Diary, June 2-8, 1918
June 2 Sun. We changed our Co street today - officers moved to grounds where I was.
June 3 Mon. washed clothes and bathed in a little stream of clear water along side of road where we went before. - a couple blocks from a town south & east of here. I and Ousley were stark naked when 3 women came along - we just steped up by the fence and stood there until they passed. They did not seem to notice us very much. I read all afternoon. signed Pay roll.
June 4 Tue - went on hike this morning. Cpls. got wine for their squads to drink - had a fine time - This afternoon we went east to dirgible hangars and circled around to the town north of here and into camp. got some jams with our platoon mess fund today.
June 5 - Wed - Hiked to Village S.W. of here and bought groceries. This afternoon we hiked to the railroad on beyond where we were this morning. There is a pond of fresh water we bathed and the air & water was colder than hell. Washed my clothes too. Then we marched to the place we were this morn. and turned loose. I went in to the Old catholic cathedreal on inside it was finished in stone just as on outside. on out side it was guarded all over by hob goblins. It is a mighty thing - so massive. and so ancient - Stone work was not so pretty as it was rough inside & out but the design - the paintings - the statuary - the tapestry - and above all the alter - with the candle sticks - the large banners - it was all wonderful. Statues of Christ Virgin Mary and others - also of Joan of Arc. There was a few worshiping as we entered - went to the back and around on other side and as we left we passed the sprinkling pool an[ ]ich took up one corner. It was a scene I'll never forget.
June 6 - Thur. This evening the two dirgibles are unusually active. Have been circuling over camp all evening & have search lights on tonite.
June 7 - our platoon loaded into a truck at 7 and was taken thru Brest to the warves to work. I had some crabs to eat in forenoon found a few and boiled them. after noon strolled to the assembly room of the torpedos for subs. Saw thru there. seen the machanism of the torpedos. Saw them prepare them for testing - shove them into the water - turn them loose - watch their path thru the water - Jove they sure go - and seen them tow them in after having spent their energy. they float like a water soaked log. they were then hauled up and loaded ready for real use - one had rudder trouble and sailed around in a circle and rammed the pier on opposite side from which it was sent. Broke off the nose - caved in one front side and powdered a big rock where it hit. Splashed water on us - we were standing that close where it hit. Then I went in to the dry docks - one of our big freighters that floundered on the rocks 37 miles out of here - was in there. loaded with brick coal worth $40 per ton. She was washed completely for 6 weeks. Was lost in a storm. They run for 30 days without stopping engine once. I was under the ship. Jove it looked monsterous. was inside - in engine room and all thru it and up in crows nest. That took quite a little guts - itself. altogether I have had some rather unusual experiences & sensations today. I also saw a submarine going out to sea - Was a French craft I think.
June 8-Sat. went to Brest early this morn - To an old prison or strong hold in center of city - is an immense thing - walls 6 or 8 ft thru at bottom of building - of ancient architecture. We worked here all day. I had a detail removing dirt from a mound to a cistern. I wrote a letter to Pearl Smith. We were under Lieut. Burton - 50 men in all.