A much-anticipated trip home from the Mediterranean war zone in 1943 was a bit more arduous than the author expected.
The day was Wednesday, 13 October 1943. The war in the Mediterranean had been grueling for me, commanding officer of the USS SC-692, a 110-foot subchaser with a crew of 30. We had been escorting convoys, guiding assault landing craft to their beaches, and patrolling against subs and E-boats along the coast of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy for almost a year. The SC's wooden sides were scarred with shrapnel from shore batteries at Licata and Salerno. The faded Stars and Stripes at her stern were full of jagged holes from the same actions. But this day all that was over for me. I was going home.