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Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - August 12-18, 1944

August 12, 1944

Aug 12 1944
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

I told you yesterday that I would attempt to describe this beautiful resort hotel. It is built upon a high cliff overlooking the sea shore. From my room it is well over 100 feet to the sea below. On each floor there is a beautiful terraced garden with plenty of comfortable chairs One could spend hours just sitting looking over the blue water which for the most part is so smooth as glass. There seems to be hundreds of tiny sail boats and small canoes. To our left one can see the beautiful isle of Capri and directly across from us is beautiful Mt Vesuvius.

Everything is done for our comfort, clean modern beds with union spring mattresses, a large bath tub with running hot and cold water day and nite. Efficient laundry and pressing services and excellent Italian waiters who serve us at meal time. We always have music with our lunch and evening meals. We eat from 8:00 -9:30 - 12:30 to 2:00 and up to 9:30 - can you imagine such luxuries! There are planned excursion trips to Capri and the famous Amalfi drive. There are plenty of cocktails available but I just cant quite go for the "cognac" I think you will remember it from our trip home on the "Vulcania" I have a notion that I would like sail boating and will take this up as a hobby after I get home. I can just kick myself for not /continued/ All my Love Roddy

8/12/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweet

continued taking advantage of opportunities our own lakes afford. Here we have all these pleasures in our own back yard so to speak. I know that our beach is equally as good as this one. Somehow I just have seemed to have gotten the "travel bug" out of my system It is nice to be able to say that we have been here and there but actually there are so many more wonderful scenic spots in our own country. I always get the impression that everything here is motheaten or rustic with age. Of course the class of people that are around here are Italy's best and I have seen many cute little children well dressed with a beautiful sun tan running around the beach.

Many of the officers that are here now are back from the lines for a rest and seem to be enjoying themselves. There are several Frenchmen here too - they have been extended this country Our head lines tell us that the Yank armored columns are only 40 miles from Paris that really is some gain I have noticed that every one, even here, hovers closely around the radio at news time.

We are entitled to wear a chevron for each 6 month period overseas - I am reminded of this because of the late and I hope that I wont have to wear 4 - in fact 3 is sufficient and will gladly give up the time that I have on the 4th one. All my Love Roddy

August 13, 1944

Aug 13 1944
52nd Station Hospital

Honey

This is the most restful place that I have privileged to stay since coming over seas. After a good nites rest and a late breakfast I have spent most of the morning at the beach collecting some ultra violet rays.

There is an elevator that takes us down to sea level and a few bathing houses where we can change our clothing. All day the way you can find natives wanting to take you for a sail boat ride, of course for a small fee. The coast is crystal clear with corral [sic] rocks and a type of vegetable that I cannot recognize. The beach sand is black probably due to the volcanic ash that is present.

We have had a constant source of entertainment two GIs from the line have not drawn a sober breath and are constantly pulling off wise cracks to the amusement of us all. They are not obnoxious in the least, very affable and we couldn't get mad at them if you tried. Father McGonigle, Maj Fletcher and Capt Brenner are coming our for a swim and stay for dinner with me tonite. [Censored] we will go to Capri [Censored] There are a few things of historic interest to see over there and have spent some time reading about them so I will have some background I am hoping that the children at some later date will have an opportunity for a European trip. Between us we should be able to plan a nice trip for them I am so happy that we have had the opportunity to see so much together Lots of Love Roddy

August 14, 1944

Aug 14 1944
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

We were awakened quite early this morning to prepare for our trip to Capri. It will be an all day affair and will go over in a launch. there is only room for 50 so it was necessary to sign up early. I vividly remember the morning in Feb 1939 that we passed this isle I believe we still have a few pictures of it. I have often thought how closely the fortunes of war has taken me over the same route of our trip then. Little did I realize that we would be seeing the same sites 5 years later under vastly different circumstances.

I had a nice visit with Ralph Logan yesterday afternoon, he had come out for the day to visit a dentist friend. He asked me how I would like to be a the Lakes instead of here? Answer is perfectly obvious.

