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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States. Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945

III. The Yalta Conference,   pp. [547]-996 PDF (155.3 MB)

Page 560

spent the night on a special sleeper-train that had been parked there
by the Soviets for our convenience.
  The drive to Sevastopol was over high and winding mountain roads
along the Black Sea coast. It took us over the battlefield, nearly a
century old, where the historic Light Brigade made its famous charge
in the Crimean War of 1854-1856, and for many miles led through
territory bitterly contested by the Russians and Germans in the
recent Crimean campaign.
  1840: The President and his party arrived in Sevastopol and pro-
ceeded to the U. S. S. Catoctin, a naval auxiliary moored at the Soviet
naval base.
  It was dusk when we arrived in Sevastopol but the President saw
scenes of stark destruction there wrought by the Germans. The
city was virtually leveled to the ground except for the walls of homes
and other buildings which the mines, bombs and shells in recent
battles left standing like billboards-mute testimony of the borrorful
wanton Nazi vengeance. Of thousands of buildings in the city, the
President was told that only six were left in useful condition when
the Germans fled.
  Distance traveled, Livadia to Sevastopol, 80 miles.
  1855: The President and his party went on board the Catoctin
where they spent the night. The Catoctin manned the rail and ac-
corded the President full honors as he went on board.
  The Catoctin served a delicious steak dinner to us, which was a
real treat for us after eight days of Russian fare.
  After dinner Admiral MeIntire, Admiral Brown, Mrs. Boettiger
and Miss Harriman attended a concert given in Sevastopol by the
members of the band of the Black Sea Naval Base.
  2130: Mr. Early arrived on board the Catoctin from Livadia and the
encoding and radio transmission of the Conference communique was
started. The communiqu6 was to be released simultaneously in
Washington, London, and Moscow at 1630 tomorrow, February 12th.
Lieutenant Bogue and Mr. Cornelius and the communication force of
the Catoctin are to be commended for the expeditious manner in which
this communique was encoded and transmitted to Washington. See
Annex A for complete text of the communique.3
  Captain C. 0. Comp, U. S. N., commanded the Catoctin. Her
Executive Officer was Lieutenant Commander W. S. Dufton, U. S. N.,
and her Supply Officer Lieutenant Commander E. C. Laflen, (SC),
U. S. N.
3 For the text of the communiqu6, see post, pp. 968-975.

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