U.S.S. WEST VIRGINIA (BB48)
c/o Fleet Post Office,
San Francisco, California.
11 October 1945.
From: The Commanding Officer.
To : The Crew of the WEST VIRGINIA,
We are now on the last lap of the West Virginia's War Cruise. From the moment we arrive at San Diego that efficient, hard working, and splendid hard fighting team, the Crew of the West Virginia will begin to break up. The present prospects are that within 90 days the West Virginia will be laid up in a care taking status with a crew of 6 officers and 66 men.
You in the future will be proud of your achievements. You will never again hear the names Leyte, Surigao, Mindoro, Lingayan, Iwo, Okinawa and Tokyo without a thrill of pride, a recollection of some major or minor incident, or a memory of some shipmate. Memory of long grueling hours at battle stations, or hasty wrestling of stores and ammunition will fade, you may even learn to like SPAM again, but you will never forget the bugle call for Air Defense.
The West Virginia has been called a lucky ship, perhaps with some justification. But most of our luck has been made by ourselves through long hours of training, and by being foresighted, forehanded, vigilant and constantly on the job.
The West Virginia is a proud ship, made so by your pride in yourselves as demonstrated by your conduct both on the ship and while on liberty; your pride in your job as demonstrated by your unflagging zeal in keeping the ship operative and ready for battle; and your pride in your country as demonstrated by your staunchness in battle. Keep her so by keeping her colors flying wherever you go.
You all have my appreciation for your past actions and my best wishes for your future in your chosen careers.
R. W. HOLSINGER.
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