Robert W. Conner
Diary and Letters
The Hat still fits
- Among the apprehensive arrivals at Camp Peary was
Robert W. Conner, an aspiring engineer. Nearly 30, recently married, and
rejected by the Army for "flat feet," he was nevertheless
welcomed by the Seabees who kept him for two and a half years. At the
time, the daily diary he kept could have gotten him court-martialed and
his encoded letters to his wife, Lib, could have baffled a scrupulous censor.
But today we are grateful for his record of the grinding day-to-day story
lived by thousands of "old men" in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who
left families and skilled jobs to put their strength and talents to the
task of creating the infrastructure of the war in the Pacific.
Diary and Letters in PDF Format
Download Diary Volume 1
March - Nov. 16, 1943: Camps Peary, Endicott,
Parks, Hueneme; Perida;
arrival on Banika.
Download Diary Volume 2
Nov. 17, 1943 - Dec. 12, 1944: Banika, Nissan,
Cape Johnson, arrival at San Antonio.
Download Diary Volume 3
Dec. 13, 1944 - Oct. 31, 1945: San Antonio, Guiuan, Arthur
Middleton, Portland, Discharge from Camp Shelton.
Download Letters (Letters.pdf)
March 1943-October 1945
Download Appendix (Appendix.pdf)
Explanatory footnotes and annotations for Diary and Letters
The journal and letters on this site were written by Bob
Conner. The illustrations and photos are from his WWII collection of mementoes. His daughter, Susan, has compiled and edited these and the other
materials on the site.
(This site is currently a work in progress. It has been
developed privately and has no official connection to the U.S. Navy or any
Seabees related organization or group)