Re: Troop Ships
If I may I would like to enter a bit of info on my experience on a troop ship. I went over to the ETO on the USS Mt Vernon, a former luxury liner. We had on board about 1000 Army Air Corps replacements and about 5000 infantrymen and four nurses. For the officers, the cruise was very comfortable, aith four to a stateroom. dinner in a luxurious diner with white coated waiters. The only discomfurt was an abandon-ship drill everyday and the zig-zagging every 5 minutes to evade German submarines.
The poor old infantrymen...a different story.They slept in very crowded bunks, five high and head to foot with about two feet between rows. I was officer of the watch one night and I witnessed all of this. At mess, they lined up at the kitchen, had what looked like garbage slapped into a mess kit and ate standing up, clinging to whatever they could. On the prominade deck where they were quartered the rails were lined with sick men throwing up.Their reward for this discomfort was the honor of holding back the German army in the Battle of the Bulge, in which we lost 50,000 men.Les