N.p. 1941-1943. Four octavo volumes. Standard issue blank books printed by the Government Printing Office that were owned by Lorain R. Snyder, who served as a Gunner's Mate aboard the U.S.S. Richmond from 1941 to 1943. The first two volumes contain Snyder's notes and assignments on such matters as wrecking mines, depth charges, and ammunition, as well as his basic duties. These notes are enhanced by Snyder's draftsman-like color illustrations, which detail the structure and functioning of the various weaponry with which he would have been familiar. These include mines, the .45 caliber automatic pistol, and roller-bearing gun mounts. In addition, Snyder -- whose nickname was "Doc" -- provides illustrated charts of semaphore, alphabet, naval and weather flags, map cross-hatching legends, and military insignia for various countries.
In the other two volumes, Snyder switches from theory to practice as he begins a tour aboard the Richmond, and the blank books become a daily logbook. Included are his rather restrained comments on Pearl Harbor ("Sunday evening -- War!!!/Oh my! Well here's what we've been waiting for ... Arizona and Oklahoma got it bad!"), a lengthy first-hand account of the Battle of Komandorskis off the coast of Siberia, as well as a long semi-bawdy ballad about an old maid on Waikiki entitled "A Torrid Tragedy of the Tropics." In these volumes, Snyder's illustrations are less abundant, but they include a detailed inventory of his thirteen tattoos, including the location of each, and a map of the Pacific showing the area covered by the Richmond during Snyder's tour of duty. Additionally, all volumes bear front and back cover illustrations by Snyder.
The Richmond was flagship of the U.S. Fleet's Submarine Force during 1938-40 and carried the Commander of the Scouting Force in the first half of 1941, while based in Hawaii. Later in that year, and during the first year of the U.S.'s involvement in World War II, she patrolled along the Latin American west coast and escorted convoys in the southeastern Pacific. The Richmond went to the North Pacific in January 1943 and was soon heavily engaged in the then-active Aleutians campaign. She bombarded Japanese-held Attu in February, participated in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands on 26 March and took part in the recovery of Attu and Kiska in May and August 1943. Serving in the Aleutians area for the next two years, Richmond's activities included active patrolling and, beginning in February 1944, bombardments of the Kuril Islands.
An extraordinary archive that combines a highly personal account of daily life on a combat ship with a detailed glimpse into the machinery of war. Item #21505