Pearl Harbor


Pearl Harbor was absolutely a Liberty town.  It was a sailor’s heaven. Barrooms were everywhere.  Tattoo parlors were everywhere.  Club dancers were everywhere.  You could get a milkshake.  They had ice cream and stuff . . .  movies . . . you could go horseback riding  –  which I did one day.   That was a mistake because I never knew anything about horses, and this horse knew that I did not know anything and he ran all over the place and I’m just holding on.  And what did he do?  He ended up running right back where he came from.  He got rid of me!  And, of course there were recreation fileds.  You could play softball which we did at times . . .  horseshoes, etc. . . .  There was plenty to do there.   George Pitts*

When we first got to Pearl Harbor (December 6, 1943), when we were first going through the channel, I remember that you could see oil bubbling up, and it looked like smoke here and there.  We tied up next to the Arizona, and you could look down and see it lying there.

For liberty we went to Waikiki.  We went swimming a lot.  We’d go out with a bunch of guys, but I never did tangle up with the women too much.  I had a girlfriend back home and it just wasn’t my thing.  I know some of the guys, the first thing they did when they got off the ship – they all headed down to line up on Front Street, I think it was, in Honolulu.  That’s where the prostitutes were.  For some guys, it was the first stop!    Bob Knight*

Well, of course there were cathouses  –  two dollars a pop.  The lines!  Guys would line up from the “registration desk” all the way down the stairs and out onto the sidewalks below.   We’d go to eat something and there’d be hula girls dancing around with little orchestras playing Hawaiian music in the background.  Then you might have taken a trip on a bus to go see some of the special gardens.  We got to see and do everything.  A lot of time was spent on the beach swimming, especially at Waikiki Beach.  We also went up to Diamond Head.  Spectacular!    As I said, we got a chance to see and do everything, but once we got back on that ship, that was it.  All done.  No more fun!   Pat Fedele*

*compliments of Baked Beans, Life Aboard USS Boston CA-69, Vol. 1