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Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - October 12-17, 1942

[October] 12, 1942

11/12/42 [All 11/42 letters are actually postmarked Oct 42]

Dearest Mary:

We had a nice farewell party for Col Beeson at the club last nite; there were around 200 medical officers, wives, nurses and guests, the evening was spent drinking Manhattans, dancing and following this a nice lunch which when my turn came they were out of so my evening meal was strictly liquid.

This week I will send a package with all the case histories, pictures, Bills swimming suit and clothing that I cant get packed into my foot locker.

Lt Fishman has been transferred to Washington D.C. to take a 3 month course in tropical medicine. Yesterday we received a new 2nd Lt. M.A.C. officer, Lt Gallagher and also 6 enlisted men from Atbury Indiana so we will soon get up to strength preparing for something to happen.

We will have to receive a shipping number and a A.P.O. address and rumor now has it we will be out of here in 2 weeks time, but this has happened before but nothing developed but in any case if you dont hear from me for 6-8 weeks dont be worried for no news is good news in this case and the moment we land safely, cards that we have written before leaving will be mailed telling of our safe arrival.

Enclosed find a nice picture from our mutual friend Hugh and in the package I am sending home in an autographed picture of Col Beeson which you may keep for me.

Why dont the children write to me occasionally telling me about there [sic] school activities? I haven't heard a word from them since my return and it would be a good idea to have them write a letter each week telling me all the news.

I miss you so much and will be mighty glad when this was is over and we can return to a normal way of living.

All My Love,
Roddy.

October 14, 1942

The Commodore
"New York's Best Located Hotel"
42nd Street * Right at Grand Central Terminal * New York City
10/14/42

Dearest Mary:

Hugh and I have spent the day off in N. York and are leaving for the battery to catch the 2:30 PM boat. We stayed all night at the Commodore Hotel and saw "My Sister Eileen" which has been showing continuously since 1940. It was a very good show and you must by all means see the movie when it comes to Spirit Lake.

We called Celiz Wilsey and gave her our regards but did not have the time to meet her.

This morning I went to the 2nd Service Command Headquarters at Governors Island and I found out that I must serve six months before a promotion is in order and that the demand for promotions is so great that they are doing everything in Washington to slow them down so we will just have to wait and not get impatient.

Col. Beeson as a last parting gesture made an application for Maj Silvers transfer for the good of the organization but after talking at headquarters this morning to Col Wilson I believe we will have to go as is as he feels that "water will seek its level" when we get overseas. But that fellow is the most uncouth man I have ever met and he lacks all the qualities of leadership the [sic] a good Co. needs to have an efficient organization but to change anything in the Army is almost next to impossible, it is too large to make any consideration for individuals or individual units.

We received our gas impregnated clothing and it is ordinary clothing impregnated with bleaching powder and what a peculiar odor it is - half way between a "skunk and chlorine" I am sure that if we wore this clothing to a public gathering we would be sure to get seats for no one could stand to be near us.

If you think that the piano was necessary it will be O.K. for I am not in a position to judge what you can afford. I can only send $250.00 per month and the rest of the financial arrangements you will have to make - Offhand I feel that a surplus should have been built up to take care of my insurance and that amount of money would have protected 1/3 of my insurance for a year - perhaps you have make other arrangements to pay for the piano.

Will write more later as I will have to hurry to catch the boat.
Love Roddy

October 16, 1942

The Commodore
"New York's Best Located Hotel"
42nd Street * Right at Grand Central Terminal * New York City
10/16/42

Dearest Mary:-

Received your nice letter this morning regarding the little bears, Peter-metres etc.

This morning it is raining and of course there is nothing to do except write a few letters which I am attempting to complete. Yesterday was a day of intense excitement around here, Col Walsh of the 2nd Service Command was here and interviewed several officers, including myself, regarding Maj Silver's qualifications as a Company Commander and believe you me, we gave him both barrels and it wouldn't surprise me any if we would get a new C.O. I sincerely hope so, for it is ashame [sic] to have such a man at the head of our organization. He lacks all the qualities of leadership that is so important when the going gets "tough."

