA

... and Jerry replies ...

(Editor's note: Jerry replied to Mr. Burr through the Mirror -- and we quote him as follows:)

Thank Wally for me and inform him that, at the time of his departure from N.Y. I was no longer on the Atlantic run. I was then in a Persian Gulf port on a ship offloading our Sherman tanks and trucks for trans-ship by rail to our Rooskie "allies."

The info he would need can be obtained from:
    National Archives & Records Administration
    8601 Adelphi Road
    College Park, MD. 20740-6001   (or email search - inquire@nara.gov)

Jerry.


February 2, 2007


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