Skip to main content

Adm William Halsey

Even admirals can swear like old salts.

I asked one of the guests to take the helm while I went to check the engine.

During the summer of 1948 I was captain of a sightseeing boat taking tourists for a waterfront view of the nation’s capital. The boat was available for charter, and in the days before air conditioning it was popular with Washington hostesses giving evening parties.

“Shut up!” I blurted out at the voice behind me while I was trying to hear a critical weather report on the U.S.S. Missouri.

None of us looked forward to going on duty and standing our watch. Four hours on and four hours off around the clock was not an easy routine. This was especially true if you were a radioman aboard the USS Missouri, flagship for the U.S.

Two letters from a Navy lieutenant to his wife tell the story of the last hours of World War II

YOKOSUKA 9·4·45 My dear:

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.