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Voyage to Peace

The Return Home


After the German surrender, the war was not yet over. Battle was still raging on the other side of the world. Japan was still unbowed and the troops who had exhausted their strength on the European battlefields would now be asked to join in with the Pacific forces to accomplish the unavoidable - the invasion of the Japanese homeland. Hundreds of thousands on both sides would certainly die in this terrible action.

John Crews had a 30 day furlough at home, then he was scheduled for the Pacific Theater.

He rode home on board the S.S. Marine Devil, one of many troop ships carrying tired soldiers back across the Atlantic.

Just as they were leaving Le Harve, France, they heard of something unusual - a special type of new bomb had been dropped on Japan. An Atomic Bomb. The entire city of Hiroshima had been instantly obliterated.

An ultimatum had been delivered to Japan, but the leaders of that nation did not respond.

As the ship reached the halfway point across the Atlantic, something else happened. A second bomb was dropped on Japan at Nagasaki.

Finally, the Japanese were forced to surrender!

The news on-board the Marine Devil was electrifying, and suddenly the ship became a madhouse of celebration!

John said, "It's amazing that the ship didn't sink due to all the celebrations on board!"

The war was over!  They were going home for good!  This Atlantic passage had now become a voyage to peace and they were going to live!


The Marine Devil was the very first troop ship to arrive in Boston Harbor after the Japanese surrender. The city was jumping with joy and eager to welcome the first returning veterans.

John remembers several things distinctly from that day. The fireboats in the harbor were spraying their welcome jets into the air,

And, there was a Broadway type show being performed with singing and dancing on the top deck of an aircraft carrier right there in the bay for the soldiers to see as they sailed in.


His strongest memory, though, was the item the Red Cross handed him as he left the ship – an ice cold glass of American milk !! *

*Drinking milk during the war was forbidden because it is so easily poisoned.

The Devil's Tale

Two newsletters published at sea on board the S.S. Marine Devil in August, 1945.


This site was originally published for John's 75th birthday in September, 2000.
It was revised and updated in 2011 and again in this responsive form in 2020.
© Copyright 2020 David P. Crews–CrewsCreative, Austin, Texas  All rights reserved.    –––      Contact:
Contact us for information about the use of photos or content from this site.

Photo credits:  Unless otherwise indicated, all photos on this site
are from the private collection of John C. Crews.

Certain photos are reproduced courtesy of the Franklin Roosevelt Library.
Official Army photos by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. are reproduced
from the original booklets and materials.

The photo of the "Marine Devil" ship is courtesy of Bruce T. Doll,

All graphics, photographs, and text on this site are ©2020, David P. Crews, unless otherwise noted.

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