We finally made it to Hawaii and the Pear Harbor Naval Station. We could see the destruction on Battleship Row, but much had already been cleaned up and /or salvaged. They put four of us LST’s into a large dry-dock, for maintenance and touch-up, etc.
The civilians that were doing the work were sure nice and, as we allowed them free access to our coffee makers, they were always willing to do any little “extra” stuff! (Coffee and many other items were severely rationed to the general public.) Walking around the shipyard I came across a stack of junk salvaged from the damaged ships. I spotted a nice, BIG, porthole from one of the battleships and I asked if I could “acquire” it… The answer was “Sure”, so I hoisted it up and went back to the ship.
I think I mentioned that we didn’t have much ventilation in our quarters under the after deck and they could get VERY warm. In exchange for a couple of pounds of coffee we got a shipfitter to cut a hole, install the porthole, complete with steel cover and weld it into place. We then touched up the paint and it looked like it had always been there! What a difference it made, comfortwise. Opening it up and turning on the vent system, we had a nice breeze through the compartment. I think several of the other “T’s” followed our lead and did the same thing.