Red Lion Sailor Helped Keep Pacific Fleet Armed
The photo above, of the World War II victory celebration in the Philippines Islands Leyte Gulf, was sent back home to the editor of Red Lion Echoes by John H. Eberly, Y 3/c, USS Vesuvius AE-15. It was published, along with the letter below, in the October 1945 issue. For more on the USS Vesuvius, click here.
“San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf, P.I.
Just a few lines to thank you and your staff for the Red Lion Echoes which I have been receiving monthly. I’m sure I feel as all the other fellows who have written to you in appreciation of the paper. It is a very fine piece of work and I enjoy it whole heartedly.
Now that the war is over and we can write as we please I’ll tell you a little about our operations. I am on an Ammunition ship and for the past five months we have been rearming the fleet at sea off the coast of Okinawa and Japan enabling them to keep bombarding the Japs homeland without returning to a port and losing precious time. I guess you have read in the papers about fueling and rearming at sea. It is really a very amazing operation and hard to believe until you see it yourself. Whole units of the fleet would come to our so called Floating Supply Base early in the morning and by nightfall be on their way ladened with bombs, projectiles and everything else necessary to carry out a successful attack on the Japs.
At the present we are in San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf of the Philippine Islands waiting for further orders, which of course I hope are to come back to the states. I am enclosing a picture of the way V-J Day was celebrated here in the bay. It consisted of flares, rockets and many other kinds of pyrotechnics which, when combined, created one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
Thanking you again for the Red Lion Echoes, I’ll close and in hopes that I can have a personal chat with you in the near future.”