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Donald F. Rodawig Papers: Transcripts - MS 1048

Donald F. Rodawig Correspondence - August 20-26, 1944

August 20, 1944

20 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

A great day, 5 letters from home. July 26-29. Aug.3, 8-9th - The mail has been rather slow of late probably due to the immense air activities in Southern France. The pictures are certainly grand of Bill, Suzan and Sandy. I just cant get over how much they have grown. That sail boat is a typical invention of Bills. I remember so well how absorbed he can get in making things Our two daughters are as beautiful as ever. I think I can recognize a nice field of corn in the background of Sandy's birthday group. It was such a coincident about Wiggins comment his trip to Rome and how he met me there. This all goes to prove what a small world we are living in after all. Some of Col Parsons friends has come down with an active T.B. lesion and is being sent home. He has been gone the last two days helping him get away. Today we were caught short and have admitted large number of patients - with Mallo, Banemiere, Parsons gone it has really made us step to get around. Many of the cases require immediate attention as there has been very little definitive work done for them I surely do appreciate your efforts in trying to get a daily note off to me - your letters mean everything and can make the difference between a happy or dull day. You get all sorts of notions about something must be wrong, you are sick or having trouble All My Love Roddy

I hope Suzan is better!

20 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweetheart

I feel rather badly about your not being able to relax more and enjoy the summer at the cottage. You have certainly deserved a long rest and it is my desire that you shall have it when I get home. I too worry so much about some serious illness coming up in the family while I am gone but I know just what marvelous care you take of the children and preventative way so we will just keep our fingers crossed for continued good luck and fortune. I hope the [sic] Suzan is much improved, she is such a beautiful, healthy child that she will snap out of it quickly. I am writing both Sandy and Susan a personal letter

I met Lt Col Down a surgeon from Sioux City Iowa yesterday - he is with the 27th Evacuation Hospital and is acting as an executive officer with no opportunity to do surgery. He is so discouraged about the assignment we talked about Lorrie Frank and some of the doctors who are in service from there. There are so many things that I would like to discuss with you but fear that it wouldn't be advisable from a censorship standpoint concerning the management of medical personell [sic].

- You know we must gripe a little once in awhile.

Love to You Roddy

August 21, 1944

21 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital


I wouldn't worry to [sic] much about Gen Lears and Williams article that many veteran troops will return via [-------]. By now the entire personell in units has really changed and only a few veterans remain I am sure it will be the policy of the army to return men home with a long over seas service. The families at home will demand some action on this subject. President Roosevelts recommendation for demobilization seems very fair. Personally I am very anxious to get out of the army when the European phase is over for by then there should be many younger doctors who have much less responsibility available. I am sure that with my family and the hospital at home a definite need could be shown for my return. There is a lot of waste of medical man power which could be over come with a little closer supervision. However I much say that we have had very few spare moments. I know how over worked Phil is and I believe at the proper moment something could be done about it - It might be worth a try. We feel that this job over here belongs to us but with the number who have remained in the States throughout this entire affair should now be called upon to produce. I know that our government will make a fair appraisal of the entire situation. With Love Roddy.

21 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital

My Dearest Mary

Your letter of August 7th arrived today and by now Bill is probably having a grand visit with his Uncle Bill. He has always been so nice to our family and the children clearly love to see him. I was so surprised to hear about O.E. Smiths proposition to Branch and Art. Those kids will be worth a lot of money some day, it seems that every move they make is a successful one.

I get such a kick out of Dad playing around with the nurses I wonder if mother ever gets jealous! At least it is a pleasant change for him. He dearly loves to mingle with people and be invited out so he just isn't missing any opportunity.

I had thought by now that the Cains had gone to their home in Wyoming but I see that they are still plaguing you - We should have 1 months vacation due us on a Wyoming ranch! I dont believe that you or I could impose on any one for that length of time.

I have been looking at the pictures of Bill, Suzan and Sandy and I am mighty proud to be the father of such a grand group. I certainly look forward to some mighty pleasant moments at home. You probably cant imagine me being satisfied to work around the house and staying home evenings but that is my plan - I have had enough of this separation to last me for a life time - I love you sweetheart Roddy

August 22, 1944

22 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital Hospital

Dearest Sweet.