The officers and men are very disgruntled and after seeing the picture "Wake Island" it made me ashamed that more effort is not put forth in wining this war than in our own personal matters.

Maj Silver has been very strict about the 24 hour leave from post each week which we are allowed, in fact he sits by the "sign in book" and watches when the men come in, oddly enough he was in pass yesterday when Col Walsh was here and didn't get back until 2 hours after his pass had expired and the Col. had to go back to Governor's Island without seeing him. We are all hoping that the command will be given to Maj Meyers which in turn would give me the chief of Surgical Service and a promotion as Hugh has been transferred to the medical service and will become "Chief" there too.

Capt and Mrs. Kline entertained Hugh and I to a grand steak dinner last evening. They have been so nice to both of us. Evidently there must be a lot of money some where in the family as the "table-set up", dishes etc. were exquisite. We both enjoyed playing with the children, seeing them get ready for bed and then think up all the excuses in the world, to stay up a little longer. Bill, you know what I mean, as you are a past master at this I presume that the first six weeks of school will soon be over and I am anxiously awaiting the reports on the childrens grades and conduct.

I was over to the P.X. the other evening and saw some real cute service trinkets which many of the wives and children are wearing out here - particularly a bracelet with all the different services insignia, captain ear rings and a service pin which I would like to send you "girls" if you would like to wear them.

I dont believe, judging from your letters that Phil is very anxious to sell the apartment house and if such is the case I wouldn't force the issue at this time, as he will conclude that it must be something he has over-looked it we want it so badly.

Did you ever receive a receipt for the $916.00 which was sent to the Mass Mutual Life Ins Co in Sioux City Iowa? If a dividend is declared on any of the policies, do not deduct it from the premium but pay the full premium due and let the dividend be added to the cash value. These insurance policies must be kept intact at a time like this for as you know I have no other Government Insurance.

Have you had any trouble with Don? I hope he has been a good boy - This has been a crazy disoriented letter but please forgive - we are all a little jittery until our problem is straightened out.

Love
Roddy

[October] 17, 1942

The Commodore
"New York's Best Located Hotel"
42nd Street * Right at Grand Central Terminal * New York City
11/17/42

Dearest Family:-

I had a nice visit with Harold Sharp last evening and I believe he is going to have an operation on his knee in the next week or so and following this he would like to have Lucille come out and try to get a position here. This will be mighty easy to do and when I told him I could arrange this he seemed to be mighty happy as a matter of fact they are begging for stenographers at the hospital and post exchange.

We had had some very inclement weather for the last few days, raining and quite cold, the tents get pretty chilly and we all have to congregate around a stove in the headquarters to keep warm. Work has come to a stand still and it is the hardest thing to keep occupied under these conditions. We will all be glad when this is all over with and we get to our permanent station.

This morning we are having an inspection of the men in their gas protected clothing, in fact they only have 1 O.D. suit besides the above clothing so it looks like we might wear this clothing much of the time when at our station.

I enjoyed Col Ainsworths remarks at Rotary Club. but we hear an entirely different story. If it is over in 3 years we will be lucky in fact. I feel that the big "push" this spring will tell the story for as yet we have not won any major conquest and have only executed holding operations.

With Dr Nicholson in service Phil should be mighty busy and the hospital should be kept full with the gas rationing.

I would appreciate it if you would call Harolds father and mother and tell them about our conversation; for I know they will be glad to hear indirectly from him.

Many more of the non commissioned officers have been accepted for Officers training school including Sgt Briggs, Sgt Lakner and Sgt Hackney and will leave shortly for Carlisle Barracks.

Our officers personnel remains status quo but we are keeping our fingers crossed. All my love to the children and you. Love
Roddy

MS 1048 - Donald F. Rodawig Papers | List of Transcripts
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