April 26, 1918 – Full diary entry:
“One more transport with us today. Am assigned to a life boat. Sea getting rough tonight.
Transferred to bunk in steerage. Feel a little sea sick.”
Well, he’ll always have memories of those two nights in the 2nd-class cabin.
For most of the men this was their first introduction to the sea as well as to the British. They were delighted — for the first few days. They swarmed over the ship as soon as they were allowed on deck, and were curious about everything. They examined the wicked-looking little guns mounted forward and aft, and listened to the awful stories poured into their ears by the wicked-looking little gimners. They learned port and starboard, and to count time by bells. They came to realize the importance of the Ship’s Captain, a mighty man who spent most of his time in his cabin or on the bridge, and might be approached only by the Colonel. They admired the First Mate, a fine upstanding Scot.
If the Captain was difficult to approach, not so the crew. With them the doughboys quickly became great friends (except with the cooks) and listened with itching ears to the marvelous tales that only a sea dog can tell to a land lubber. The crew rose to the occasion, and satisfied the doughboys with horrible tales of submarine sinkings, of floating mines, of fearful storms, of battles at sea kept secret by cruel censors, of sea serpents and of German atrocities, until even the men from Poplar Bluffs could believe no more.
Where was Robert today? See the timeline.