In the diaries of Frank Studenski and George Pitts, there are discrepancies as to the exact date the ship passed through the Panama Canal. There are many explanations for why this happened, and the fact is that it does not matter. The ship left Boston for the last time on Nov. 14 (1943) and they ate Thanksgiving Day dinner off the coast of California (heading for San Francisco).
George Pitts remembered this about the Canal: One of the things that I remember is as you go through the Canal – you know, they fill it with water and the ship will rise – but the thing I remember the most is that all along it there were theses tiny islands filled with all kinds of shrubbery and they were loaded with monkeys. There were thousands of them! As you were going along these monkeys were jumping all over the place. And of course, there were all kinds of birds. The whole thing was quite impressive. The ship was big and it barely fit – cleared only by inches.
It took at least an entire afternoon to cross the Canal, maybe even more. It took quite a while before we hit Balboa and parked for the night. We went ashore one night and I didn’t think much of it. Then, of course, we just hovered along the coastline til we got to Frisco.
On this sad day, November 14, 2015, when the World’s Crazy Index went off the charts, all I can say is: Vive Le France.