Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy

 Military Letters, WWI

As found in old newsletters.
Transcribed by barbara stallman-speck

            Updated    Friday, March 05, 2010   

       WWII letters

From  Joe Martin   U.S.S. New York   Nov. 21, 1918

Dear Mother:

    Well, Mother, I wrote to you but a few days ago, but will write tonight as I understand that the censorship regulations are at an end.

    In my letter of the 19th I mentioned that something vital was to happen on the 20th, but instead, it came to pass today. We got underway this morning at three oíclock and met the German High Sea Fleet at 9:20 at a pre-arranged place on the North Sea. It was a tense few hours, for only to well do we know what a treacherous, pledge-breaking beast the Hun is. So you can bet we were prepared. Men were in the turrets, magazines and handling rooms. They saw we had the drop on them so their great fleet went down in defeat without a drop of blood shed.

    The Grand Fleet made two long lanes about ten feet apart. The British on the port, a British squadron and our own to the starboard and the French in the rear. Thus we escorted them into the Firth of Fourth. They are now lying just outside the inside line of nets, cut off from the open sea by the batteries on shore and part of the British fleet at the mouth of the river.

   So now we can heave a sigh of relief for our long hard trips are at an end. We have done convoy duty around the Skagerrak, laid mines under the Germanís nose in the sub and mine infested sea around Heligoland, and had narrow escapes from torpedoes.

   I donít think we will be back to the states before early spring as there is a lot of monkeying around to do yet. Well, must eat supper so will bring this to a close.   


Your Son,
Jos. J. Martin

P.S.  Nov. 21, 8:30 P.M.
   Will continue where I left off as I have one more sheet of paper. We are to coal ship tomorrow. Itís quite a job but am getting used to it. I understand that we are to take the German ships to Scoppelflow (Orkneys). This is one of the bases weíve been using.

   There, the men will be taken off and sent to Germany. It was mutiny in the German fleet that caused them to surrender. They were ordered to come out and fight us the 28th of October, but refused. Their ships are certainly fine ones and would have put up a terrible fight.

   Well, will say goodnight as the lights are going out.

Your Son,



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