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Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - April 1-15, 1944

April 2, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Mary

Was so sorry to hear about Tiny's recent illness, her condition is very serious and something should be done with her before she creaks completely. It is not right that she should require 150 units of insulin each day - it means that she is way out of control. Why don't [sic] Phil send her to Iowa City as a clinical patient to get the Diabetes under control and get the necessary dietary instructions for with such a high blood pressure she wont live to months or will be hopelessly crippled with a cerebral hemorrhage and just who is going to take care of her? The day has gone by so rapidly with so many visitors - I like that particularly on Sundays. Will let you know when the box arrives and thanks again for remembering me. I feel swell today and have been up and around more than usual. I have heard some beauts of dirty stories but wont write them in a letter - Love you Dear Roddy

April 3, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and Children,

It seems that everyone from Spirit Lake is getting together over here - Truman Osbourne (L. Singles) nephew called on me at the hospital today. It seems be nice to get a snap shot of the six of us together over here. This afternoon received a call from Wayne McVay of Rockwell City Iowa, they were our neighbors out on the farm, it wasn't possible for him to get transportation out to see me but will do so the next time he is here. Be sure and tell the folks about this, they will be interested. Tonite Maj. Fred Jarvis is giving a paper on all the gastro-intestinal surgery that has been done by the Auxiliary Group overseas - It shall be interesting and I plan to attend.

This is the longest period of my life spent in a hospital and although I am getting excellent care am getting anxious to get out of here. I can truly appreciate the patients view point now. Will mention again that I have sent $250oo to you yesterday via air mail. That recent song that Susan wrote me about is really something. Love and Kisses for you all. Roddy

April 6, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and Children Fred Louis gave a very interesting review of all the gastrointestinal operations performed by the 2nd Auxiliary Group during the Sicilian and Italian campaigns up to Jan 1st of this year, at the medical meeting last evening - there is a constant exchange of ideas among the surgeons and often times difficult problems are met with and an attempt to standardize treatments is made by the war department. It is amazing the number of lives that can be saved in this manner. The best medical brains are working at top speed to master many of these problems. Col Brown the Chief of Surgery here is constantly looking for talent to present programs before his surgical conference.

Sunday will be easter and although we will not see the familiar parade of new suits and hats that is common at home you will know that we can visualize that you are doing. When the Spirit Lake boys came to visit me this week I thought that they would never leave, they would just talk about this and that and would gossip at the least opportunity to discuss their families with me so I talked to them like a father to his son - cautioning them to save their money and to keep physically clean. I certainly get a kick out of this.


April 7, 1944

52nd Station Hospital


This has been a grand day, it has been as warm as a nice summer day so I put on my clothes and went for a little walk and took some pictures to prove to you that I do weigh 190 lbs. I hope that I can remain at this weight for then there isn't so much fat to carry around - will have them developed and sent to you as quickly as possible. Col. Willis came over and we had a nice visit on the hospital porch - he tells me to send you his best regards. He certainly has been a grand commanding officer and we have been fortunate to have a man of his ability to lead us. Wayne McVay of Rockwell City called me and will be over for a visit tomorrow so will write the folks after I see him. The opera La Boheme is showing out here for the patients next week and by town Irving Berlin's "This is the Army" is showing. All my Love to the sweetest and best family in the world. Roddy.

April 10, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife

Easter has passed, somehow I am awfully glad when a holiday is over for naturally a day like Easter your thoughts are more with your loved ones at home. I got dressed this afternoon and went for my first visit to the 52nd Station Hospital since my operation- enjoyed seeing everyone again but was mighty glad to get back to bed. On my way home I saw a familiar face in a sailors uniform, stopped the [illegible] and low and behold another Spirit Lake boy Raymond Tang, this brings to 6 the number I have seen in the past week. This is very unusual. Your letter of March 26th arrived today along with the March 2nd Beacon. It doesn't seem possible that Susan can be a 4.H. Club member and is participating in so many worth while activities. You mention Alice writing a letter that you forwarded on to me - this has not arrived as yet. Will be interested in all the political news from Iowa - was so disappointed that Willke has withdrawn from the presidential race. I am afraid that your guess as to my final disposition will be wishful thinking for I am going to try duty by the end of the week. If I were in the states your guess would be right but not over here, we are needed too badly to spare even me. All my Love to you Roddy.

April 11, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and Children.

There is a beautiful view from a porch at the hospital - This entire area originally was a fairgrounds built in Commemoration of the Italian Campaign in Ethiopia and many of the buildings have been built to simulate the old Roman Type of architecture. there are many artificially built swimming pools, statues, and a large Colosseum. Many of the buildings have been ruined by the bombings but with a lot of work and effort they have been renovated and are now serving as hospital buildings. The surrounding hills rise in all directions are terraced and the green of the grape vines is just coming out which makes a colorful site I think

Received a nice letter from Hank and Netta inquiring about a dear friend of theirs' from Osages who is in the Red Cross oddly enough I had met her while she was putting on a little play in the wards of our hospital some 2 or 3 months ago and had meant to write them about this - her name is Ann Goppebrud. I am getting along just fine and have been out in the sunshine trying to get a little tan. Would love to be home helping make plans for the summer at the farm - All my love Roddy.

April 13, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and Children

Our medical meeting last evening was well attended and to look around the room you could see many famous American Surgeons who contributed so much to the meeting by their discussions We are meeting so many new problems that new forms of treatment must be instituted and as I have mentioned before it is nice to be on the ground floor so to speak - So much of this information will be of value to us in our hospital at home - and by the way you certainly appreciate our set up with a hospital and all after talking to the doctors who has [sic] practiced medicine in the city both from a standpoint of freedom, finance or a place to live and I am convinced more than ever we are very fortunate and have "kicked myself" a thousand times running around the country looking for a better location! - You remember some of those trips don't you Dear? Noting much of importance happening around here at the moment am getting anxious to get back to work. Love to you all Roddy.

April 15, 1944

52nd Station Hospital

My Dear Wife

I took a ride over to our hospital yesterday and found 3 swell letters from you the latest written April 1st. Was surprised that you hadn't heard from me in over a week for I have written every day. I just hate to have you build up a lot of false hopes about my coming home but it is nice to hear what is on your minds. I am so pleased that Lorraine is coming for the summer, it will be a great lift to your morale. just a little note of warning watch the children closely and see to it they are well supervised while at the lakeshore - You will probably think that I am some old woman - The commercial club party evidently was a great success, would have liked to hear Don play and sing - Have been so sorry to hear about Alice's father but the disease is quite slow growing and he may have a few more active months if it has not progressed too far. Yes, Dear, I remember the bit of surgery you performed for me back in 1933 - I don't believe I have ever paid you the fee - I think I shall wait until I get home you have all the money, perhaps we can barter?? Would like to have seen Susan playing with the band - How about some recent pictures of the gang - When I do get home I don't think it will take long to get acquainted. Do you? Love you Dearest Roddy.

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