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Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - May 16-31, 1944

May 16, 1944

5/16/44
52nd Station Hospital

Hello Honey,

Have sadly neglected my sweet heart the last few days, since Lang Parsons and the team left for a more forward area we have been so short of help that I haven't even left the hospital for the last 3 days. It is a lot of pressure to be so busy but need more help quite badly

I called Dr Annenberg and we plan to get together real soon but they too are busy. During times like these we can understand why the Army needs doctors and am so happy to have a part of this show.

Received a letter from Hugh and it seems that he is being transferred again to a hospital in a location where we both have been but haven't seen the place during this time over seas.

The war news is increasingly good and we are so encouraged at least we are fighting the enemy - during lulls and preparation for attacks we get rather despondent with the lack of activity.

Acting as chief of the Surgical services is not what it would appear on the surface there are many personal differences to straighten out - you have to be a good coordinator all the men are cooperating exceptionally well and we are turning out a lot of work. Sweetheart take care of yourself I am feeling fine now, my knee is much improved. Devotedly Roddy.

May 21, 1944

5/21/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife and Children

This has been a rather busy Sunday, have work in the operating room all day and tonite I am surgical O.D. and have just completed making ward rounds on all the surgical patients in the hospital. I thought tonite just how well the engineers have functioned in making a nice hospital out of a school building - we have nice equipment too and feel rather proud of the medical service given the wounded. We have a tremendous responsibility in the final evaluation of the patients condition whether they are able to return to full mobility duty or on a limited service basis in a rear area, whether their complaints are real or imaginary. After 18 months of this kind of work you can tell at a glance just what they will be able to do.

I operated on Bills boy friend Buddy Barretta today for acute appendicitis and it might be nice if Bill would drop him a line using my overseas address.

One of the surgical majors in this area accompanied Senator Lodge back to the States. He became ill while in this theater and was flown home. I was interested in his reactions Devotedly Roddy

May 24, 1944

5/24/44
52nd Station Hospital

Hello Sweetheart

We are all enthused about the Anzio beachhead opening up and are looking forward to the day that the two fronts will be reunited. Was very surprised to hear that Mary Parsons is teaching tap dancing My last contact with her, she was only a little girl. You can always depend on Phine doing something nice for you - Am sure that you enjoyed the birthday dinner. It is a nice change to be invited out occasionally, it breaks the monotony of a daily routine. I would like Dan to write me all about the Junior Senior prom - he seems to be popular in the school events which pleases me to no end.

You dont need to worry about my being home for your birthday next year for I plan on being with you much sooner than that. I want to spend about 1 month just getting reacquainted with you and the children. I want to get in on some of the fall fishing on Lake Okoboji. I Love you dear Roddy.

May 28, 1944

5/28/44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Wife

How would you like to have a ward of 100 patients staring you in the face when you come to work in the morning! That is my quota at present and if I didn't have such good nurses and enlisted men I would never get through. They all require so much care and as they get well they are transformed to a convalescent ward to make room for more acutely illness. Our operating schedule looks more like one seen at the Mayo Clinic on a busy day. has Bill Ellis been called to the service? I understand that men in his class has [sic] been postponed for the time being. Life at home must be mighty slow with all the fellows gone. Many who have been home were glad to get back into the theatre. They all seemed that those at home were not concerned much with the war effort. I dont believe that this is true in the middle west but is more marked in metropolitan areas - The Palm Beach "spectacle" burned the G.I.s up, to no end. Personally I would welcome a chance to come home at my first opportunity. Love you Roddy.

May 29, 1944

5/29/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Family

Havent received any mail from you in over a week and I trust that everything is going OK at home. I presume you are busy getting settled out at the cottage. Received the Beacon today for April 16th and I see that the town councilmen were not in favor of the curfew. If the town policemen are given enough authority and are properly backed up, they might be able to accomplish something. I am very interested in Don's plans for the summer. Will he have some project out on the farm like the younger children?

I have been rather busy at the hospital today something like 10 operations for the day. Under the protection of penicillin and an adequate circulatory blood volume we do the original dressings of the war wounds in the operating room some 4-10 days after they have occurred and if they look clean we close them, cover skin defects with grafts or [Z plasty's?] (skin sliding operation) plate compound fractures of bones etc. So with many admissions our operative work piles up but we feel that is saving many patient hospital days. This work now is so very interesting and new I am glad to be in on it. All my Love to you Roddy

May 31, 1944

5/31/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

Missed writing to you yesterday, was Surgical O.D. and had a lot of casualties that were admitted during the day that required much concentrated effort, didn't get but very little sleep. Received your letter written May 1 need was much surprised at Ressies attitude toward Cleo. You know how I have always felt toward Ressie, she seems so unreasonable about many things. I would just like to know on what basis that she rates her family so much superior to others. Thank goodness we haven't met such problems as yet and I hope that if and when it arises we will evaluate the individual rather than the family. Even after two years in the army I just cant recognize rank among individuals a man is a man whether he be a private or general. It is just one thing that a doctor cant afford to loose, if he wants to be successful. Sues letter was sweet and she will have a nice pet with the lamb that Delores gave her. I can just picture her trying to feed the lamb from a bottle. God how I miss you and the children. Devotedly Roddy

May 31, 1944

5/31/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Family

I didn't mention Bills letter that I received today, received two parts of it and the other two will probably come later. I must say that you have an excellent method of saving your money. It is a fine quality that you have, Bill to be thrifty and am sure that you will never want for anything. You have had an interesting year in the boy scouts. This reminds me a lot of when I was a boy. I got such a kick out of our scout meetings. About the music lessons Bill I would like you to reconsider your decision to give them up for in later life you will always be sorry that you did not continue it will only require 30 minutes of concentrated effort (daily) and this will give you a much better background for your work in the band. I have always been sorry that I didn't continue my music when I was your age. From mothers letters you have all been good children and have been obedient most of the time. When I get home we will all take a nice vacation together and I will promise each of you something real nice. Lots of Love, Daddy

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