Publication: Privately Kept Manuscript Journal, 1943-1944, San Diego
First and only edition. A manuscript journal kept by Wayne H. Morcomb, originally from Winona, Minnesota, that documents his training as an underwater welder with the Navy in San Diego during World War II. Morcomb trained at the Fleet Welders School in 1943 and 1944, and then served on the USS Aristaeus, one of twelve battle damage repair ships that saw service during the war. The Aristaeus operated in various parts of the Pacific from 1943 until the end of the war. The diary is divided into two sections, filled from opposite ends of the volume, one on underwater welding and one on underwater cutting. The entries comprise notes from textbooks and lectures, and are accompanied by over thirty full-page or vignette drawings in Morcomb's hand that demonstrate the highly technical and difficult practice through the lens of a trainee. The skill was first successfully carried out by a Soviet inventor, Konstantin Khrenov in 1932, and was therefore still a relatively new technology, and one that was considered one of the most dangerous non-combat military occupations. The core principles, safety practices, and techniques involved in military training for this complex job are fully displayed in this excellent journal, which provides great insight into a small but vital aspect of the war effort in Southern California. Very good, clean, tight copy in a hand-decorated cloth binder.
Inventory Number: 46099