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Voyage to Peace

After the German surrender, the war was not yet over. Battle was still raging on the other side of the world. Japan was still unbowed and the troops who had exhausted their strength on the European battlefields would now be asked to join in with the Pacific forces to accomplish the unavoidable - the invasion of the Japanese homelands. Many hundreds of thousands would certainly die in this terrible action.

John Crews had a 30 day furlough at home, then was scheduled for the Pacific.

He rode home on board the S.S. Marine Devil, one of many troop ships carrying tired soldiers back across the Atlantic.

Just as they were leaving Le Harve, France, they heard of something unusual - a special type of new bomb had been dropped on Japan. An Atomic Bomb. The city of Hiroshima had been obliterated. An ultimatum had been delivered to Japan, but the leaders of that nation did not respond.

The Return Home


Halfway across the ocean, something else happened.

A second bomb was dropped on Japan at Nagasaki.

Finally, the Japanese were forced to surrender!

The S.S. Marine Devil
photo courtesy of Bruce T. Doll

The news was electrifying, and suddenly the ship was a madhouse of celebration!

John says that it was "amazing that the ship didn't sink
due to all the celebrations on board."

The war was over! They were going home!

They were going to live!

The Marine Devil was the very first troop ship to arrive in Boston Harbor after the Japanese surrender. The city was jumping with joy and ready to welcome the first returning veterans.

John remembers several things distinctly from that day.

First, the fireboats in the harbor were spraying their welcome jets into the air.

Also, there was a Broadway type show being performed with singing and dancing on the top deck of an aircraft carrier right there in the bay for the soldiers to see as they sailed in.

The strongest memory, though, was of the very first thing he was handed as he left the ship – an ice cold glass of American MILK!!*

*Drinking milk during the war was forbidden because it is so easily poisoned.


The Devil's Tale

Two newsletters published at sea on board the S.S. Marine Devil in August, 1945.


Newsletter continues . . .

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