Sailor's name: Melvin Gaston
Service date: Enlisted May 1917
Passed away: 1951
Relative's name: Lisa Stoner
IMy great-uncle "Mel" Gaston died before I was born. He married my grandmother's youngest sister, and they had no children. My Dad inherited Mel's personal effects recently, and there was a journal kept by Uncle Mel while he served in the Navy during WWI. I will include a brief, incomplete synopsis of his entries here for those who are interested.
May 1st 1917 Melvin enlisted in Navy . Went to Hospital Apprentice Program at Hospital School. Changed grade from 2nd class Hospital Apprentice to 2nd class Seaman. Stayed in Seaman Barracks for 1 month and then was sent to Mare Island. Stayed at Mare Island for 3 months and was then sent on an Asiatic draft.
"On the morning of 5 Nov 1917, I left Mare island on a tug on the way to the transport. We arrived in SF bay where the transport was lying at the transport dock. We went aboard about 11 o'clock. We were supposed to leave the next day. We left on Nov 6, 1917. We all got seasick after we passed the Golden Gate. Eight days later, ship arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii. Saw dead queen. Went swimming at Waikiki. Ate bananas and pineapples until we were about to burst, as on ship all we had was stew, stew, stew."
Left 15 Nov and went to Guam. Left Guam 29 Nov 1917 arrived Manila 3 Dec 1917. Went to Kanakua? hospital. 10 days later we were sent to Mohigan ? (the receiving ship at Cavit ?) there for 5 or 6 days. Dec 19 1917, a draft was sent to Manodnock which is a monitor and was then laying in Manila Bay. 20 Dec 1917 I was sent with about 30 other fellows to the USS Brooklyn.
17 Feb 1918 left for Shanghai China, later docked at Nagasake Japan, and Vladivastok Russia. Spent most of the time mainly in Russia. Some trips to Japan and Manila. Also in port with his ship: Japanese battleship, English battleship HMS Suffolk.