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      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

The map below, published each day, showed the progress of the ship