The Story of the American Expeditionary Forces
The Diary of
Seaman 2nd Class
Kenneth A. Holcomb
Presented by His Grandson David B. Holcomb
Grandfather - The Sailor
During a visit to Grandma and Grandpa's home in August of 1981, Grandpa showed me
his World War I diary. He told me then that it was not complete and that he always
intended to complete it after he returned from the war, but he never did. I read a few
entries and told him that it was fabulous. He told me to keep it. I never really read it
completely until after he died. If only.......
Grandpa enlisted in the Navy at an age of 16 years and 4 months. He had to get his
mother's approval. He told her that if she did not give it, he would run away from home.
He entered into the Navy on April 25, 1917. It would be almost 9 months before
Grandpa would go aboard ship. He went to training at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In
training he broke his leg. Until he went over seas he was stationed there as a Armed
Guard. He served on the U.S.S. Hilton. The U.S.S. Imperator brought him home from
Europe. Upon returning from the war, he went back to Belvidere High School and got
his high school diploma.
I do not believe that as Grandpa was writing the diary he intended to have anyone else
read it. They were his "notes" to help him remember his war experience. Thanks to his
efforts, his descendants can learn a little about him and the "war to end all wars."
Recuperating at Brooklyn, 1917
The diary covers the time from January 24 to June 28, 1918. Grandpa was just 17 years
old. It ends with increasingly less detail and times being left blank. Could the warnings
about possible capture by the enemy, and the information about troop movements falling
into enemy hands have kept him from filling out the entries with times? Could this be
why he stops making entries? I will never know, but I think it is a strong possibility.
The diary itself measures 5 3/8" by 3 1/4". It has a cover page, an "English - French
Vocabulary" section, a section titled "Addresses of Home Friends," a section for
"Autographs of Comrades," a section for "Account of Battles Engaged in," a section for
"Superior Officers," a French and Great Britain money exchange table, a table on the
metric system, and the daily entry section. The rear of the diary has a few wax paper
pages, which have some dried pressed flowers in between them. [His ship the Hilton
is referred to in navy documents as the U.S.S. Hilton and the U.S.A.C.T.(Armored Cargo Transport?) Hilton.]
What follows is a transcription of the diary. Careful attention was paid to transcribing it
exactly the way it appears in the diary. Spelling and punctuation were not corrected and
the order of entry was left unchanged. He made entries in pencil and it was sometimes
hard to read. He occasionally made errors in dates, but they are easily figured out. The
pictures and the miscellaneous items located through out the transcription come from the
pictures and the things Grandpa saved from World War I. Great Grandma McDowell
gave him a camera when he went off to war. These are the photographs he took.
As you read the diary remember that Dad remembers Grandpa saying that he crossed the
English Channel 40 to 50 times during the war. Dad also remembers another interesting
story. Grandpa was going into a tattoo parlor to get a tattoo and a First Class Boatswain
Mate "threw him the hell out."
David B. Holcomb
This book is the property of
Kenneth Alfred Holcomb
Residence Belvidere Illinois
United States of America
Date of enlistment Apr. 25 1917
Enlisted at Rockford Ill. U.S.A.
Arrived at Training Camp at Great
Date Apr. 25 1917
Left Training Camp Great Lakes
Date Oct 18 1917
Started for France Sat. 11:00P.M. Jan. 26th '18
Arrived in France Tues. 4:00P.M. Feb. 12th '18
Enlisted in U. S. Navy till
I am. of age which will
Be Dec. 14th 1921.
In case of accident notify Mother
Mrs. Belle McDowell
634 Whitney St. Belvidere
Addresses of Home Friends
Mrs. Ellen Holcomb Tew
1084 East 111th St.
1020 So. Maine St.
Rockford Ill. U.S.A.
B. J. Holcomb Uncle
Brodhead Wis. U.S.A.
Mrs. Jennie Williams
Mr. A. McDowell
Note: Mr. Adam McDowell was his stepfather
Thursday Jan 24th 1918
When aboard S.S. Hilton at 4:00 P.M. loaded ammunition aboard (190
rounds 5" 40 cal.) Pretty good ship about 325 feet long & makes
about 8 to 10 knots a hour. Stood the 12 to 1:00 oclock watch.
