Leaving Camp Kilmer by train, we traveled to a port somewhere on the Hudson
River and boarded the "USS Coaldale" troop-ship on March 21. Going up the gang plank,
hovering over the space between the dock and the ship, I was tottering along with my
duffle-bag plus the trombone that I had purchased in Spartanburg. We crossed the
Atlantic and sailed to Le Havre, France, arriving on March 30, 1946, a distance of 3273
miles, traveling at an average speed of 17.30 knots.
The "USS Coaldale" was one of numerous troop-ships built hurriedly during
World War II. The keel was laid on December
28, 1944, launched two months later on
February 23, 1945 and delivered on March 23,
1945. It would be interesting to know just
how many crossings of the Atlantic it had
before we boarded it just a year later.
On board "USS Coaldale" A Pick-up Band
with accordion, clarinet, guitar, trombone
While on board, I was assigned to the
Special Services Unit which made public
address system announcements and published
the daily newssheet "The Coaldale Tale."
It was a very easy assignment for me. Each day I reported to the office where the
newssheet was typed and mimeographed. The one copy of the newssheet which I saved
was of the ninth day at sea with 398 miles yet to go.
Daily Newspaper on SS Coaldale Troop Ship March 28, 1946 Atlantic Ocean