This is not the first time I've reposted this photo, but this is the first time I've been able to do it with the following information. This photo is the jacket art for best-selling author James Bradley's new book The China Mirage. Today my father had the honor of meeting Mr. Bradley at a speaking engagement and having his copy of the book signed. It's one of those days I'll always remember my dad's smile. As we left the event I said to my dad, "That was very cool!" My dad responded with, "Yes, that was very very cool." I don't think I've ever heard my dad use "cool" before. I was so thrilled to have given him this moment. Everyone was so nice to him. I'll be smiling about this for a long time.

The talk Mr. Bradley gave about the book was fascinating. He connected so many of the dots that never made sense about the history we have been taught about the US and China. I think dad and I will be fighting over who gets to read the book first.

This is a reposting of an image and information originally posted November 22, 2010. You can click on the link to go back and read some of the comments from people who remember the carrier.

My reason for reposting this is because of information that has been provided to me about what finally became of the USS Puget Sound. You can read it at the end of this post as an update. Thank you Gavin Cheng for contacting me!

Here's something a little different. This is from my father's collection of photos taken when he was in Hong Kong following the end of World War II.

Click on image to see it larger.

This is the USS Puget Sound(CVE 113) at anchor in Hong Kong harbor, December 1945.
USS Puget Sound (CVE-113)

Builder: Todd Pacific Shipyards
Laid down: 12 May 1944
Launched: 20 September 1944
Commissioned: 18 June 1945
18 October 1946
Reclassified: Helicopter Carrier, CVHE-113 on 12 June 1955, Cargo Ship and Aircraft Ferry, AKV-13
Struck: 1 June 1960
Fate: Sold 10 January 1962, and scrapped in Hong Kong 1962

General Characteristics
Class and type: Commencement Bay-class escort carrier
Displacement: 10,900 long tons (11,100 t), 24,100 long tons (24,500 t) full load
Length: 557 ft (170 m)
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: 2-shaft Allis-Chambers geared turbines, 16,000 shp
Speed: 19 knots (22 mph; 35 km/h)
Complement: 1,066
Armament: 2 × 5 in (130 mm) guns (2×1), 36 × 40 mm AA guns
Aircraft carried: 34

Service Record
Part of: US Pacific Fleet (1945-1946), Pacific Reserve Fleet (1946-1960)
Operations: Operation Magic Carpet

USS Puget Sound (CVE–113) was a Commencement Bay-class escort carrier of the United States Navy.

She was laid down on 12 May 1944 at Todd-Pacific Shipyards, Inc., Tacoma, Washington; launched on 20 November 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Bert A. Teats of Sheridan, Oreg.; and commissioned on 18 June 1945 at Tacoma, Captain Charles F. Coe in command.

Service History
After trials and fitting out in the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Puget Sound steamed south on 6 July 1945 for shakedown out of San Diego, Calif., where she embarked Marine Air Group 6. She departed San Diego on 8 September for brief training in the Hawaiian Islands before proceeding to support the occupation of Japan.

Puget Sound entered Tokyo Bay on 14 October 1945. Her aircraft joined in the show of strength and conducted antimine patrols in support of the landings of the 10th Army at Matsuyama and Nagoya. Thence tactical training took her to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and the Marianas. Loading surplus aircraft in Apra Harbor, Guam, she put to sea on 6 January 1946 en route to Pearl Harbor, where she offloaded the surplus aircraft. At San Diego on 23 January, Marine Air Group 6 was detached and Puget Sound prepared to serve as a "Magic Carpet" home for Pacific war veterans.

From February-May 1946, Puget Sound made two "Magic Carpet" runs between San Diego and Pearl Harbor and one between Alameda, California and Okinawa, transporting 1,200 troops and surplus aircraft.

She steamed north on 24 May 1946 to prepare for inactivation, entering Puget Sound Naval Shipyard on 1 June. Decommissioning there on 18 October, she entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Tacoma. Her hull classification and number were changed to CVHE–113, effective 12 June 1955, and then to AKV–13, cargo ship and aircraft ferry. Struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 1 June 1960, she was sold for scrap on 10 January 1962 to Nicholai Joffee Corp. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Click on image to see it larger.
Formation photo of change of command on 11 February 1946 for the CVE 113 USS Puget Sound. Photo provided by John Kruppstadt in memory of his father, Robert L. Kruppstadt, Signalman 3rd Class on this ship.

As to the boat in the foreground, that is a Chinese Junk:
A junk is an ancient Chinese sailing vessel design still in use today. Junks were developed during the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) and were used as sea-going vessels as early as the 2nd century AD. They evolved in the later dynasties, and were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, and in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but primarily in China, perhaps most famously in Hong Kong. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
To read more about the history of the Chinese Junk click here.