Billet Card U.S.S. Hilton
Friday Jan. 25 1918
Got up at 7:15 & we were under way & out of sight of land. Cleaned
up our quarters & ate breakfast at 8:15. Then we loaded ammunition
from the deck into the magazines till dinner then till 3:00 P.M. Stood
the 1:00 to 2:00 oclock watch.
Saturday Jan. 26th 1918
Got into Newport News about 5:00 P.M. Ship not in condition for sea
Officers went ashore to see if they had to sail to (at this point I am unable to
figure out what is written for a few words)
They came back We started To catch our convoy which we missed
by 8 - 10 hours. Stood the 1:00 to 2:00 watch. Saw land the last time
1:45 A.M. Sun Jan 27, 1918
Sunday Jan. 27th 1918
Stood the 9-10 watch in the mourn. Didn't do any thing all day. Saw
some porposes in the morn. Storm started to come up in the
afternoon I begun to get sick. Stood the 9 --10 watch at night
Monday Jan. 28th 1918
Heavy seas, sick stayed in bunk till 11:00 A.M. then stood the 11:00
to 12:00 watch, then went to bed again pretty sick. All but 6 of gun
crew sick Heavy seas still running at 8:45 P.M.
Tuesday Jan 29th 1918
Sea still a little rough. Stood 9 to 10:0oclock watch A.M. Didn't do
anything all mourning. Stood the 1 to 2:00 oclock watch P.M. Sea
getting rougher toward night but not sea sick.
Wednesday Jan 30th 1918
Stood the 2:00 to 3:00 A.M. Given our stations for when we go thru
the war zone & the watches we will have to stand. Didn't do any thing
the rest of the day but hang around the deck. Stood the 3:00 to 4:00
Thursday Jan 31th 1918
Stood the 4:00 to 5:00 A.M. watch We fired to rest of our target
shells in the morn. (7 rounds) Made some pretty good hits. Bought
some candy off the Army Q.M. Ate candy the rest of the day Stood
the 5:00 to 6:00 P.M. watch
Friday Feb. 1th 1918
Stood the 6 to 7 A.M. watch Best day since we left N.Y.C. Took
some pictures Done a little work on one life boat in the afternoon.
Had a fight with the Jew. He gave up in the end. Stood the 7 to
Saturaday Feb. 2nd 1918
Stood the 8 to 9 A. M. watch. Ate a little breakfast stayed in my bunk
till supper then ate a little then went back to bed till the 9 to 10 P.M.
watch which I stood. Sea rough & the weather cold.
Sunday Feb 3rd 1918
Stood the 10 to 11 A.M. watch Sea the roughest since we left N.Y.C.
Ate my dinner then begun to get sick about 3:00P.M. went to bed and
staid ate no supper One of the boys stood my 11 to 12P.M. watch for
Monday Feb 4th 1918
Sea still pretty rough. Didn't do anything all mourning. Stood the 12
to 1:00 P.M. oclock watch. An English Packet pass us about 5 miles
off our port side about 4:00 P.M. First ship to pass us since we left
Tuesday Feb. 5th 1918
One of the boys stood my 1:00 to 2:00 A.M. watch for some money
he owed me I was a little bit sea sick. Washed some clothes in the
mourn. Stood my 2 to 3 P. M. oclock watch. Sea getting rougher so
went to bed early
Wednesday Feb. 6th 1918
Stood my 3 to 4 A.M. watch Didn't eat any breakfast but ate a good
dinner & supper. Stood my 4 to 5 P.M. watch. Then after supper the
Bost-Mate told us of some of his adventures at sea
USS Hilton (Unconfirmed)
Thursday Feb. 7th 1918
Man washed overboard by heavy seas between 3 to A. M. Stood my
5 to 6 A.M. We reached the war zone about 3:00 P.M. Started the
the new watchs at 4:00 P.M. Stood my first watch in the war zone
from 8 to 10 P.M.
