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May 2, 1942

Saturday Ft. Hughes

The captain left us again today and I assumed the command of the ship. Or did I? Fact of the matter is that the ship sank at 0730 this morning. That’s probably the shortest command in naval history. My ship sinks the day I take command. Actually the sinking didn’t make me feel as bad as the realization previously that she was bound to sink and I guess I had gotten used to the fact that I was going to lose everything I own including uniforms, civilian clothes, a Chinese rug, typewriter, table and miscellaneous gear. The loss is terrific actually with little hope of any return, but like many other things I’m hardened to it. An interesting sidelight on the change of command was that the colonel took the head of the table as soon as Comdr. McCracken left. That must have been bothering him all along. People have certainly proved interesting during this war. The Japs bombed and shelled us today to make up for yesterday. One stick of heavy bombs went the length of the island just missing B’10 (my observation station) by feet. 2 men were killed to the west of the station. They also unloaded from dive bombers and shelled Gillespie with the big 240 mm shells. We fired the 12″ mortars in the afternoon and then fell into a cross fire from both Bataan and the Cavite shore. When they finished we found the 2 guns we had been firing, both temporarily out of commission.

I slept up at the lighthouse amid the noticeable quiet of the evening.