Thanksgiving in the South Pacific, 1942 (Roscoe)

On November 26, 1942, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote in her “My Day” column her thoughts about celebrating Thanksgiving during wartime. A transcription of her thoughts are found at the FDR Library’s website. Transcriptions of all her “My Day” thoughts can be found at the The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project.

Letter transcription:

Nov. 26, 1942

Dear Mother,

I’m going to write this early in the P.M. because we have a pretty full evening ahead – chow then hospital rounds then another show and then we plan on putting up some shelves in our new home. We are now living in the back end of a q. hut have electric lights and everything – bed with springs but no water. I took a shower bath this A.M. and had to go about ½ mile so here after I’m going to take a bath out the back in a bucket at night, by the time I walked back from the bath I was as sweaty as before. The toilet is still about as far away as it was and the mess hall is farther but the electric lights are a great improvement and a good smooth deck is really something.

I mailed out Christmas greetings last night to Mrs. Plummer and to the folks and to all the brothers & sister. So I suppose I’ve done all the Christmas shopping I’m going to do. I’ll probably be wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year in several letters to come and will

[page 2] send you some new greetings if another type comes out.

I was at Dr. Ash’s place today – had a long talk with him. Their mail hasn’t been coming in so good lately it’s really been like ours. I’ve gotten mail about 2 wks later than his.

I don’t know if I got all our new address on last night but I’ll get it on tonite for sure.

It rained hard last nite but today has been clear and hot and our very welcome wind has slowed down lots and we are suffering some from the heat and it isn’t so cool in the hut as it is in a tent with all the sides up.

Well I’m going to the P.O. now and I suppose it will be after the show before I get back again.

Got one letter dated Oct. 13 and it was mailed regular mail rather than air mail. I just wondered if you gave up writing air mail for a spell. There is more in but we’ll have to wait until morning.

I suppose there was a big to do made about the men in the armed

[page 3] forces getting turkey etc for dinner – we did – really was a swell feed. Had fruit cocktail in the beginning, Turkey soup then the main course of turkey sage dressing but the sage was very very light – mashed sweet potatoes asparagus tips, pear sweet pickle and pumpkin pie. So you see it was really worth talking about.

I’ve slipped this last in between chow & hospital time.

I wish you would have paid the remainder of that federal tax. If you still have the papers and have the money I wish you would pay it for I’m afraid that might cause trouble, but you can do as you like about next years. That will make too much to pile up. So do that if you can see clear.

Lots of Love Daddy

Receiving Station
U.S. Naval Advanced Base
Noumea New Caledonia
c/o Fleet P.O. San Francisco Calif.

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at:…ic-1942-roscoe/

1 thought on “Thanksgiving in the South Pacific, 1942 (Roscoe)

  1. davidmadison1942

    WOW: “have electric lights and everything – bed with springs…” But no running water and a 1/2 mile walk to the toilet. That would take some planning…

    The quanza huts were metal, so the heat inside could be pretty bad. “…we are suffering some from the heat and it isn’t so cool in the hut as it is in a tent with all the sides up.” When I was
    in grade school there was a quanza hut beside the school building for recess during bad weather.


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