Friday Feb. 8th 1918
Stood my war zone watchs of 2 to 4, 8 to 10, 2 to 4 & 8 to 10 We had
fire & boat drill in the afternoon. We wear our life jackets all the time
now till we get into port. S.O.S. for the rest of the day
Saturaday Feb. 9th 1918
Stood my 2 to 4, 8 to 10, 2 to 4 & 8 to 10 saw or heard nothing of
importance Sea rough all day rained most of the time. Ship started
her sig-zag course in the morning
Sunday Feb. 10th 1918
Stood my 2 to 4, 8 to 10, 2 to 4, & 8 to 10 watch saw nothing but a 4
masted ship. Sea not so rough as it was. Sleep inbetween my
watchs, nothing happened during the day.
Monday Feb. 11th 1918
Stood 2 to 4 watch then sleep till noon. Then went on watch about
2:00 P.M. a sub was sighted astern of us she chased us a 2 hours
then we got away from her. Then about 4:15 P.M. a couple English
Patrol Boats came up but they left us. Stood the 12 to 4 & 8 to 12
Tuesday Feb. 12th 1918
Stood the 4 to 8 A.M. watch then ate breakfast then went to watch
again till noon Sighted a U.S. Destroyer about 9:00 A.M. she
convoyed us into Brest. We sighted land about 1:00 P.M. & were
anchored about 4:20 P.M. inside the harbor. Stood the 5 to 6 P.M.
watch on the magazine.
Wednesday Feb. 13th 1918
Stood the 8 to 9 A.M. magazine watch Chief & four of the crew went
ashore in the morning & came back drunk about 6 :30 P.M. The
harbor in Brest is large with big cliffs on the sides of the channels is
pretty scenry. Stood 11 to 12 P.M. watch.
Thursday Feb 14th 1918
We pulled out of Brest at 2:00 A.M. I went on watch till 4:00 A.M.
Went on watch again at 8:00 to 12:00 A.M. Our convoy made up of
12 ships, one U.S. Destroyer an one yatch & three airships. Went
one watch at 4:00 P.M. till we anchored in Quiberon Bay at 6:15 P.M.
Stood the 9:00 to 10:00 P.M. watch.
Friday Feb. 15th 1918
We pulled out of Quiberon Bay about 3:00 A.M. I went on watch at
4:00 till 8:00 A.M. We were leading ship in the convoy. Nothing
happened in the morning I went on watch at 12:00 till 4:00 P.M. We
anchored in La Police at 6:15 P.M.
Saturaday Feb. 16th 1918
Pull out of La Pallice in the morning and ran eight mile to the mouth of
a river, But could not go up river till high titd, so anchored Saw the
Fort were Napolean was keep prisener.
Sunday Feb. 17th 1918
Pulled up the river for about 8 miles to a town by the name of
Roachfort. Did not dock. Half of crew went ashore at noon. I stood
the 4 to 8 P.M. watch. Saw lot of German presenors at work on the
German Prisoners Mentioned Above
Monday Feb. 18th 1917[?]
Note "PW" Painted on Prisoner's Back
Stood the 4 to 8 A.M. watch Went ashore about 2:30 P.M. Got $2.00
change into French. Walk about the town not much to see, every
thing so old. Bought some candy and cake. Hard to make them
Tuesday Feb. 19th 1918
Got up about 10:30 A.M. Stood the 12 to 4 P.M. watch at the
gangway. We got paid I drew $35.00 I went to bed early but did not
get to sleep as the fellows made so much noise coming from Liberty.
Wednesday Feb. 20th 1918
Stood the 12 to 2 A.M. watch. Didn't get up till about 9:00 A.M. Went
ashore about 2:00 P.M. I bought a few sovineres. And then
monkeyed about the town till after supper then went back to the ship
Thursday Feb. 21th 1918
Stayed aboard and did guard duty.
Friday Feb. 22nd 1918
Went ashore in the afternoon. Stayed till 6 30 P.M. Spent about 9
francs Had a pretty good time.
Satuarday Feb. 23rd 1918
Stayed aboard and stood guard on the docks. The rest of the day
was about the same as usual
Sunday Feb. 23rd 1918
Got up about 8:00 A.M. didn't do anything in the morn. We pulled out
of Roachefort at about 1:30 P.M. The whole town was down to the
river to see us go. Took a couple of pictures of a French dirigible We
got into La Rochelle about 6:30 P.M.
