Dry spell (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Sat. Mar 6
Lt (jg) Yegerlehner
A.P.O. 43
% Postmaster, San Fran.

Dear Mother,

Not much to write about since yesterday – In other words business as usual. It’s hard to understand our long dry spell after so much rain at first but it sure does help to dry out the damp clothing. I’m glad I left my blues in Noumea because it is dry there as compared to here.

My mail from here should be getting to you by now, I hope, but as yet none of yours has come thru.

I forgot to mention but the other eve. we had a good chicken

[page 2] dinner and you can believe me it was appreciated after eating out of can. Also had some fresh steak for dinner so things aren’t so bad. And we have some pasteries now and then so that isn’t so bad. Of course, at all times we can have milk from the nuts that are abundant but I told you the other day of my experience with those.

Well, I’m all run down and it’s time for evening chow so all I can say is watch the newspapers and listen to the Radio –

Love Daddy

Sat. Mar. 6, 1943
Lt. (jg) Yegerlehner
A.P.O. 43
% P.M.
San Fran. Calif.


Since Roscoe was beginning to send hints to Gladys in the form of “read the newspapers or listen to the radio”, I tried to find some newspaper articles about this time of the war in the Pacific in order to embellish my posts. But I found something a whole lot better! On the Digital Commons @ Liberty University website, I found a wonderful article by David Lindsey Snead titled “Obscure but Important: The United States and the Russell Islands in World War II.” Roscoe was in fact on the Russell Islands, and a member of Operation Cleanslate. This is the first time I have been able to find any detailed information about Operation Cleanslate. I actually had chills when I found the first reference to Cleanslate in the article. Several of Gladys’ letters to Roscoe have Cleanslate written across them as their forwarding address. Among the family photographs are four large pictures that were obviously taken during World War II, but I had no idea when they were taken. I don’t know if Roscoe took the pictures himself or if they were military stock photos. At this point, I believe they were probably taken on the Russell Islands.

A new runway, Russell Islands, 1943

A new runway, Russell Islands, 1943

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2014/01/31/dry-spell-roscoe/

8 thoughts on “Dry spell (Roscoe)

  1. davidmadison1942

    What a great example of the resources available online…if you know how to dig. That photo of the airstrip is dramatic. Take a close look and you can see the massive clearance of trees. I wonder what that scene looks like today.

  2. Mustang.Koji

    I was AMAZED when he mentioned fresh steak but after reading the detailed PDF you linked for us, it became clear. Old Man Jack “bitched” about the lack of food. I do know he followed the war front up the Solomon chain but no detailed timetable. Marine pilot Ken Walsh was bestowed a CMH for his air victories over the Russells. Perhaps Roscoe and Old Man Jack crossed paths. Wouldn’t that be something? The Russells was noncake walk.

    1. Genealogy Lady Post author

      Just to give you a little bit of a spoiler…Roscoe was only on the Russell Islands for 2-3 months, during the initial phase of the operation. I am not sure where he ended up next as I haven’t read much further.

      I am eventually going to have to track down the records group at the National Archives. A good portion of the Naval records from World War II appear to be at San Bruno (south of San Francisco) BUT it looks like the Russell Islands information might be in Washington D.C. (which would make it difficult for me to access).

      1. Mustang.Koji

        No spoiler! I was just dreaming…but Roscoe did live in hellish conditions to say the least. Good luck in tracking down more details; at least he wasn’t Army as the records had largely been destroyed as you know. They only had a microfiche of my dad discharge papers.

      2. Genealogy Lady Post author

        The individual record files of soldiers were destroyed, that is true, but I am talking about the unit and base documents. Quite a bit of that documentation exists. The article by Dr. Snead referenced a couple different record groups regarding the Russell Islands. Since Roscoe was an officer, I am hoping there might be information about the hospital or medical operations that still exist.

      3. Mustang.Koji

        I didn’t know that about the differentiation in record types! But I have found (and you have likely found more with your expertise) quite a number of original BATTLE reports. There’s gotta be MORE reports from the support arena, like medical, logistics, etc. since it was like a 4:1 ratio (support to combat). Good luck!

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