Robert W. Tody

In April 1946 I was the Transport Commander of the hospital ship, Jarrett M. Huddleston, that had been converted to carry 'War Brides' and (as briefly described in our book, MAN and WOMAN, WAR and PEACE, 1941-1951 New York, Vantage Press, 693 pp, 112 pictures, 2004), brought a total of 471 'Passengers' (including 80 infants!) from Southampton to New York. The Captain of that ship had been an aviator in the Polish Army in World War I.

It occurred to me that I did not know who Jarrett M. Huddleston was, so I turned to the internet and was referred to this site, 'Allies in War'.

Asked now to contribute a few words of 'wartime history' to this site, I can briefly state that I came to the 'War Bride' job as an Army officer thoroughly trained in transport duty. I was drafted, went to Officer Candidate School, and was assigned to take a refrigeration company to New Guinea. My wife joined me for a last farewell but, the Army being what it was, within the month I was a Transport Commander carrying 300 military police to North Africa; and returning with 700 German prisoners! By the time I came to be transporting 'War Brides' I had been bombed and torpedoed (sunk), been around the world via the Tasman Sea, been in North Atlantic fog and killer storms; and at the Brooklyn Army Base I had been an overseer of ships carrying 'War Brides'.

One of my greatest triumphs with the Brides was in telling them what to expect from sea sickness, and what to do about it; everyone gets it, so it is normal; lie down and relax, and keep eating. We had essentially no troubles in this regard on our voyage to New York. It was my last voyage before returning to my beloved and my son in Chicago and, ultimately, to the University of Chicago.

Oh yes, it was Colonel Jarrett M. Huddleston, VI Corps, in charge of hospitals during the invasion of Italy (where my ship was sunk while awaiting the Anzio invasion).

Robert W. Doty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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