Monday Feb. 25th 1918
Didn't do anything in the morning. When ashore about 1:30 with a
couple of the boys we walk around the town which is bigger than
Roachfort. We bought some picture of the town and the castle. Got
back about 5:00 P.M.
Tuesday Feb 26th 1918
Stayed aboard in the morn. Went ashore in the afternoon met a
soldier from Illinois who was at Camp Grant for a while. We hired two
bicycles and rode all around the town and to La Pallice & back. Got
back to the ship in time for supper.
Wednesday Feb. 27th 1918
Called all hands at 4:00 A.M. to prepare the life boat for sea. Then my
crew stood watch till 8:00 A.M. I slept then till dinner then went on
watch till 4:00 P.M. We anchor in Quiboron Bay about 4:45 P.M. We
were convoyed by two French boats.
Thursday Feb. 28th 1918
Left Quiboron Bay about 3:00 A.M. I stayed on watch till 4:00 A.M.
then went on watch again at 8:00 to 12:00 A.M. Then turned in and
slept till 4:00 P.M. then went on watch again & the sea was awful
rough I was sick. We got to Brest about 9:20 P.M.
Rough Seas for the Hilton
Friday Mar 1st 1918
Stood the 7:00 to 8:00 A.M. magazine watch. Raining in the
mourning so I staid inside and watched the boys play poker hung
around the deck in the afternoon till supper. Went on watch from
9:00 to 10:00P.M.
Saturday Mar 2nd 1918
Got up for breakfast then sleep till 11:00 then went on watch till
12:00. Ate dinner then went to sleep till 2:00 P.M. Ate supper at 5:00
P.M. Went to bed early Capt. Said we would pull out of Brest
Sunday Mar 3rd 1918
We pulled out of Brest about 2:00 I Went on watch at 4:00 P.M. till
8:00 P.M. There were 22 ships in the convoy not counting the
Monday Mar 4th 1918
Stood the 12:00 to 4:00 A.M. land in sight went on watch again at
8:00 to 12:00 A.M. We went along the English coast all day Went on
watch at 4:00 to 8:00 P.M. We anchored in Barry Roads about 9:00
Tuesday Mar 5th 1918
We left Barry roads in the mourning and pulled into Queens Docks at
Cardiff Wales in the afternoon My week for mess cook started today.
Did not go ashore to day.
Wednesday 6th 1918
Went ashore in the afternoon. Went up town met a couple of girls
and went to a movie show after the show we left the girls and went
and get our supper. After supper we went to the Empire.
Thursday Mar 7th 1918
Stayed aboard and and mess-cook. Washed some clothes & went to
Friday Mar 8th 1918
Went ashore in the afternoon with Fayner. We went to the movie
show. Then we ate our supper. Then went up into the café. Got
back to the ship about 2:00 A.M.
Saturday Mar 9th 1918
We left Cardiff in the morning and pulled out to Barry Roads and
anchored. We laid here the rest of the day.
Sunday Mar 10th 1918
We got underway about 5:00 A.M. About 12:00 A.M. we got a S.O.S.
called from a ship 6 miles ahead she was hit by a torpedo. We could
here firing when we got there there was some Eng. Torpedoes boats
& Petrol Boats a airship We staid close to the coast but could see the
sub when she came up. One ship was sunk & we saw the Petrol
boat pick up the life boats. They did not get the sub.
Monday Mar 11th 1918
We were anchored in Penzance Bay when I got up this mourning.
We left Penzance's about 6:00 P.M. I stood no watch as I am mess
cook so I had all night in.
Some of the Boys
Tuesday Mar 12th 1918
Got into Brest about 11:00 A.M. We laid at anchor all day and no one
Wednesday Mar.13th 1918
Did not pull out as I thought we would. Capt, Lt, Sarg & Chief & six
men went ashore, they tried to get small store but could not get
them. We got paid tonight I only drew $6.00 left the $30.00 ride
Thursday Mar. 14th 1918
We left Brest about 5:30 A.M. We traveled all day and anchored in
Quiberon Bay about 7:00 P.M. Not mess cook any more stood the
4:00 to 6:00P.M. watch. Stood Slim Chapin's watch in the afternoon
for a dollar.
