Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dad rejoins his ship at Espiritu Santo

70 years ago on this date in 1942, having served as part of Vestal's temporary repair crews on the Enterprise during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, then returning via the South DakotaPrometheus, and Tryon, Dad finally rejoins his ship at the naval harbor in Espiritu Santo (Code Name: "Button").

The Vestal will spend the 12 months here completing repairs to battle-damaged ships from naval engagements in the Solomons in late 1942 and early 1943. Some of the ships awaiting urgent repairs included the heavy cruiser Pensacola, light cruiser Helena, submarine Argonaut, carrier Enterprise, escort carrier Nassau, destroyers Southard, MeadeAnderson, and Ellet, seaplane tender Curtis, and subchaser PC-477. A host of other ships received routine repairs. And this was just in the month of December!

But tomorrow, exactly 1 year since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and America's entrance into WWII, Dad will return to the rhythm and routine of repairing damaged ships of the fleet. Business as usual.

Sources: Frank L. Dolan's Service Records; USS Vestal War Diary, December 1942

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