UPDATE:  from Gavin Cheng
I found out about this ship interviewing my Uncle, who took delivery of the USS Puget Sound and USS Cyprus in San Diego in the 60's in order to take them back (strangely enough) to Hong Kong, where our family business included salvage and processing. Absolutely every part of the ship was made use of, the steel was used to form rebars which were used in the rebuilding and expansion of Hong Kong.

My Uncle, and engineering major at UC Berkley, was tasked with figuring out how to convert the aircraft launchers into an aluminum extrusion presses after his father noticed the similarities in design.

The family company, Chiap Hua, was involved in all manner of industry pre and post war. As a company philosophy they limited all military supply production to defensive and community based product such as helmets, water canteens etc.

Despite this, the founding brothers received word that the Japanese command planned to incarcerate them due to their having "aided the British", resulting in a flight by foot from Hong Kong all the way back to Chiu Chau in China where they stayed until the end of the war.

As the war was wrapping up, they returned to Hong Kong, re-instated the factories, and joined efforts to rebuild the city. At that time the Hong Kong harbour was unusable for commerce due to the massive number of bombed and sunken ships. Seeing an opportunity, my grandfather and grand uncles were able to secure a contract with the government to clear the harbour. They were paid by the ship, and the government provided free storage for the wrecks.

Under maritime law, the salvage belonged to them. As the company completed the harbour clearing, Hong Kong was able to be opened as a shipping port again, but there was a steel shortage. Steel was previously supplied by Japan, which was in desolation. Chiap Hua began converting the steel in the ships to rebars, crucial to the rebuilding of Hong Kong. My Uncle recalls trucks lined up with fists of cash buying the rebars as soon as they rolled out of the factory.

The interesting cycle is that after being driven out by the Japanese occupation, they were able to not only clear the harbour for commerce, but used the materials from the ships to rebuild the city.

The image of the USS Puget Sound was taken at almost the same time this was taking place, so it is interesting that in the fullness of time it found its way back to Hong Kong.


Betty's friends CATTIN AROUND AT A MOTEL in room no. 12

Raise your hand if you remember motor courts. Little motels that were always one floor little cabins or duplexes. Sometimes there was an actual garage to pull into.

Here are Betty's friends with an unknown woman (not that Betty's friends aren't also unknown) holding a cat. Was she the motel manager? A friend who got them a good deal to stay there? We'll never know.

Click on images to see them larger.

That's it folks. As of now I haven't found anymore photos from the girls getaway. Who knows what will show up in the future.


SNACKS and stuff

As a child I can remember getting fun things at tourist spots. You know what I'm talking about, don't you? The HUGE pencil with scenes of the location on it. The pen with the floating whatever that moved back and forth when you rotated it. Seashells at the shore. Postcards, figurines of bears from national parks, maybe even a tom-tom made with a black rubber top. Saltwater taffy was always exciting. It was so colorful and smelled wonderful.

I do remember visiting Atlantic City and getting one of those toy monkeys that played cymbals. I put it on the motel room nightstand and let it bang it's little cymbals over and over until my mother probably wanted to throw it out the window.

Alas, few of the things I got as a kid at tourist spots are in my possession. A lot of the stuff simply disappeared over the years (grumble grumble my original 1955 Mouse ears).

Click on image to see it larger.

So what did Betty and her friends buy at Mystic Seaport? If I'd known what to look for I might have found it in her house during the estate sale. Or was Betty too practical to keep such things? I should have paid closer attention to the what-nots in her home. I was too focused on photos to have noticed the flotsam and jetsam of her life.


LOOK UP! Look up!...

One of Betty's friends on their girl get-away to Mystic Seaport. We can understand why the woman in the green skirt is looking up, but what about the one on the right? What exactly has her staring upward, mouth open? Beware…never a good idea to stand around a seaport looking up with your mouth open. I'm just sayin'.

Click on image to see it larger.

But dig the white high heels, white gloves, pearls, and nice purse over her arm. Imagine seeing someone at a tourist spot dressed like this today. More likely flip-flops, bare midriff top, and tight shorts on a body bulging with previous meals.


The whole thing was RIGGED

When I first saw this week's Sepia Saturday prompt I was transported to a large sailing ship with masts and rigging. Alas, it's more Wichita Lineman than Master and Commander.

But the images that follow are indeed of sailing ships. I have no idea where these ships were located in these vintage shots, most likely taken by Betty Schnabel, Donald's daughter. Knowing that for many years Betty lived on the East Coast, I can guess that's the location of this seaport. I welcome any guesses.