Friday Mar 15th 1918
We left Quiberon Bay about 4:00 A.M. I stood watch till 8:00 A.M.
Went on watch again at 12:00 to 1:00 We got in to La Pallice about
5:00 but turned around and went to the head of the river that goes to
Roachefort and anchorded
Saturday Mar. 16th 1918
We started up the river at day light we dock about 10:00 A.M. In the
afternoon we started painting on quarters we quit about 3:00 P.M.
The Boys went ashore but I staid aboard
Sunday Mar 17th 1918
I staid aboard today as I am on gang way watch from 6:00 P.M. to
midnight. There was not much doing the first part of the day.
Monday Mar 18th 1918
I was on gang way watch from 6:00 A.M. till 10:00 A.M. Then we
painted the rest of our quarters. I went ashore about 4:00P.M. and
got back about 11:00 P.M.
Tuesday Mar 19th 1918
I sleep all morning then went up town, went to the skating rink had a
peach of a time came back with an American soldier about 12:30
Wednesday Mar 20th 1918
Stayed aboard today They were discharging cargo all day.
Thursday Mar 21th 1918
Went ashore in the evening to the roller skating Rink & had a peach
of a time. Got back about 12:00 P.M.
Friday Mar 22nd 1918
stayed aboard today
S.O.S. the rest of the day
Saturaday Mar 23rd 1918
We left Roachefort about 1:00 P.M. & got into La - Pallice about 4:00
P.M. and anchored.
Sunday Mar. 24th 1918
We left La Pallice about 7:00 A.M. & got into Quiberon Bay about
8:15 P.M. And anchored for the night.
Monday Mar. 25th 1918
We left Quiberon Bay about 5:00 A.M. & got into Brest about 6:00
P.M. & anchored in the bay.
Tuesday. Mar 26th 1918
We stayed at anchor all day as the Capt. Would not cross the
channel with two men sick in bed.
Wednesday Mar 27th 1918
Took the two sick men to the hospital in Brest this morning and we
left Brest about 1:30 P.M. for England.
Entire Crew in Life Vests
Thursday Mar 28th 1918
We got into Barry Docks about 6:00 P.M. after a all night and day run.
I forgot to write my diary while at Barry. so I will begin again with to
day. We were two weeks and a half at Barry Docks. I had a fine time
in Cardiff those two weeks.
We are now been away from Barry Dock one week and we are
traveling down the French coast.
Sunday Apr. 21st 1918
We left Brest about 5:30 a m with convoy of 12 ships & a French
destroyer & two English Patrol Boats. We got in to Quiberon Bay
about 7:00 P.M. & anchored for the night.
Monday Apr. 22nd 1918
We left Quiberon Bay about 2:30 A.M. with convoy & got into La
Pallice about 5:00 P.M. & then went over to the head of the river that
goes to Roachefort and dropped the hook about 6:00 P.M.
Tuesday Apr. 23rd 1918
Pulled in the hook at 12:30 P.M. and went up the river to Roche-fort &
docked by 5:00 P.M. We had Docter's inspection & some went
ashore at 7:00 P.M. But I did not go ashore.
Wednesday Apr 24th 1918
Stayed aboard all day & took a bath and went to bed early
Thursday Apr. 25th 1918
Went to La Pallice with Dudley to get mail & went to the Army cantine
& bought some candy, gum, cookies & sugar. I got two letters mailed
Jan. 24th & 30th We got back about 6:00 P.M.
Friday Apr 26th 1918
Went again to La Pallice with Chapin to get mail but there was none,
then we went to the Army cantine and bought some candy, cookies,
cherries & sugar. We got back about 6:00P.M.
Saturaday Apr. 27th 1918
Stayed aboard all day. Had an ear ach all night.
