Life on Board the USS Chaumont
These are pictures from Bill Mozingo. The first series of these are scans of stamped envelopes, either at ports of call or when on board crossing the International Date Line. They allow a partial reconstruction of ports of call 1934-1940. See the page with National Archives records for details of the ports of call July 1937 through June 1941.
All these images are thumbnails, click on any image to see a larger version.
Stopping at Guam enroute Virginia — Cuba — Panama — California — Honolulu — Guam — Manila — China, 12 June 1937.
The ports of call are the same as those on the March 1940 envelope below.
Crossing the International Date Line at 24° 49' N (direction unknown, but probably eastbound, it was in Japan six weeks later), 9 September 1937.
A letter and stamped envelopes Bill found someone selling on eBay, indicating that the Chaumont arrived in Honolulu 27/28 July 1939 having come from the US west coast.
Click on the images to see the entire envelopes and the letter itself. The letter, written by the son of a man traveling as "the second highest ranking office among the passengers" says, in part:
July 25, 1939
We are approaching Honolulu [....] The trip across the continent was pleasant, although uneventful. We stayed for a while in Alabama, in Houston, in Bay City, in San Antonio, and in El Paso. [....]
Leaving Portsmouth Virginia 5 Mar 1940 to these ports of call:
- Portsmouth, Virginia
- Norfolk, Virginia
- Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
- Cristobal, Canal Zone
- Balboa, Canal Zone
- San Diego, California
- San Pedro, California
- San Francisco, California
- Mare Island, California
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Manila, Philipines
- Hong Kong, China
- Chinwangtao, China
- Chefoo, China
- Tsingtao, China
- Shanghai, China
- Chinwangtao is now spelled Qinhuangdao. It's the chief port of Hebei province on the northern Yellow Sea. It was used primarily for exporting coal in the 1930s. 39°56'N 199°30'E
- Chefoo was a misnomer used by the west, referring only to Zhifu Island. The port city itself is now known as Yantai. It's the largest fishing port in Shandong province, on the southern coast of the Bohai Sea. It's just south of Qinhuangdao. 37°24'N 121°16'E
- Tsingtao is now spelled Qingdao. It's also in Shandong province and is a major seaport and naval base. 36°5'N 120°20'E
A memorandum to the Chief Petty Officer on watch to allow a soldier to look around the ship, signed by W.F. Jones.
According to the description at www.alaskarails.org, someone "boarded the USS Chaumont at Seattle and disbarked at Seward (Alaska)." This seems to have been in March 1943.