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Homeward Bound

Our signalman sends a farewell and goodbye message to other ships in the harbor as the L.S.T. 832 departs for home. From the top of the ships mast, flies the going home pennant.

We carried some of the first troops and equipment to the Japanese homeland soon after the surrender was announced. Our stay in Japan was short and once again we returned to the Philippines to reload. It was on our second trip to Japan that we received orders to return home. Stateside, after almost two years of island hopping!! One of the preparations made was to sew a going home pennant. (We still don't know who did the sewing.) A going home pennant is made by cutting all the old flags aboard into one-foot-wide strips. These are sewn together, one foot long for each crewman aboard. Our pennant was over one hundred feet long! How proud we were leaving Tokyo Bay. Our pennant flying from the top of the ship's mast and receiving a salute from all the anchored ships in the harbor as we motored out the channel.

We knew the trip home would be a long one. The first stop: Saipan. Since we had no cargo, an attempt was made to delay us and not let us go home empty. Thanks to our chief finagler, our skipper, we loaded used truck tires and without delay, we were on our way. Our next port of call would be Hawaii and we didn't expect to be there till the day after Christmas. Knowing this, within hours before leaving Saipan, a party was sent ashore to find a suitable tree that we could bring aboard to decorate for the holiday. We tried to keep the needles from falling but whatever we did was futile. Anyway, at sea, on December 25, 1946, we had our tree decorated with hand painted light bulbs and homemade ornaments. That Christmas night, there appeared on the horizon, a huge transport ship. It was a beautiful sight with bright lights shining from bow to stern. (The war is over, no more night time blackouts). Our skipper signaled this ship with a holiday message of "greetings the USS LST 832 The Mad Hooligan". The message came back "The same to you from a bigger hooligan, The USS Meigs". The Meigs was also Coast Guard manned.



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