Center for Archival Collections

Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage

Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - April 16-30, 1944

April 16, 1944

4/16/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife,

I waited at our hospital today and had a very nice dinner, fresh vegetables are in season now so it adds materially to our diet. Hugh is being transferred to the 114th Station Hospital. APO 763 N.Y.C.N.Y. - it will surely seem funny not to have him around for we have been roommates since July 1942. and of course I wont get to see him now unless I make quite an extended try and anyway I have spent considerable time there and wouldn't like to go back for a while. Ed Thomas is on his way home, our first officer to be rotated in the group at least we are getting started in the right direction.

I think we are quite fortunate in having Don being interested in Nancy at the time for it would solve a lot of problems that are bound to come up during the teen age. I feel that you have done an excellent job in handling the children and I want you to keep me well informed about all of his activities You seem to have a knack in planning for them in such a way that most of their spare time is taken up. I don't know that I could add much to your plans and you know that whatever decisions you make I will stand back of. Love Roddy continued

4/16/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife

continued
We both realize full well that a boys father can handle these problems a little better than their mother but somehow I feel the boys will make a special effort to obey you since they know the conditions and why I am away from home. I know that I have made many mistakes at their age and I would like to protect them from falling into the same pitfalls. Your work in the P.T.A. has given you a splendid insight into the high school problems which will be a constant guide in just how to deal with the problems as they might come up in our family. Bill I want you to explain to me again this new method of saving you have by reinforcing your dollars - couldn't quite get this straight but from past experience and knowing you as I do - you shouldn't have much trouble in saving your money!! Love and kisses to my sweet girls - all thru!! I am feeling O.K. Sure glad to know that Lorraine is coming
Roddy.

April 17, 1944

4/17/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Mary and Children

I am a little surprised that you aren't getting my mail for I have written every day since being in the hospital, perhaps it takes a little longer to clear through the wards than to mail them directly as I normally do.

They have rejuvenated a bombed building in this area and have constructed a very nice theatre. The walls and ceiling have been draped with burlap and you would be surprised how attractive this is I attended the opera "La Boheme" Saturday evening and I enjoyed it strange at that may seem. Next week "Madame Butterfly" will be showing. The Italians still retain this love of music and are still developing many quite outstanding opera singers even in war time. I have been reading the book "We Cannot Erase History" by John T. Whitaker which to my mind explains all the events leading up to and including the first two years of this war as well as any book that I have read. And it makes your blood boil at our stupidity in not attempting to head off, Nazi world domination in its very beginning and save all this blood shed. The book is similar to William Shires "Berlin Diary" but perhaps a little more complete in that it covers the Italian picture. Honey we will never lack for conversation in the future there are so many vital problems that I would love discussing with you - All my love to you and the children - Hugh is leaving today - I will miss him a lot. Roddy

April 17, 1944

4/17/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and children

We can readily understand now the term "sunny Italy" for we are having marvelous weather and I spend a lot of time out doors getting sunshine.

Tonite there will be another medical meeting to be conducted by Major Tracy Mallory one of Americas outstanding pathologists, who is stationed in this general area. He will discuss the effect of blood transfusion reactions on the kidneys. I feel quite fortunate to be able to attend so many fine meetings. I have had several dental appointments the last few days getting my teeth fixed so you can see that I have had a general over hauling and should be in excellent condition

Capt Spencer McCane of the air force is in the bed next to mine, he too went to Town when we were there - a Kappa Sig and used to work for Henry Bremer - we have had a terrible time trying to remember the names of so many we used to know very well - It has been a lot of fun and very good company. He was married to a Cogwell girl from Chariton but now divorced. You haven't said well [sic] school will be out this year but judged that around May 1st since you are moving to the farm - Lots of Love to you all Roddy.

April 22, 1944

4/22/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

Many of these nice little thoughts have been furnished by the American Bd Corps for each holliday event -

VOLUMES OF WISHES TO MOTHER [illustration of books and flowers]

It is hard to express in words my true thoughts about you and the children but you know that I am constantly wishing you the best of everything

Devotedly Roddy -

April 23, 1944

4/23/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and children,

Another Sunday has rolled around and I hope that I will be able to leave the hospital sometime this week. I have made a lot of progress and should be able to do duty soon. In the army there is not half way mark, you must be ready for duty or be hospitalized. I am surely glad that this affair is over for now I shouldn't have any more trouble and will be able to lead a more active life and to have to protect the knee all the time.

