Thursday, January 31, 2008

Manifest of a Liberty Ship

While my in-laws were visiting, we went to the Georgia Archives on a genealogy hunt. My mother-in-law was trying to confirm a piece of information about a Civil War soldier who was part of the 5th Georgia Regiment, also known as the Pound Cake Regiment because their uniforms didn't match.

On a lark, I sat down at a computer and punched my dad's name into's database. I found the manifest from his 31-day voyage by ship in 1956 complete with a list of the nine passengers' names. The ship, S.S. Hai Huang (also known as Liberty ships), left Kaoshuing, Taiwan and stopped in the Philippines to load ore and then docked again in Yokohama, Japan before arriving at the port in Oakland, Calif.

My dad remembers the other passengers and kept in touch with some of them. A man and a woman who met on the voyage later married. The group's first impression upon arriving at the bay at night was that all of the lights were still on in the buildings. What a waste of electricity! My father was genuinely surprised to find his cousin at the port with a friend meeting another passenger. Small world!

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