James A. Harris to Family, Letter, September 10, 1945.
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8. USN United States Navy explain how they look, but they are fixed in such a way as to hold the cable level down at a certain depth & also to keep it at a certain angle from the ship. One of these is up close to the ship and the other is right under the float. In between there are 4 or 5 "cutters". They cut the cable of the mine loose from it's mooring. (the mine looks something like this in the water) - [drawing] The mooring rests on the floor of the ocean and the mine is fastened to it by a cable. When we cut the cable the mine bobs up to the surface & a gunboat comes along & explodes it with gunfire. When one of those things go off you can feel the concussion of the explosion for 10 to 15 miles. Sometimes we get one hung on one side of the cutters & as soon as something hits one of the "horns" it goes off and naturally takes our cable, floats & everything with it. When that happens everybody's teeth rattle for 5 minutes. I don't want you to to go getting worried, now, because there's really no need for it. They make the minesweepers small for a very good reason - we just sit practically on top of the water & don't reach down far enough to hit the mines.