There are so many good little tidbits in this letter that I don’t know where to start! My grandfather and Dr. Lentz are still together. I don’t know if Dr. Lentz was also assigned to CUB 13 but he and my grandfather did manage to stay in touch throughout their service. I may have mentioned earlier but I have several letters from Dr. Lentz in the World War II collection. Amongst the photographs, I have one picture of my grandfather with another officer. It was taken in New Zealand. I don’t know who the other officer was but part of me hopes that it was Dr. Lentz. Of course, I don’t have any proof or other means of verifying this.
I love my grandfather’s description of San Francisco. Since I have been to the city many times, it is great to have my own mental picture of what he is seeing. As he talks about seeing people wearing top coats and turning on the radiator in the hotel room, the famous misquote of Mark Twain’s comes to mind, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” A couple of years ago in June, my family and I went to Drake’s beach at the Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco. My children were bundled up in long sleeves and jackets as they played in the sand and water. A relative from Indiana did not understand why they were wearing so many clothes at the beach!
I became very excited as my grandfather described his role in establishing CUB 13. The CUBs were advanced bases which were set-up throughout the south Pacific. These self sustaining units supported everything required to fight the war, which sadly also included medical facilities. These bases were assembled by the Naval Construction Battalions, or SeaBees. So far, it has been difficult for me to find any meaningful information about these advanced bases.
The letter also helped to confirm (or explain) two allotment documents that I found earlier in the week while sorting the documents in the military file. My grandmother’s initial allotment was $170 a month. I found a second stub for $30. It is hard to imagine living off of $200 a month. I wonder what the equivalent amount would be today.
This letter also makes another document appear contradictory. When my grandfather reported to Moffett Field, it was of course recorded that he arrived as required. The endorsement states “no public quarters available for you at this station”. Did bunk space become available or did he stay somewhere else?
July 31, 6:15 here
Here we are after the first day of getting reattached again. This morning early Lentz called me at the hotel. He signed in at the Empire and asked them to page me at the airport but they didn’t page me so we missed each other and he went to bed early last night and didn’t call over until this A.M.
It is about 35 mile out to Moffett field but we didn’t take any bags along this AM so had to come back tonight to get them. After tonight we will stay out there in bunks.
As near as I can get it we are forming a hospital unit that will staff a hospital of approximately 250 beds as far as where or when we go I know nothing. We were issued pack with water container, part bedding, pistols, helmets and gas masks today and I have to buy more uniforms that is shoes and overshoes also a sweater and supposed to get more shirts and underware.
I increased your allotment $30.00 or rather made another so you should get 2 checks the first of Sept. One for 170 and another for 30. I think my pay will be increased 10 per cent base pay and I don’t believe I’ll need as much as I was getting.
We have a radiator turned on in the room now and it doesn’t feel bad. The breeze is so cool one sees lots of top coats and that wouldn’t feel bad either. This morning there was a fine mist-just a heavy dew I suppose they would say here. This is a pretty town with mountains about every direction you look. It seems there is a big flat area with mountains all around.
My address so far is Just C.U.B. 13 Moffett Field so you can write there until further notice.
I didn’t get paid yet but the transportation allowance is around $230.00 and I still haven’t heard from the uniform money. Hope it gets here in the next few days because I believe that will be important. Just
We haven’t had supper yet. Don’t know if we can find any good food or not. I ate breakfast at the St. Francis but it was high as you might expect, lunch at the Base and I suppose we will get some eastern Sea Food for supper.
We will have to get up early in the AM in order to get out to the base by 800 because the train and bus stops at every little town and there are lots of them all along the coast.
Well I’ll write more tomorrow Eve about the Whys & Wherefors,