I was surprised to hear that Don [D------] is going out of business - from your letter I take it that they are getting a divorce. How about getting him into the army? All my Love Roddy.

August 15, 1944

American Red Cross
8/15/44

Dearest Sweetheart

That's great news we have been hearing over the radio today. Somehow I feel that this will be the straw that breaks the camels back.

We had a grand trip to Capri yesterday. Going over quite early by launch and fortunately arrived at the Blue Grotto at exactly 11 oclock the time when the cavern colors are at its brightest. Through the centuries the waves have washed away the soft rock and formed a cave approximately 100 ft in diameter. At that time of day beautiful colors of blue are transmitted through the caves entrance. The water is crystal clear approximately 20 ft in depth and all the colors of blue can be seen so vividly. We hurriedly took a taxi over the island to see the Church of San Michele where Micheal Angelo is buried. I believe he died in 1761 at the age of 37. He was the artist who done all the mosaic work at St Peters Cathedral in Rome. You probably remember from our trip to Florence that he was loaned to the Pope by the Medici family to do this work.

We had lunch about 1 oclock at the Air Force hotel and spent the rest of the time shopping returning about 4 oclock in the evening.

There are about 10,000 natives on the island and they are really having a field day soaking the American Soldiers. Actually there is a bigger boom there than during a tourist season. I bought a linen set for you that is not too hot but I wanted you to have something from the island. I bought a Bell of San Michelle which is supposed to be a good luck charm. Signs are posted all over the island that you shouldn't leave without purchasing one so of course I wouldn't want to miss any bets.

I will write more about the trip later. All My Love to you

Roddy.

August 16, 1944

8/16/44
52nd Station Hospital

High Bill!

Your good letter came while I was out at the beach on a holliday and am anxiously looking forward to the picture of Sandy and you in the sailboats I am back at the hospital ready for some hard work. We all hope that the casualties will not be too heavy with the recent invasions we are always hoping that our hospital census remains low for this means there has been fewer boys hurt. You would enjoy being over here visiting with the soldiers and hearing some of their experiences. I can now send you a real German steel helmet and I am arranging to get one right away. I have promised you a lot of gadgets after the war, which will be useful to you in your boy scout work. I am planning on some visits with you when I get home. Love Dad.

August 16, 1944

8/16/44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Mary

I surely hated to see the jig come out to pick me up and bring me back to the hospital. I had a grand rest and am coming back to work with a lot of pep and enthusiasm. I have spent the day getting my ward back in order and discharged a few patients to duty. I had letters from Suzan and Bill and you when I got back last evening. You surely do have your hands full with dealing in all the complexities of a large family. I enjoyed your comment that you were glad when all the children got home, that you didn't like small families. I seriously doubt if you could be away from them for more than 2 or 3 weeks - I remember how you used to worry about them when we were in Europe. How I would love to share some of this responsibility with you. We are so optimistic and am sure that the future will have pleasant moments in store for us. We have a quite large money pool on the date when the war will be over - You probably would be surprised to see some of the dates. Graham Endworm dropped in for a short visit today - he has been in England you know. Betty and he have a divorce - now isn't that something. All my Love Roddy.

August 18, 1944

18 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

Our hospital has begun to function a little more actively as we have been receiving casualties direct from the Southern France beach head. We are so glad that the casualties have been light. I can sure tell you that while on my recent holliday I could view a large portion of the invasion fleet leaving for Southern France and what a spectacle it was to see with ships strung out as far as you could see. We have developed an immense armada of ships and material and when all this power is unleashed against Japan she will be crushed in short order. Our status for the moment will remain unchanged for we can serve in a good capacity from our present location Air and sea power has brought us close to the war front even though several miles actually separates us. The weather remains awfully hot and muggy and we have had very little rain so it is quite uncomfortable during the middle of the day - Mail has been awfully slow the last few days We can expect this for a while All my Love Sweet Roddy

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