Correspondence (1917-1919) of U.S. Navy enlisted man.
Guy P. Stone was raised on his family's farm in Thompson, OH, enlisted in the Navy and trained on a receiving ship on the Great Lakes, and served as a quartermaster and carpenter during and after World War I. Stone served at the Charlestown, MA, Navy yard, helped construct a naval base in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, was assigned to the destroyer USS HALE (DD-133) during that ship's goodwill tour through Europe and the Balkans after the Armistice.
The correspondence consists of letters to Stone's family in Ohio, and begins with details of training on the Great Lakes (February 28-June 17, 1918). While stationed in Boston, MA, topics described include historic sites such as Paul Revere's house and sleeping overnight in Boston Common (August 1-September 17, 1918); the scraping and painting of the dry-docked USS MOUNT VERNON, formerly the German ship KRONPRINZESIN CECILIE in Charlestown, MA (August 8, 1918); an outbreak of influenza and Stone's rating change from quartermaster to carpenter's mate (September 17, 1918).
In Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Stone was assigned to the motor patrol boat USS SENECA (SP-247), and letters describe the poor response of the local population to the American arrival and conflicts between American naval personnel from different parts of the country (September 25-November 11, 1918). After the war ended, Stone's letters consistently reflect his desire to leave the Navy and mention that men with dependents received priority in discharge (March 1, April 27, 1919).
Further correspondence concerns Stone's service on an ex-German ship and the difficulties Stone faced with a German officer on board, the ship's captain, and problems with the ship's stability (June 8, 1919). While assigned to the newly constructed destroyer USS HALE (DD-133), mentioned are the ship's sea trials; its speed and beauty; its burning of oil instead of coal; and stability problems while in the open sea (June 8-July 24, 1919). Once in Europe, the HALE visited many countries, including Germany. Described are traveling through the Kiel Canal, the beautiful countryside, the abundance of crops and livestock, the friendliness of the people, and the hostile nature of German soldiers (August 7, 1919). Also detailed was a post-Armistice confrontation between Italian and Hungarian forces near the city of Spalato (modern Split, Croatia) on the Dalmatian Coast, and the presence of numerous American warships (October 12, 1919).
Other correspondence details sites in Venice, Italy, including boat transportation and the lack of streetcars (October 25-November 16, 1919). Miscellaneous correspondence deals with the Ohio "Man laws" pertaining to marriage (April 30, 1919) and Stone's problems with receiving back pay (June 8, July 24, 1919). Lastly, a few pieces of correspondence written by Stone's cousin Ray and some family friends are included.
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