You mention in a recent letter that you saw Mr and Mrs Tyler going into the hospital to collect the $2000 due April 1st and that you didn't care much about the Marcus Snider part of the deal - It appears to me that it is her responsibility to put up the plaque if it is to be done - at least that was her intention during my last interview with her. We shouldn't worry to much about the name for it has furnished us with an excellent building to work with and it has no doubt increased out prestige to no end. I see by the paper that a Catholic sisterhood has purchased the Coleman Hospital in Estherville With Love, Roddy. Continued-

4/23/44 52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Mary (continued)

Do you know who is doing most of the Surgery at the Coleman since Jimmy Clark is gone? I wonder where he is located now? Have you heard whether Bill Boice has gotten home on furlough yet? It must be a strange feeling to see all the young married men in the Community going into the Army. We would like to see the entire American men power mobilized and everyone placed in a position where they could best serve. It doesn't seem quite right to me to see married fathers being sent into infantry divisions while other single men are home working on farms - Do you think it will be better to send the young men and assign the fathers to the farm jobs! It is hard to know which is best but the sooner an all out mobilization plan is put into effect the sooner the war will be over. We now know that the enemy is still powerful and it will take everything we own to defeat them. There are many very encouraging points about this campaign and we can expect big developments in the near future which will be far reaching in deciding the European issue Devotedly Roddy continued

4/23/44 52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Mary (continued III)

We have been privileged to see two new shows just recently released from the States - Bing Crosby's "Going My Way" which I want you to see by all means and Betty Grable in "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" - The special service also offers a rebroadcast of all the radio programs that you hear at home - sometimes you can close your eyes and allmost imagine that you are home.

I haven't received any mail from you in a week and of course am anxiously awaiting some letters. He is peculiar how the mail comes through sometimes in 9 or 10 days than again it will be 20 days probably depends upon place connections.

You should have a very happy summer with Lorraine and her children with you and the girls will have some first hand experience taking care of Johnnie and Jane. It will be hard to realize all the changes that has [sic' taken place in our children, they will be more grown but basically they cant change too much I still can remember all their good points as well as bad ones

All my Love
Roddy.

April 24, 1944

4/24/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Mary,

Received a lot of mail yesterday and among them were letters forwarded from Able, Ned, and Dick. We should be mighty proud of the record that Dick has made in the Navy and am sure that he has contributed much to medical science. This new work should be very interesting even though it will take him far from home. Ned has certainly taken a very sensible virus point over little Bobbies disposition, I cant be sure that she isnt trying to sell herself something. Mother has written many interesting letters of late and opportunity you have been getting real [sic] well with each other. I still have boxes that she might snap out of it, if only she would let herself. Susan's recent letter with her grades arrived along with your Vmail so in all I have most of your activities up until April 10th. I most get busy and answer a few letters but somehow I feel that if I write to you and the family, what information you care to can be passed on too others.

Your Sunday morning Easter feast, followed by those hot cross rolls sounds mighty enticing - All My Love

Roddy (continued)

4/24/44 52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Family (continued)

Was mighty proud to learn that our son Bill has gone into the church. This will make a mighty fine start for him. The folks have mentioned from time to time how proud they are of him - evidently he has been very nice to have grand parents and am so glad that he has included Granddad in so many of his plans, with his recent work etc.

Was very surprised to hear about Mitchell and Audrey as I had always thought they were our ideal couple and never had any difficulties what so ever - Of course these divorces will become very common place after the war - so many of the men have only been married an few weeks and then have been shipped overseas and some of the girls have not been able to adjust themselves to war conditions. I sincerely hope that the American home can be saved for in my mind this is the only true basis for our democracy and we will have to become more old fashioned so to speak than ever about this point. I have been feeling swell and plan to get back to duty in a few days. All my Love to you
Roddy.

April 30, 1944

4/30/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Mary

Saturday went down to see a hospital ship sail out for the States taking back many of our wounded soldiers and a peculiar desire came over me to get on for it would mean that I could be home in a short time. - But this of course is impossible and will return to duty tomorrow. - I have been out a lot lately any way, so will put a little more useful back it part time work. While at the dock I ran across one of our ambulances so went over to the 22nd Station Hospital for lunch and then took a nice trip up forward visiting some evacuation hospitals with a bunch of officers who had previously arranged for some transportation. the boxes and a lot of mail was awaiting me so have spent the entire day reading the newspapers Beacon and mails and your letters. There are so many little points that I will want to comment on that this letter will be more disconnected than usual.

I think you are doing the right thing in attempting to establish a curfew for younger children - It is hard to believe that such conditions exist at home, had thought that being so far from the war centers a lot of juvenile delinquencies would not develop at home but apparently the war hysteria has infiltrated out there and will need some close supervision

With Love Roddy continued

MS 1048 - Donald F. Rodawig Papers | List of Transcripts
Manuscripts by Subject | Family Collections | U.S. in Wartime