V-J Day & USS Habersham

In recognition of V-J Day, I wanted to share part of the story of my grandfather, Herb Hays. He enlisted in the Navy on 9 May 1944 at Chicago, Illinois. (2) After training, he joined the crew of the USS Habersham as a Motor Machinist’s Mate first class. (3)

The Habersham was at Eniwetok when the surrender of Japan was announced, and departed 9 September to carry cargo for occupation forces in Japan. Arriving Tokyo Bay 17 September, she unloaded cargo and departed for Guam and San Francisco 27 November. (4)

We have a Thanksgiving Day program/menu from their stay in Tokyo harbor. I’ll scan and post that later in the year.

Visit my 11 November 2017 blog post for the fuller story of that took Herb from the farm in Ogle County to the Harbor of Japan in the final months of WW2.


(1) “USS Habersham,” article and digital images. NavSource Naval History (http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/13/130186.htm : February 27, 2012)

(2) “U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010,” database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 7 Nov 2017) Entry for Herbert Hays, enlistment date 9 May 1944, release date 29 Jan 1946.

(3) (6) “U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 7 Nov 2017). Change report dated 12 May 1945, Entry for Herbert Charles Hays, line 26, rating: F1c(MoMM), Habersham (AK-186). Citing “Muster Rolls of U.S. Navy Ships, Stations, and Other Naval Activities, 01/01/1939 – 01/01/1949”; National Archives, Record Group: 24, Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel, 1798 – 2007; Series ARC ID: 594996; Series MLR Number: A1 135.

(4) “Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships – Index,” Naval History and Heritage Command (https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs/h/habersham.html : 27 Feb 2012) Entry for Habersham.

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