Big Fleet Starts Through Canal
48 Vessels Due at 15 Atlantic Ports to Take Part in Navy Day Celebration Oct. 27
BALBOA, Oct. 8 - Led by the fighting little
carrier Monterey, eighteen warships, the vanguard of a task force of forty-eight vessels
carrying more than 56,000 Navy and Army veterans home from the Pacific, passed through the
Panama Canal today. The Monterey's planes and guns destroyed nearly 500 Japanese planes and
helped sink five enemy warships.
The major part of the task force, including the carrier Enterprise, the Monterey,
the battleship New York, the cruiser Boise and fourteen destroyers, will start for New York
Friday and are due to arrive there Oct. 17. The destroyers include the Sterett, Aulick, Foote,
Young, McCalla, Gansevoort, Hobby, Welles, Renshaw, Sigourney, Isherwood, Porter, Zellers and
the D. H. Fox.
Vice Admiral Frederick C. Sherman commanded the task force, his flag flying
aboard the Enterprise. In addition, the battleship Missouri, on which the Japanese signed the
surrender documents, will pass through the Canal Saturday and will the follow the Enterprise's
group into New York several days later.
The forty-eight ships are bound for fifteen Eastern ports, where they will be
open to public inspection on Navy Day, Oct. 27.
Admiral Sherman promised in an interview aboard his flagship today to give New
Yorkers a royal welcome when the gangplanks are lowered at New York Harbor.
The Admiral, who spent the entire war at sea, said that it was a "real
pleasure" after years of blackout operations to turn on running lights and open portholes
on the first night out from Tokyo Bay.
He sailed from Tokyo on the new Lexington, successor to the old "Queen of
Flattops" which sank under him in 1942, and picked up the "Big E" at Pearl Harbor,
where she had just arrived from the United States after repairs from the sixth hit she took in
the war from Japanese planes. The Enterprise is one of the three surviving carriers of the
seven which this country had when the war started.
In addition to 42,000 Navy officers and men coming home for Navy Day, the task
force is carrying 13,900 other Army and Navy passengers, all of whom are due for immediate
The Navy is wasting no space these days and emergency cots are set up on
hangar decks and in odd corners which once housed planes and ammunition.
A reporter asked Admiral Sherman during the interview whether the atomic bomb
would not outmode carriers.
"So far atomic bombs are airborne weapons," he asserted, and, "in
my opinion the atomic bomb will increase the offensive power of carriers and make them more
valuable than ever."
The Canal Zone is a lively place this week, since Admiral Sherman is granting
leave to 8,500 sailors each night.
Enterprise Passes Through The Canal
Big Carrier and 28 Other Warships Will Head North for Atlantic Ports Today
ABOARD THE U.S.S. ENTERPRISE, Oct. 11 (via
Cristobal, C. Z.) - The carrier Enterprise, Vice Admiral Frederick C. Sherman's flagship,
passed through the Panama Canal today and tied up for the night at Cristobal, on the Atlantic
Shortly after dawn tomorrow she will sail with twenty-eight other warships for
New York and other Eastern ports.
Seven of the ships, including the Enterprise, the light carrier Monterey and the
destroyers Aulick, Foote, Zellars, Sterett and D. H. Fox, bound for New York, are scheduled to
arrive about 8 o'clock on the morning of Oct. 17. The Enterprise will dock at Pier 26. These
seven ships are carrying nearly 2,200 Navy, Marine and Army personnel destined for separation
centers and nearly 5,900 officers and crew members, who will be given liberty in New York.
In addition, twelve other ships which will leave the Canal Zone within the
next week are scheduled to reach New York in plenty of time for Navy Day. These include the
Missouri, scene of the Japanese surrender; the battleship New York, the cruiser Boise and the
destroyers Young, McCalla, Gansevoort, Hobby, Welles, Renshaw, Sigourney, Isherwood and Porter.
In all, some 4,300 veterans headed for separation centers will be coming to New York and the
city will be host to nearly 18,000 Navy men.
The entire movement north involves 14,000 service men and nearly 45,000 Navy men.
President Enrique Jiminez of Panama boarded the Enterprise with an official
party at Balboa. It was the President's first visit aboard an American warship since the war,
and he was "profoundly impressed" by the famous "Big E," whose planes
destroyed nearly a thousand Japanese planes during the war.
The Enterprise's sailors were also agreeably surprised by some extra passengers,
who rode from Balboa to the Gatun Locks. They were local Red Cross and USO girls, who worked so
hard entertaining the fleet at Balboa that the Enterprise's skipper, Capt. William L. Rees,
rewarded them with the ride.
It would be hard to imagine a more crowded scene than this famous carrier presents.
Cots are jammed everywhere, on the hangar deck, under the folded wings of Helldivers and Avengers,
and many officers and men alike are sleeping in corridors. By no stretch of the imagination
could this be called a luxury cruise, but the Pacific veterans are not kicking. As Brooklyn-born
John Detlefsen, a returning Navy veteran, put it, "the big idea is to get back to home,