May 1945


OKINAWA, May 1945.  Two mothers’ sons.

Steichen at War
Steichen at War

Five bucks short of 100


About nine years ago I was blessed with a gift of serendipity.  A young man emailed me after finding and buying “A Bird’s Eye View” for his grandfather’s birthday.  Mike told me that his grandfather was the “ship’s tenor” and he was alive and well and wanted to meet me.  A guy named Pat Fedele.  The drive from where I live to his house is 8 1/2 hours (on a good day), depending on the mad road conditions in and around Los Angeles.  I finally got to meet him.  Over several additional visits, Pat told me many Boston stories (which are scattered throughout the Baked Beans books.)

Pat was born on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1924. (Picture on right taken in 2011.)

There’s no way to talk about Pat and not talk about his love of singing.  I mentioned in an earlier post that whenever we talk on the phone, I get a song.  In a post just before Christmas, I included a song from a c.d. that he gave me.  (He was 87 years young when he recorded it.) In honor of Pat on his 95th birthday, here’s another:

Keep singing, my friend.  Happy Birthday.  Love this guy.


p.s.  to all our friends celebrating Easter and/or observing Passover  –  Peace.  To everyone else, Happy Spring.  Peace.

San Pedro


The Boston returned to San Pedro (CA) for repairs and upgrades in March 1945.  San Pedro, as referred to by the men, was a town and harbor adjacent to the growing Los Angeles Harbor and adjacent Terminal Island – the center point of the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbor complexes (now the Port of Los Angeles.)  This was an important Navy facility during the War.

Naval Air Station San Pedro, June 30, 1945 (wikimedia)
US Naval Air Station San Pedro, May 7, 1945 (wikimedia)
Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – neighbors on San Pedro Bay.
Center – Terminal Island, left – San Pedro    (

There was a Time . . .


. . . when Americans pulled together and headed in the same general direction.  Let us not forget the contributions that women workers made to the war effort.  Pictures by Fenno Jacobs:

Four workers at the Vega Aircraft (B-17’s) plant in Burbank, (CA), on their lunch break
Workers inside the Douglas aircraft plant at El Segundo (CA) prepare engines that will power SBD Dauntless dive bombers. Aug. 1943. (Steichen at War)


Goin’ Home (for awhile)


Signalman George Pitts:
March 7, 1945:  The Boston got underway today with her Homeward Bound pennant flying 800 ft. in the air.  Six inches per man is what the pennant is supposed to represent.  While leaving Ulithi, all the carriers, cruisers, batts. and destroyers bid us a “bon voyage.”

March 17, 1945:  The Hawaiian Islands popped up over the horizon this afternoon. As we came into the Harbor we could see Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which Paul Veno + myself visited before.  It sure is wonderful to see some kind of civilization.  God knows how I’ll feel when we pull into California.

The Boston pulls out of Ulithi in early March 1945 and heads home (to San Pedro, CA) for major repairs and overhauls. (Homeward Bound Pennant seen above.)