Center for Archival Collections
|Reference Services | Manuscripts by Subject | CAC Homepage|
Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048
52nd Station Hospital
Dearest Sweetheart I am mighty lonesome for you tonite. We have had a most trying day in the operating room: It has been so hot, Honestly I believe I can loose [sic] 12 lbs with a day's work. In the afternoon the sun beats through the windows and you are standing under 3 spot lights that bearly [sic] clear your head. I know what it means to get the 3rd Degree. I went down to the officers lounge at noon and found a sweet encouraging letter you had written to me. July 24 1944. I know in your heart you realize how much I love you and at times this being away from you is about too much for me to stand. We have so much in common and have always been so close to each other I just try from day to day to keep my courage up for I want to make a good record in the Army so that you and the children will be proud of me.
I was thrilled to hear of this Don's good showing in the State Golf meet. You know mother I believe Don is going to turn out to be a fine young man. You certainly have concentrated on him during my absence. It was too bad about the fire at Griner's Dock that certainly is a big loss. Your idea of collecting oil and distributing it in the gravel road in front of the cottage is a good one. I am so glad that you have been nice to Dad while mother is away I know he enjoys your company. This thing cant go on too much longer and if I can ever get home you will never get out of my site All My Love Dearest Roddy
52nd Station Hospital
your letter arrived today telling me about your recent camping trip - It sounded like you had a swell time. You mention about our camping trip. Instead of using cots we will have bedding rolls to sleep on the ground that is the way that [----] soldiers live. You are getting to be quite a swimmer. Don't you get a boy scout medal when you can swim 100 yards? I believe they used to give us some recognition for this feat. Mother has written me about Don qualifying in the State Golf meet I well remember I heard I used to try to win from him on the Hirshaw Golf course but by now I wouldn't have a Chinaman's chance for I haven't seen a golf ball in two years. You and I will be about a match, I will take you on when I get home.
Be a good boy and help mother in every way you can. War news is good and I am very optimistic about an early end of the European phase of this world war and how glad I will be to get home to my family. Write often for I so enjoy your letters
Did you receive the [pictures?] Love Dad
52nd Station Hospital
Your letter of the 22nd arrived today telling me about the plans you had made for Don and Sue going to Cedar Rapids. That will certainly be a nice trip for them and I am sure that Bill will show them both a nice time. I can about visualize Susan today her first train trip. I was so sorry to hear that you have had a miserable week with a lame back. What you need is your husband to be home with you to give you some T.L.C. (Tender Loving Care) I wished that you would give the gang my best regards when you see them as I am not to prompt in answering letters that do not come from the family. We dont miss a news cast now, just hoping that something startling will happen that will put an end to this affair over here. The men that I live with at the apartment are so devoted to their families and we get quite a kick out of different comments that come from home. I can assure you that you cant be more anxious for this to be over than we are. This is such an unnatural lonely existence. All my Love, Roddy
52nd Station Hospital
My Dearest Wife
Another beautiful Sunday morning. I have just got out of church, we had communion this morning and some mighty fine thoughts were expressed by our chaplain. During our communion service he asked that we pray for our loved ones at home, our buddies and for our selves. After church I went to the officers lounge and found a letter from Don and yours of the 25th, so for the rest of the day I can be happy. You just have no idea how much a kind considerate letter from you means to me - for now the days are dragging on and we are just hoping and praying for an early end to the war so we can be back with our families. At times this life becomes almost unbearable, but the thoughts of an early trip back home keep us going when it gets a bit rough. Needless to say you are my sweetheart and I am just as crazy over you as ever. I can hardly think of any thing else except you and the children and God knows how happy I will be to get back home with you - Your Husband Roddy
52nd Station Hospital
Your Uncle Bill is one swell fellow to take you around with him while you were visiting in Cedar Rapids. How well I would like to be stationed at the General Hospital in Clinton for a while - At least you could get home for a visit now and then. Your golfing games slays me - When you talk of an 84 score that you made in the State meet, it reminds me of the times I used to try my darndest to beat you with a score of 140 or more!! That of course wouldn't take into consideration all the ground hogs I incidentally tried to kill! Actually I am proud of your game and we will have to spend some time together trying to improve my game. I still maintain that I can best you bowling! At least I would like to try.
