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Staff Favorites

A showcase of our most treasured collections selected by VHP staff members. The written descriptions of these veterans’ stories highlight the diversity and dramatic content of our holdings. View additional staff favorites.

Image of Howard C. GilbertHoward Catton Gilbert

Go to Howard C. Gilbert's Collection

Howard Gilbert always had a fascination with the water. Growing up in Seattle, he watched every summer as the Navy Fleet came into port and as a teenager even built his own boat to cruise around Puget Sound. So enlisting in the Navy was a perfect fit. Joining the Naval Armed Guard which protected merchant vessels, Gilbert was eventually assigned to the troop ship Sea Devil, used to transport troops to New Guinea where sounds of battle could be heard out at sea. On their return trip to pick up more troops, they became a hospital ship, bringing back the casualties of war. Nothing could prepare him for the sight of the wounded. Later, while serving on a Liberty ship, their convoy was attacked by a German submarine, which sank two ships and narrowly missed his own. Aside from those moments of sheer terror, Gilbert had to battle the monotony of ship life, finding creative ways to keep the boredom away.

Chosen by Stephanie A. Weaver, Processing Technician. Stephanie received her B.A. degree in History from the University of Dayton and her M.A. degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. She came to the Veterans History Project in November 2005.

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  The Library of Congress >> American Folklife Center
  April 3, 2009
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