Sunday Apr 28th 1918
Stayed aboard all day Wrote two letters home to day an sent them by
the Jean as she left for U.S.A. today Went to bed early
With Some of the Petty Officers
Monday Apr. 29th 1918
Went on watch at 10:00AM and was on till 10:00P.M. We pulled out
of Rochefort about 1:00P.M. and anchored in La Pallice about
Tuesday Apr 30th 1918
We left La Pallice about 8:30A.M. with convoy of 17 ships with three
French destroyers and one American destroyer.
Thursday May 2st 1918
There was a 3" 50 cal. Gun brought aboard this morning for the
platform forward. We worked all afternoon on the gun chipping paint
and clean the gun.
Wednesday May 1st 1918
We got in to Brest at 1:30P.M. and anchored. Chief & Lt. & Serg.
went ashore Brest under martial Law on account of the Stevedores
on a strike.
Friday May 3rd 1918
We left Brest at 3:00A.M. for Penzance and we got as far as St Ives
on the English coast and we got orders to come in to the harbor and
drop anchor by 8:00P.M. And recieved orders to go to Liverpool.
Satuarday May 4th 1918
We left St Ives about 6:00A.M. for Milford Haven Wales We went up
the English coast as far as Lundy Is. And then cut across to the coast
of Wales and anchored at Milford Haven at 5:45P.M.
Sunday May 5th 1918
We left Milford Haven about 12:00P.M. for Liver-pool but only got out
3 or 4 miles out when we were order back as we had no escort so we
went back and left again about 3:00P.M. with and English trawler
Monday May 6th 1918
We got in to Liverpool about 11:30A.M. and anchored in the river till
6:30P.M. then we were taken into the docks and were dock by
10:00P.M. I stood the 11:00P.M. till 2:00A.M. watch
Tuesday May 7th 1918
Stood watch from 12:00A.M. till 2:00A.M. then went to bed and got up
at 10:30A.M. They mounted the 3" 50 cal. gun forward this morn.
Did not do anything this afternoon Washed some clothes after
3-inch Gun in Action
Wednesday May 8th 1918
Went to Liverpool this afternoon with Barnet we walk around the city
and ate out supper at the "Y" and then went to the Theater then we
went to the Hotel for the night.
Thursday May 9th 1918
Got a hair cut in the morning then went back to the ship by noon.
Went on watch at 12:00 till 4:00P.M. and from 8:00 to 9:00P.M. Then
went to bed.
Friday May 10th 1918
Went on watch at 7:00 till 8:00 then from 8:30A.M. till 10:30A.M.
Then went ashore at 1:00P.M. and had a fine time stayed at the "Y"
for the night
Saturday May 11th 1918
Got up about 10:00A.M. ate breakfast and then went and bought a
new pair of shoes. Had a good time in Liverpool in the afternoon and
evening. Stayed at the "Y" at night.
Sunday May 12th 1918
Got up about 10:00A.M. and went back to the ship But Keating said
he would stand my watch so I went back to town. Stayed at the "Y"
for the night. Had a good time in the evening.
Monday May 13th 1918
Got up about 10:30A.M. and ate my dinner at the "Y" then I went back
to the ship. Went to bed about 12:00P.M.
Tuesday May 14th 1918
We left Liverpool about 1:00P.M. escorted by an English destroyer.
We shot 4 practice shots with the 3" 50' gun. Went on watch from 4
to 6P.M. and from 8:00P.M. till 12:00P.M.
Wednesday May 15th 1918
Went on watch from 4:00A.M. till 8:00A.M. & 12:00A.M. till 4:00P.M.
& from 6 till 8 P.M. There was a ship torpedoed 4 miles ahead of us
off Holly Head. The destroyer went back to Liverpool and and
English trawel escorted us.
Thursday May 16th 1918
Stood the 12:00 to 4:00A.M. watch & we got into Penzance and
droped anchor by 6:30A.M. We layed in the harbor all day. I had the
11:00 to 12:00P.M. magazine watch.
Friday May 17th 1918
We left Penzance about 5:00A.M. with convoy escorted by a
destroyer, three trawelers & a dirigible. I was on watch from 5:00A.M.
till 8:00A.M. & from 12 to 4P.M. The watch came off about 6P.M. we
were anchored in Brest at 7P.M.