Click on images to see them larger.

Apparently Betty took a trip with friends for a few days. Not many shots were taken, but I will post a few more shots of her friends on there girl get-away.

UPDATE: Thanks to Intense Guy I now know these shots were taken at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut.

And now, in honor of the linemen in the Sepia Saturday prompt...



Each one of these may be followed by a sigh.

"Oh to be in Paris this time of year."

"It only hurts when I laugh."

"I am stuck on bandaids brand and bandaids stuck on me."

"Her name is Matilda, and she has the most beautiful hazel green eyes."

"Could you speak up? I can't hear you. What? Huh?"

"It was a very bright light…and then poof! they were gone."

"No, my teeth are fine. Why do you ask?"

"Well, mother, the teacher said it would stop me from talking in class."

"Gee wiz doc, I don't know what you gave me, but I don't feel any pain. I don't feel anything…but how come you have two noses?"

"No, I'm only wearing this because mother cut my sideburns too short."


Bob? How do you like the POI?

This is the same little fella who has been featured in the two previous posts. We'll now call him Bob. Or perhaps it should be Bob? to be more specific.

I'm guessing he's just sucking on his fingers, but I prefer to think maybe he's been dipping into some two fingered poi. Go for it little dude!


Devilish CHERUBIC smile

This is the same little unknown fella from yesterday. Bob? Bob…is that you? Or is it Donald? Unless someone is really good at reading facial features we'll never know.

Nothing is written on the back of this real photo postcard from Donald G. Schnabel's family album. Donald was one of nine children. One was named Robert. So maybe this is really Bob?



You can only guess my joy today when my doctor told me that after four weeks (this coming Monday) my ankle has not healed one bit. Not at all. The bone, thanks to this nasty European made torture chamber, is in the right position, but no healing. Still broken as much as it was on day one. At least three more weeks of this Borg boot. I think I almost screamed with joy in her ear over the phone. I hate to say it, but it sucks getting older…except for the alternative.

So, with joy on my mind I found this shot taken by Donald G. Schnabel. Good old Donald, always ready to mark his photos with data about what his process was. I don't know if I've ever mentioned that many of the slides are marked with data about what camera he was using. In this case he provides us with the settings he used and his address.

As to who the child is…no idea. Someone thought it might be "Bob?" It might have been helpful if Donald had provided the child's name.

Then again, maybe it's baby Donald? He was born in 1898. What do you think?

More shots of this child to come.


BIG GIRL, little girl, a car, and Marcel waves

This is as close as I can get to the prompt this week at Sepia Saturday. I'm still relegated to sorting through snapshots already on my computer. No lifting of boxes to get to the real hardcore stuff. The way things are going I'll be sitting with my foot up for another four weeks. But, enough of that nonsense.

Click on image to see it larger.

A big girl and a little girl standing next to a car, each with marcel wave hairdos. Okay, big woman and little woman to be more precise. The Sepia Saturday prompt shows two women on bicycles. Well, I've got two woman and a wheel. That'll have to do. The only thing I'm sure of is that whoever owned the car had a membership with AAA, the American Automobile Association.

I used to have a membership with the California version until I bought my last car which came with its own service for a few years. When it ran out I didn't bother to go back to AAA because of the cost. My car insurance offers me full roadside assistance for $12 a year. Why pay 40+? Well, I do admit to missing the maps. I loved the AAA maps and TripTix. I like having a paper map to find where I'm going. So many people use GPS on phones or systems in their car. I rather hate those systems. I like being able to see the whole and not the minutia. Yes, a GPS map can show me up close the road I'm on, but it really doesn't do justice in giving me scale of where I'm going. And frankly, I've seen way too many stupid directions come out of computers and smartphones. Give me an old fashioned map and I'm quite content.

I am an excellent map reader. Do I have proof for such a statement? Well, I only got lost once on a trip by myself in England and Scotland. Once. I had the Royal Auto club big map book that I'd bought in London and my little blue rental car with the crummy transmission. I drove around for a month with only getting lost for about 10 minutes in a town near Dartmoor. Actually when I think back on that crummy car I'm probably lucky it held together through the whole trip. I squeaked and rattled all over the countryside until I returned it back to London, both of us showing some wear.


VIENNA by night

Not exactly the sort of tourist photo you send home to show lovely Vienna at night, but I'm sure it brought a smile to the recipient.

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Lovin' the fella on the lefts curlycue mustache. Imagine how much time he spent on that. Then again, maybe he had them made by a local barber and just stuck them on his face with wax when he wanted to feel especially dapper.