June, 1944 “Nothing of historical significance has happened.”

A rare glimpse into the life of sailors on the home front and how we know….

Sailor's Attic

Have you heard the popular retort from the 1940s, “Don’t you know there’s a war going on?”

During the Second World War, naval commandants wrote diary entries about major events in their commands.  The subordinate officers submitted reports to their commandants who typed up “war diaries” for the Vice-Chief of Naval Operations.  The War Diaries were official U.S. Navy records, to be examined post-war as a source for histories of the various Navy commands.

But whose decided what was important enough to write down?

The answer, of course, was everybody.  And everybody had a different view of the same experience.  So the entries in War Diaries varied from one commanding officer to the next, and from one command to the next.  A hand-written desk diary kept by the Commandants of the U.S. Naval Training Station at Great Lakes shows how different people viewed the exact same place and experience in vastly…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 15, 2017, in First-hand Accounts, Home Front, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Great reblog gp, rather an interesting subject in the recording of war time records, what is written for posterity and after action reports don’t always marry up, I have been perusing some of my Vietnam, higher up after actions report and they definitely differ from what happened on the ground, can only believe they were written to suit the political agenda or mind at the time.
    Thanks gp, great post as to be expected.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting! My comments would be similar to the others in this thread … different people, different perspectives, different perception.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d think in war time, with the chances of being shipped out at any moment, the proper response to “there is nothing going on,” would be Thank God! 🙂 –Curt

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  4. The written diary responses are the significant thing that happened as well as the verbiage preserved for us in 2017 .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful insight into history “in the making”!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As in wartime, so it is today

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As it was then, so it is now; we all take away different accounts of the day’s events or non events. Shows how difficult it is to keep accurate records.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a very different perspective of the war in comparison to your posts about events in the combat zones! Another way you shape and add color and perspective to your unfolding World War II history, GP. Thanks for re-blogging this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That submarine bit is very intriguing. Nice cursive script, a passing art now.

    (I once saw an instructor on a naval parade ground trying to drill some WRNS, he was having a major problem tying to line ’em up (‘dress the ranks’) … did he do it by height, width fore-and-aft, width abeam, or by reach of bowsprit?)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I suppose they were a long way from Normandy, to be fair… 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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