27 August 1943, The Launching of the USS Eldridge (DE-173)

Journal Entry of Seaman Daniel Renko

Who would've thought it, a Renko in the Navy? Ma' would be so proud if she could see me now. They say that this ship is to help fend off the Jerries, but quite frankly, I'm just happy to be here. Kind of selfish when you think about it. This big war going on in Europe and Asia, and here I am having my picture taken by the paparazzi. But still, might as well enjoy the celebrations while they last. How many new recruits can say they were present at the launching of a new ship? Way I see it, we could all be dead soon anyway.

But still, there is something so… discomforting about all this. Had we not learnt from Pearl Harbor to not get complacent? I mean, this is like being at a movie premiere. The glitz and glamour and everybody hands, what was going on here? Do they do this for every ship launch…or was this time different?

I'm not paid enough to think this deeply. This is above my rate. I'll keep quiet until I hear more about this special "training exercise" that they're planning to put us through.

I do miss home though…I wonder what it's like back in Atlanta. I wonder what Betty is doing right now. I wonder if I'll get to see her again. I should write her.