Bob McPeek grew up during the Depression and talked about coming of age on the home front during World War II. Bob left high school in March, 1945 prior to graduation, and joined the Coast Guard. The war was over by the time he made his first overseas cruise on the USS Howze, a troop transport. He worked as a cook in the galley while on the Howze. During the next year, from mid 1945 to May, 1946 the Howze made one trip to the Philippines to pick up troops, followed by a trip from California to England with a load of German POWs, and then two trips across the Atlantic bringing U.S. Army troops back to the United States.