July 21, 1943 – Merton’s War Diary

July 21, 1943
Went fishing in fjord with 2 soldiers. One of them caught a big codfish that had a hook in with a line, rod and reel attached!!

What a fish story indeed!  With Merton being from Cape Cod, it did make me wonder if the Cape was indeed named after the Cod Fish.

Iceland is Close to Greenland - Sigfús Eymundsson (1837 - 1911) - Scanned from "Þór Magnússon (1976). Ljósmyndir Sigfúsar Eymundssonar Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík." page 73

Iceland is Close to Greenland – Sigfús Eymundsson (1837 – 1911) – Scanned from “Þór Magnússon (1976). Ljósmyndir Sigfúsar Eymundssonar Almenna bókafélagið, Reykjavík.” page 73

According to www.britannica.com
Cape Cod was named by Bartholomew Gosnold, an English explorer who visited its shores in 1602 and took aboard a “great store of codfish.”

Well it seems to have been.  Imagine, traveling all that way north with hopes to perhaps catch something new and exotic and you end up with something you could have fished for at home.

I actually (vaguely) remember Merton taking me fishing from time to time when I was there visiting but we certainly did not catch anything with hardware attached.

I wanted to close out this post with something a bit to the side of genealogy, but something that I can not get out of my head since I read that diary entry.  A simple sea shanty. [http://shanty.rendance.org/]

Cape Cod Girls
Cape Cod girls ain’t got no combs
Haul away, haul away
They brush their hair with codfish bones
And we’re bound away for Australia

So heave away, me bully, bully boys
Haul away, haul away
Heave her up and don’t you make a noise
And we’re bound away for Australia

Cape Cod kids ain’t got no sleds
They slide down the hills on codfish heads

Cape Cod girls ain’t got no frills
They tie their hair with codfish gills

Cape Cod cats ain’t got no tails
They lost them all in the northeast gales

Enjoy!

In 1943 and 1944,  my Grandfather Merton Young traveled to Greenland while working for the Merritt-Chapman & Scott Company.  He wrote a brief diary of his journey and this is a piece of that story.

Next Entry – July 28, 1943

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