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426   WWII: Jack Ball  $200 Unopened $200 0 You must login to place a bid.
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#426 - WWII: Jack Ball Estimate: $800+

A soldier's diary from December 7, 1941: "Japan Bombed Honolulu & Declared war on U.S.A."

Appealing collection of material related to Jack Leland Ball, a machinist mate aboard the USS Savannah, which is highlighted by his “Five-Year Horoscope Diary,” 5 x 7.5, consisting of over 375 pages with entries for every day in 1940, and several entries for 1941 and 1942. The diary records news of Pearl Harbor and his participation in the Battle of Casablanca. Notable entry dates, include: May 24, 1940: “Got into Pearl Harbor this morning tied up with Honolulu & Phil. Have seen lots of fellows I know…Had 4-8 watch went to bed at 8:00.” June 6, 1940: “Went down in fireroom & worked & usual went in boat in aft till I went on watch at 4-8 had to help with oil lines. Then went to show Jane Withers in High School.” June 24: “Got under way this morning they said for Panama.” June 26: “Still don’t know where we are going.” July 1: “Anchored at Pearl Harbor this morning.” August 14: “Had the 8-12 Steaming watch they fired the machine guns.” September 8: “Went over to Pearl Harbor & played soft ball. Beat V Div 13-10. Came back to the ship at 1:30.” September 30: “Went out to Sea this morning.” October 20 “The Doctor made everybody go to the topside & get some sun.” The Savannah operated along the west coast and in Hawaiian waters until May 1941, when she returned to the Atlantic to participate in Neutrality Patrols and ‘short of war’ operations. Heading for the Atlantic, Ball writes on June 3, 1941: “Had the 4-8 this morning…At night went through the Panama Canal really something to see. We passed through 3 sets of locks it took us all night.” June 12: “Don’t know where we are going but hope N.Y.” June 17: “Really foggy came in and anchored off of Boston Mass.” October 31: “Had GQ at 0600 after that relieved the watch and had 8-12. In aft slept till GQ awoke me, saw air bubbles, but no sub I guess, Heard they sank the St James off Iceland.” November 9: “Came in Casico Bay Portland [Maine] anchor about 0840 went on liberty @1000…” November 26: “Up anchor & proceeded on into Navy Yard N.Y. I got to see plenty of sights on the way in. Really gives you a thrill…Went to times sq, Jack Dempsys…” The “Savannah” spent November 26th to December 7th in New York City with daily entries mentioning among other places Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Greenwich Village. The Savannah left New York City on December 7, 1941: “Got underway for Portland. Japan Bombed Honolulu & Declared war on U.S.A. really tore heck out of Hawaii also bombed Guam, Midway, Wake & Phillipine Islands. Will get them through anchor in Portland in eve.”

Also included are several personal effects belonging to Ball, including: a set of three Army Air Force Cloth Maps, dual-sided, each “For use by War and Navy Department Agencies only / Not for sale or distribution,” including: No. 34 Southeast China [No. 35 Northeast China], No. C-52 Japan and South China Sea [No. C-53 East China Sea], and Ryojun, Manchuria [Pei-P’ing Peking]; a rusted metal identification tag, 1.5 x 1.25, with one side etched with Ball’s right index fingerprint, and the other side bearing his full name, his service number (291-59-90), blood type (A), that he has received the tetanus toxoid vaccine and date (T 12/41), and USN; a “Submarine Squadron-36” card granting Ball permission “to be on shore on recreation business at Guam,” expires 1800 9-26-45; a “Veteran’s Permanent Free Permit to Hunt, Fish, and Trap Without License” from the Indiana Department of Conservation,” April 12, 1947; an Instruction Permit “to operate a Motorscooter upon the highways” of Hawaii for 60 days from 5-19-44”; a full book of 20 matches “Made Expressly for the United States Navy” by Superior Match Co., Chicago; an ALS to his grandmother on USS Savannah stationery mailed in a “Savannah” envelope, postmarked Vallejo, California, March 7, 1940; a sealed envelope with gilt return address: “J.L. Ball, MoMM2c, U.S.N. / Submarine Division” c/o Fleet P.O,. San Francisco”; and a small white-and-navy blue embroidered patch. The accompaniments are housed in a brown keepsake box once owned by Ball. In overall very good to fine condition.

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