A 9.75 x 15” brown folder containing service records for Florence Portman Canedy, a junior grade Lieutenant in the Navy WAVES in 1943-1945. Most of the service records are documents about appointments, transfers, and change of duty. There is also a certificate appointing Flo an ensign, forms describing her civilian job as a high school teacher in Dalton, Massachusetts, and a letter of honorable discharge from the U.S. Naval Reserve. Other ephemera include a booklet about WAVES and SPARS, a graduation exercises program for the Naval Reserve Midshipmen’s school in Northampton, and a copy of the Miami University Bulletin from 1943. There are a few black and white photos loose within the folder, measuring between 3.5 x 3.25” and 10 x 8”, which show two couples, photostatics of discharge papers and certificate of service for Flo’s husband, Edward N. Canedy, a Navy parade, and the women of WAVES.
Letter from Joseph R. Redman to Florence P. Canedy (15 November 1945)
Dear Lieutenant Canedy,
On the occasion of your return to civilian life, I want to extend to you my personal appreciation of the services you have rendered the Navy during your period of active service.
The Naval Communications Service has made an important and significant contribution to the winning of the war. The success with which we have accomplished our mission is directly attributable to the manner in which all personnel applied themselves to the tasks assigned. You may take real pride and satisfaction in the part you have played in bringing about the victory that has come to us.
The Navy will always be grateful for your loyalty and devotion to duty. I sincerely hope that you will continue to feel a keen personal interest in the future affairs of the Navy and particularly those pertaining to Naval Communications.
Joseph R. Redman
Rear Admiral, U.S.N.,
Chief of Naval Communications.
Excerpt from: Initial Korean occupation by U.S. Army (excerpts from a ltr from Eddie), Sept. 1945
Going back to September 2, V-J day --
We boarded ship in Buckner Bay at Okinawa; sat around there for a couple of days while other ships were being loaded and readied. It was one of the easiest trips I have made aboard a troop ship. Of course, it was rather short too compared to some. We were slightly outnumbered by the crew of 400 on a ship that usually carries 1600 troops besides the crew.
That is not a big ship, as you know, but we’ve made runs with 3000 troops aboard ships no larger. That really is crowded and life is hard from all angles. Much of our travel has been in tropical waters and aboard a crowded ship. You can imagine the discomfort with hardly room to stand on deck, much less to get out of the sun and rain or find a place to sit. Below, sleeping quarters are nearly unbearable during the day, even with blower systems operating. At night it is no better due to so many bodies in a limited space - sweating, snoring, and some sick. Usually I managed to have some sort of hammock and sleep topside. Many slept on the deck with a poncho and a blanket. In fact, it would be nearly impossible to move about in the blackness without stepping on somebody. With that setup you can picture the hassle caused by frequent downpours and General Quarters.
Well, I am glad most of that it is over. And getting back to Korea -- we came ashore September 9 at the port town of Inchon or the west coast of the peninsula with instruments and dufflebags. (Instruments boxed and crated, of course.) Everything had to be moved manpower about 600 yards to load onto a train, standard gauge and quite modern, although we drew a third-class sleeper to ride in, which amounts to upper and lower shelves about the size of a three-quarter bed on either side of the aisle. A cotton bag full of straw covers the boards, and there you have it, or there it is - lice and all.
We made inland about thirty miles to the capital city of Kyongsong. At each little village community along the route the natives put on a little floor show, lining the tracks on both sides, having U.S. and Korean flags, bowing, saluting, and yelling. Larger towns had Korean police and Jap soldiers armed and standing at attention along the tracks at the stations. The railway station at Kyongsong is on the order of the one at Springfield, Mass., though somewhat dilapidated. Trains come in at a lower level with steps leading up to the ticket offices and street level, somewhat the reverse of Springfield, if I remember rightly.
We talked with some liberated English soldiers who were waiting for a trainload of their buddies who had been in like circumstances. Eventually we dug out the instruments and have them a sendoff. It was a pretty happy trainload of guys. The station was simply packed with wide-eyed Koreans and Japs, going all out for GI music.
Our next assignment was to play for the surrender ceremony at the capitol building, which, we were given to understand, was but a short distance up the main thoroughfare. Transportation was not available, so we set out in playing formation. The entire gathering at the station moved out with us, and the mob grew like a snowball would going down Canon Mountain. A jeep load of press and photographers got with us to help the Korean police clear a way for us.
Our little procession - one jeep and the balance - reminded me of a ship moving through the water, plowing along with the crowd closing in and following. We hadn’t intended to play enroute, but as the distance stretched out, we were practically forced to play or disappoint our following. So we banged off a march. With that they went all out calpping, shouting, and screaming. Such untamed enthusiasm I have never seen before. The nearest approach to it, though under vastly different circumstances, and less desirable to say the least, was one May 29th, very early in the morning on Attu during a breakthrough and Banzai attack.
It turned out to be at least a mile to the capitol building, and being a bit out of practice both at playing and parading, it did seem rather a long haul. The ceremony went off on schedule at 1600, and two more big howls went up when the meat-ball was hauled down and again when the Stars and Stripes were run up.
That was that, and we finally got to the Division C.P. about 1800, after being pretty much on the go for 12 hours, tired and hungry. Div. Hq. is set up in Jap barracks. The Japs moved out the morning of September 9th, and the division started moving in before they and all left. When we arrived, things were in the usual and expected state of confusion. We slept on tables, desks, floor, etc. Just as we were turning in, someone remarked how quiet and different it was for the first night ashore than other landings we have made.
Soon after, a tommy-gun cut loose just outside our building. That 35 sure felt good. I acquired about a hundred rounds for it before leaving Okinawa, and it goes where I go. Well, it turned out to be a trigger-happy guy who had been in too many book battles. However, we know that anything could happen, and might, with plenty of Japs still running around with guns.
Yesterday we spent getting cleaned up and organized. Today, too, though we did have a short rehearsal this afternoon. Our equipment isn’t all here yet, and possibly about tomorrow I’ll have to go down to the beach and hunt it up. I meant to mention the weather. It compares with that at home much as September should be. Warm, but very comfortable through the day and quite cool at night.