The new conquest of Brittany has ended so spectacularly that we are just holding our breaths. Everything here at the hospital is fine, we have been busy but that's the way I like it. Love Dad
52nd Station Hospital
You will probably be surprised to hear of something new that has been inaugurated in the transportation of the wounded. Serious cases leave here every morning and are in the States 38 hours later. That hardly seems possible but that is part of the air force contribution to our boys who needed early specialized care. From another point of view it brings one closer home for if any thing serious would happen at home by special arrangement you could perhaps get orders for air travel. We are certainly living in a small world. It gives you a sense of security when you realize just how close to home you actually are.
Everything here is about the same, we are quite busy and it is hot as the Devil, The nites are real cool, so we do get a good nites rest between days. I had a swell meal in a black market restaurant, last evening, it was my first visit to such a place - fresh fruit, eggs, steak, a fresh salad and some very good pastry. I feel a little guilty going to such a place - All my love Sweetheart, Roddy
Aug 11, 1944
Joe Mallo and I are going to the seashore this afternoon for a 5 day holliday [sic]. All officers of this command have been given this opportunity some time during the summer months. I understand it is quite a ritzy place with good food and entertainment. There will be daily trips to Capri and I will want to take advantage of this opportunity.
I have never been much impressed with taking vacations while there is a war in progress but we do need a change of environment. Our efficiency lags a bit without an occasional change.
That is the one difficulty in working in a fixed installation: once you are set up there is a daily routine established which is not unlike private practice as far as being on call is concerned. For instance we are on call and sleep in the hospital every third nite to take any emergency surgical calls. Officers in the Evacuation Hospital work at high speed for 48 hours or so during a push and then there will be long periods without any work at all. Many of these installations will move every 2 or 3 weeks.
You certainly have done a swell job with our finances I had been under the impression that the Carlson mortgage had been paid and that was the way you had almost completed payment on the farm. You will have most of this amount in reserve.
You have a very close power of observation when you recognized the 5th Story building which formerly was an industrial school. Can you see Mt Vesuvius in the back ground?
I am having some more pictures developed of our recent trip to Rome and will send them along as quickly as possible.
You mention that you cant understand why Hugh asked for a transfer - Col and he has had considerable misunderstanding and he was very unhappy here. It seemed that the Col had promised him a Lt. Col promotion which the Chief of the Medical service calls for but do [sic] to the fact he was not a Board member he could not get the promotion through. Hugh had been very depressed since Bland had poliomyelitis and of course Fae has had her hands full in trying to manage their large family. They have had some financial difficulties since he has no other source of income and needed the extra money the promotion would have given him. I have been so thankful that Don has not been too much of a problem in this respect. I thoroughly believe that some of the training you have tried to give him has been worthwhile Fundamentally every one of the kids have been well trained and their behavior now shows that all the time and effort you have spent is paying dividends.
I realize now that it does take two to properly manage a big family and it is my hope that desire to lighten your load in every way on my return home. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy. You have been a marvelous wife and companion and I want to to [sic] realize that I do love and appreciate you.
American Red Cross
To My Sweetheart,
Do you mind if I write to you twice in the same day? I arrived at the summer resort hotel this afternoon and it is such a pleasant spot. I couldn't think of a more perfect spot to spend a honey moon. Everything is so peaceful and quiet. The entire hotel has been taken over for officers of this command. The idea was to take them as far as possible from the war and to give them a civilian point of view.
I received two sweet letters from you today, one from Suzan and Bill, so the day is complete. You mention that you had invited Dad to the Inn after church, I can realize just how much he appreciated this. Somehow I feel that he has led somewhat of a lonesome life. he and mother has never been as close as you and I. We have always liked the same things and so enjoyed each others companionship. Have I ever told you that I will never leave you again for even 1 nite when I return home? I mean this dearest.
You know, Phil and Alice have done a great job in carrying on for us and we are mighty fortunate to have such a fine partner. I know just how tired physically and mentally he can get with so much responsibility.
I just cant remember the incident about my telling Tiny to remain on the job until my return but if she is sincere, I really appreciate this. I have so many new ideas in hospital administration, that I fear that we will have to start with an entire new staff.
In my letter tomorrow I will describe the hotel and the panoramic view of the seashore.
With All My Love to You.
Bowling Green State University | Bowling Green, OH 43403-0001 | Contact Us | Campus Map | Accessibility Policy