This weather we are having is really something by 830 in the morning you are soaking wet and this continues all day but by evening it gets cool enough to sleep under blankets I am not going to complain however for last winter I said that I wouldn't regardless of how hot it gets. Our regular diet is excellent now with the regular army diet being supplemented with fresh vegetables and luscious musk mellons [sic] and water mellons. In general the civilian population is fairing much better. Oddly enough they do not [sic] canning for the winter months - I cant understand this - they say that sugar and salt is so scarce. Salt is under government monoply [sic] and sells for about $3.50 per lb.

Isn't the war news marvelous? It is almost like watching a powerful football team drive forward.

Received a letter from Don yesterday in which he states that he has taken an army air corps examination - you know I wished that he hadn't done this. there will be many changed by next June that he may take advantage of. All my Love Roddy.

August 23, 1944

23 Aug 44
52nd Station Hospital Hospital

Hello Dear!

What do you think of the news that Paris has fallen? Honestly the war news has been so good that I hate to miss a news broadcast. I am just waiting for the that [sic] big day when Germany will collapse. It seems to me that our armies have completely our maneuvered, out generalled and out fought the Germans.

We remain very busy at the hospital, when we have completed the morning operating schedule we always take a little siesta right after lunch - for at that time it is so hot that we cant think of going to work on the wrists for awhile. The Col has been very lenient with us and by now all have had 5 days at the rest camp and many have had a trip to Rome, so the monotony of the place hasn't been too bad. Our surgical staff is intact for the first time since March. Just one would be sick and then another and now that Joe Mallo is on the job our work will be a little more divided. The kids will be in school in another two weeks! All my Love Roddy

August 25, 1944

Aug 25, 44
52nd Station Hospital

Dear Don

Received your letter describing your experience with the Air Corps examinations which you have taken at Spencer. I just wouldn't get all hot and bothered about making any early decision about which branch of service you plan to enter By next summer the whole picture may be changed and you might be able to start the medical career that you have planned. It will be too bad to make some decision that would effect your whole life.

It has been as hot as Hades over here I can readily understand how Mussolini could get ants in his pants - The heat probably made him a bit "touched" in the head. Have you made all your plans for the coming school year? Be sure to load up on all the foreign language and science courses that are available - especially chemistry if a second year is offered - Love to you Dad.

August 26, 1944

Aug 26 1944
52nd Station Hospital Dearest Wife

I didn't get through with all I wanted to say - It does beat all how some people can impose on you, especially these casual acquaintances which are renewed after many years separation. I remember full well the number of bad checks I collected in the earlier years of my practice at Spirit Lake. Some times it doesn't pay to be a good fellow.

We have been quite busy and the surgery has been very interesting I operated a boy from Fairfield Iowa not long ago removed his spleen which was shattered by a concussion from an exploded shell. There is always two or three from Iowa in the hospital all the time, so I go around and act as an official host. They seem so glad just to see some one from home.

I have been working in the American Board of Surgery Certificate completing all the necessary data about my army service. All the time I spend with a board member is credited. My Army career has been the equivalent now of a two year residency. Love Your Roddy

Aug 26./44
52nd Station Hospital

Dearest Sweet

I finally got a package off to you that I had intended sending some time ago. There is a shopping basket, a linen set (small table cover with 6 napkins) and a good luck charm the Bell of San Michelle all from the Isle of Capri. The long white kid gloves, and brown ones are Bari gloves that I had bought some time ago, but just hadn't wrapped them. I hope they will all come through in good shape. None of these things have much actual value but it is nice to have some souvenirs from the various areas this war has carried me too. In fact it has almost been a Cooks travel tour but I would much prefer to travel at my own expense and leisure.

The tempo of the war is going at such a speed that it is hard to keep up. We have large maps with a movable tape line that follows the course of the allied victories. It wont be too long!

Have you completed all your entertainment program for the summer months? I can see that when we have a permanent home on the lake we will be very vulnerable to unexpected visitors looking for a cheap vacation All My Love Roddy.

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