The following photos were sent by John H. Peck who was stationed at Baltra during WWII. He has posted on the bulletin board before and the description of life there during the war will follow the photos. Click on photo to see it full size and click the BACK button on your browser to return here. Hold your cursor over a picture for a brief description.
Told by John H. Peck
The photos are from the archives of the "Rocs Docs Assoc." based in Columbus, Ohio. As we are of the WWII era there are only three of us around (that we know of) Jack Jaspers of Columbus, Ernie Lennon of Dayton, Ohio and myself (Norfolk, VA).
A little more history of the Base, we were supplied almost monthly by the US Army Ship (Ancon) which brought supplies from the Canal Zone and by US Navy Aircraft if the priority was high from Miami or the air base at Banana River, Fla. All the water on the Navy side of Baltra was piped over from the US Army airbase side. We had a large population, our Mess Halls and other buildings were all constructed by Navy SeaBees, we had a large motor pool and there was many trucks and vehicles running all over the place. We had free range of Baltra and we went out to study the animal population and enjoyed watching the iguanas and goats. We had a beautiful swimming beach and enjoyed deep sea fishing, Tuna, Grouper, Wahoo were plentiful, the sharks and Rays would come by our boats to investigate.
During early 1945, a US Submarine radioed the base, about a sick officer aboard, our patrol craft went out to pick him up and on arrival at the Base Hospital, we found he had appendicitis, he was operated on immediately by the base surgeon and recovered nicely after a two week stay on Baltra (he stated he really enjoyed our Paradise), Jack Jaspers as mentioned above assisted with the operation.
My job on Baltra was Petty Officer in Charge of the Medical Supply department (before computers) we had to keep close inventory on all supplies. I also had the job of Health Inspector, ie: Mess Halls, barracks and Food Handlers.
We had a pet Iguana, called IT, as sex unknown, IT would sleep on the table in the medical laboratory, the medical techs would feed it vegetable greens, ie; lettuce and carrot tops. IT was very gentle and enjoyed all the care given to this animal, we would take IT to other places on the Base and many of the personnel would pet and feed IT.
We also had a pet goat, no name, this goat had one horn and bowed legs in the front, very gentle and was a very good companion. He enjoyed sleeping in our barracks. The Navy had a man from another Island who would deliver fish every Friday (Grouper), which was fresh and it was my job as a medical representative to inspect the catch for quality and quantity. When the end of WWII came, shortly within a couple of weeks a large tuna trawler called in our bay, (The Chicken of the Sea out of San Diego), I had to attend an injured seaman who had run a large barbless hook through his hand, we were invited to tour the vessel and it was well appointed. We have pictures of our Base and many of the men who served there, SeaBees were the main defence (if we needed it) and I felt sorry to leave after my tour was up.
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