Red Toon Letters (Pt. 6): Red Shoots The Sun For The First Time

Amphibious Training Base

Little Creek Virginia


Today has been very nearly a complete loss, but I had a lot of fun. As usual we mustered and marched off to the class that wasn’t there only this time three of us got a boat and went out to the YAG 17, a training ship anchored out here in the bay & climbed aboard. The boat that took us out was to pick us up at 11:30 but never showed up til nearly one. We missed chow at noon and I’m nearly starved now. We did have a lot of fun there though. By the use of a sextant, an almanac, two compasses, a pelorus and numerous tables we were able to conclude that we were anchored in Chesapeake bay. Theoretically we should be able to “fix” our position anywhere by the same means. Terry, the star student, came out at the end of his figuring just where we were. If we’d been where I figured we wouldn’t have hadto miss chow.

Went fishing after chow yesterday & caught an eel got a lot of mosquito bites.

I’m lonesome and in love with you.


We looked up the USS YAG-17 (below) on which Red first shot the sun. (This was a key responsibility of deck officers at sea. Periodically shooting the sun told the navigation team the ship’s  precise location. If they  knew the ship’s current location and the location of their destination, they could set an accurate course to that destination.) It had been a privately owned vessel before the war and was commissioned by the Navy as a training vessel in 1943. Note the landing craft astern; cargo netting hanging over the side for debarkation/embarkation drills; and the four sets of steps installed to help troops get over her tall bulwarks from the training nets.







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