The words that follow (in italics) are transcribed verbatim from the journal my father, Lt. Ben H. Rushing, kept during his deployment as a navigator on a B17.
Friday June 5, 1942
Woke up early and helped get the enlisted men’s eating arrangements straightened out. Feeding 12,000 men in a small place like this is one heck of a job. Hope we get there soon. It’s kinda crowded on the boat.
This afternoon we stayed in the lounge, played cards, and just visited. Getting plenty of sleep and rest now. More than I can say about Sarasota.
The enlisted me put on a show for us tonight. Not bad, but not too good. It was something to help break the monotony of things tho. There are lots of different kinds of people on this boat. There are about 5,000 British soldiers and R.A.F. personnel. Some of the soldiers have been in South Africa for the last 15 years. Guess they must be awful happy to be going home.
Some of the pilots have seen action against the enemy. They aren’t a bad bunch of guys.
I still miss my girl such an awful lot. If I get back I won’t wait long to make her the Mrs.
Well I’ve gotta go to bed now. Nothing exciting happened today. Hope it remains that way.