"Our Trip Back Home on the S.S. Pontotoc"
by Norm Channin
When Germany surrendered, we left Czechoslovakia. We traveled to Weiden, Germany for occupational duty. Then those who had enough points were being sent home and discharged. The ones with less points were transferred to the 90th Infantry Division to train and go back to the States for a furlough, and then be shipped to the Asian theater to fight the Japanese.

When Japan surrendered, we then had accumulated enough points to be discharged, We were then transferred again to various outfits. Some of us were transferred into anti-tank battalions for shipment back to the States. While in this camp we were told we would not be allowed to take any liquor aboard the ship. There was a large hold where they held movies every night, so we would go to the movies with our bottle of liquor. By the time the movie was over we were about 8 sheets to the wind. What a time we had trying to get out of that steep hold! We would climb up some and roll back down.

One morning we were alerted to board the S.S. Pontotoc, a Victory ship, for our trip back to the States. I remember being on the top deck when they were playing a record "Gonna take a sentimental journey, sentimental journey home...". It sure was appropriate. We left France for the States. We pulled guard duty and that ocean got pretty rough. We all got seasick - what a time trying to get someone to put on various stations as they were all seasick. It took us 14 days to cross the Atlantic to New York.

It sure was a pretty sight to see the Statue of Liberty. We were discharged from Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. At our last formation we received our discharge papers. Then the Lieutenant asked us if we would police the area before we left. Our reply was "Are you kidding? That's your job. Now bye-bye, so long."

We traveled by train to Massachusetts by way of Springfield, Massachusetts. We had to transfer trains to Worcester. In the station we had our jackets unbuttoned, and ties off, when some MP's spotted us. They came over to tell us to shape up, but when they saw the Ruptured Duck pin, they turned tail and left. We got on our train and continued our trip to Worcester.

Email: Click here for email
Back ButtonBack to story index page