Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Diary of Commander, Joseph K. Taussig, Commander, Little

Saturday

June 29

Brest

     This morning I inspected the crew in dress blue uniforms and then went through the entire ship- Found things generally in very good condition.

     After luncheon – about 2 o’clock Jordan1 and I went ashore with the express purpose of finding the base ball field where the Little team was to play the team from one of the other destroyers. After a hot and dusty walk through the dirty part of the city (Called “Brooklyn” by our men because it is across the bridge),2 we failed to find the field. So we took a train back and spent a couple of hours in the [Navy] Club until time to go on board ship for dinner –

     The Sigourney having come in, I picked up Vernou3 and we went ashore – walked for a while on the Cours d’Ajot and then went to the Grant apartment.4 Here we found Mme Grant with three others playing bridge, and Mlle Grant with two young French women Mlles Isabelle and “Bob” de Tugny from Paris, waiting for some ones to talk to. Mlle Isabelle had been to school in England and spoke English very well but Mlle “Bob” did not speak English at all. Puleston5 and Jordan came in. The conversation that followed for the next hour and a half was uproar[i]ous- All the men shouting what French they could speak, and the young women correcting and coaching us amid peals of laughter at our mistakes. We all told some of our old Naval Academy anecdotes, to my lot falling “Faim au Femme”, and “Un diner des Potages et des Cuir-dents”.6 Before we left we had tea and cakes, and Mme Grant insisted that we come around next Saturday night for another party. If we are in port I suppose we will all be there.

Source Note: D, RNW, Joseph K. Taussig Papers, Mss. Coll. 97.

Footnote 1: Lt. Cmdr. Leland Jordan, Jr., second-in-command on Little.

Footnote 2: For a picture of Brest’s “Brooklyn Bridge,” see illustrations section for June, 1918.

Footnote 3: Cmdr. Walter N. Vernou.

Footnote 4: The wife of British Vice Admiral Sir William L. Grant, who was then commander-in-chief of British forces in American Waters. For a view of Le Cours d’Ajot, see the June 1918 illustrations section.

Footnote 5: Lt. Cmdr. William D. Puleston, Commander, Cushing.

Footnote 6: Literally, “hunger or women” and “a dinner of soup and toothpicks.” For the latter, the French word is spelled cure-dents.

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