Light Cruiser USS Honolulu ( CL-48 )


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A site devoted to USS Honolulu CL-48, aka the "Blue Goose", aka "Pineapple Maru" and my father's service aboard it during World War II  from 1942 to 1945.

Until 2020, "Blue Goose" was the only nickname I'd ever heard for the USS Honolulu and was the one by which my Dad and others always referred to it. Then I came across a Christmas 1993 letter from one of his shipmates that introduced the expression I've since taken as the name of this site.

The meaning of the word 'Maru' in Japanese means round or complete circle. As to why an American ship would assign a Japanese word to itself, upon reflection it makes perfect sense and enhances the fantastical legend and good fortune of this charmed ship. For the past few centuries, only non-warships bore the Maru ending. Its use was intended as a good hope naming convention that would allow a ship to leave port, travel the world, and return safely to home port: hence the complete circle or 'round trip' arriving back at its origin unhurt. Pineapple of course refers to the place the ship was named after: Honolulu, Hawai'i, the number one producer of pineapples at the time. It's also said 'Maru' is a term of endearment that sailors assign to their ship. So although she suffered damage, she was the only ship in the US Navy during WWII to have been struck multiple times by bombs and torpedoes and not sunk. And something is said about her position in formation - all ships that sailed on her port side, no matter the voyage, suffered damage or destruction. Fascinating - just like The Blue Goose herself. (Thanks to Cynthia Reynolds of the CL-48 Reunion site for these insights.)

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