Satuarday May 18th 1918
We left Brest at 4:30A.M. with convoy of 8 ships I was on watch from
4 to 8A.M. & 12 to 4P.M. It is a fine day we ate out on deck as they
are painting the quarters. We anchored in Quiberon Bay at 7:15P.M.
Sunday May 19th 1918
We left Quiberon Bay at 4:00A.M. I went on watch at 8:00A.M. till
12:00A.M. and washed some clothes in the afternoon then went on
watch from4:00P.M. till 6:00P.M. we dropped our pilot in La Pallice
then went to the head of the river and anchored
Monday May 20th 1918
Went up the river about noon we got dock about 2:00P.M. then we
had to go up to the naval base and do some work for the naval
officers in Rockfort. I wrote there letter home I got three letter from
mother one from Mabelle, Merrill & Lowell Fair.
May 21st till May 25th 1918
We worked up at the naval office every day I did not go ashore
Sunday May 26th 1918
Went ashore and had a good time went to the roller skating rink and
got back to the ship about 11:00P.M.
Monday May 27th 1918
Worked up at the naval office's in the morning. Got a letter from
home when we got back to the ship at noon. We drawed some small
stores in the afternoon and went ashore with Barnet in the evening
had a good time.
Tuesday May 28th 1918
Stayed aboard all day and read. Most of the fellows went ashore.
Wednesday May 29th 1918
Stayed aboard all day
Thursday May 30th 1918
Stayed aboard all day
Friday May 31st 1918
Stayed aboard all day till in the evening I went and got some
Saturaday June 1st 1918
We left Rockefort today and went to La Pallice
Sunday June 2nd 1918
We left LaPallice and anchored in Quiberon Bay to night.
Monday June 3rd 1918
Left Quiberon and anchored in Brest tonight.
Tuesday May June 4 1918
Left Brest and anchored in St Ives at 7:00P.M. tonight.
Wednesday May June 5th 1918
Got into Swansea about 9:00P.M. and anchored in the bay.
Went from Swansea back to France but we went to Boradeaux
instead of Rockefort
Fri. June 28th 1918
We pulled out of La Pallice about 7:00A.M. and met a convoy of ships
from La Verdun We got in to the Bay at Quiberon about
June[July?] 13th 1918
We left Brest about 7:00A.M. and we got into Quiberon Bay at about
At this point the next 52 pages are blank
The last page has:
END OF ENTRIES
ON BACK PAGE OF DIARY
Irene T. Thomas
C/O 2 Topay St.
[Undecipherable lists of money owed by or to individuals deleted.]
[Apparently, this is a list of the ports visited by the Hilton:]
- La Pallice
- La Rochelle
- St Naizar
- St. Ives
- Barry Dock
- Millford Haven
From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships
Former name retained.
(Str: d. 6.600; l. 313'6"; b. 46'; dr. 20'8"; s. 9 k.; cpl. 65)
Hilton (No. 1574) was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry-dock Co. in 1911
and chartered from A. H. Bull Steamship Co., New York, by the Army in September
1917. A year later she was acquired by the Navy, and commissioned at Cardiff, Wales,
on 6 November 1918, Lt. Comdr. Walter L. Farnsworth in command.
Out of Cardiff, Hilton delivered two cargos [sic; cargoes] in France - to Bordeaux early in
December and St. Nazaire in January. She returned to Cardiff and went on to
Southampton to load, sailing for home 6 March.
Hilton arrived Hampton Roads 27 March and decommissioned there 16 April 1919, being redelivered to her owners.
Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (email@example.com)
Sources and Thanks: All the material presented here is thanks to David Holcomb.
To find other Doughboy Features visit ourDirectory Page
|For Great War Society
Click on Icon
For further information on the events of 1914-1918
visit the homepage ofThe Great War Society
Additions and comments on these pages may be directed to:
Michael E. Hanlon
(firstname.lastname@example.org) regarding content,
or toMike Iavarone (email@example.com)
regarding form and function.
Original artwork & copy; © 1998-2000, The
Great War Society