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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 discharges.

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 side.

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, sweet home."

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