Saturday Oct. 20, 1944
I am really ashamed to have not got a line off to you sooner. You might think that the old O’Donnells had forgot you completely. The first day I arrived in here I looked you up in the phone directory for the base and then I found out you had been shifted. You letter was forwarded to us by way of the folks.
We got a letter from Lentz the other day he is still organizing things so he won’t have so many watches. Something tells me that you have the bes set up that way. It seems that I have a night watch every other night. Duty here could be a lot worse than it is, but it’s not like old Silverstream.
Pat is working here on the compound with me. She’s in the recreation building over on the Naval Hospital Side which makes it very convenient for us. We still haven’t got a car – somehow I just can’t pay out to your “landsman” the price they want. You haven’t seen anything good down where you are have you? If you see anything that looks like it’s a buy let me know. Most of these people up here just dust out the car they get from an individual and then charge $250 more than they paid for it.
We have a 3 room kitchenette apartment here in Waukegan that we got with the usual luck of the Irish, the first night in town. I sure hope that regardless of how interesting my job here is, we may be able to stay here, for I could never get anything like this anywhere else for 2X the price.
Since both of us are working we don’t gad about much.
[page 2] We play a lot of acey ducie at night and see some shows. We’ve only been in Chicago three times. Getting home to Rockford takes so long via Greyhound bus that we’ve only been out there twice.
Right now I am listening to Dufy’s tavern here at the station. As usual I have the duty. Dotty LaMour is giving the low down on the beautiful tropical islands. I think even Sniveling Jacks in the Tribune has changed the inhabitants of the S.S. isles to scroungy looking natives instead of beauties.
Roberts is still here. Which reminds me. When are you going to be a Lt. Comdr. Not that Robert’s has made it, but you have been a “real” Lt. for 19 months – What next? Also are you planning another south seas trip before this conflict is over? I wish I could give you some word on it. All seem to have got rid of all the Medical officers around here who have never been overseas. Now they are weeding out all those guys who have been overseas less than 18. There seems to be a lot of guys who had a split time over there. 9 months, 12, 10, 6 etc. They were returned for sickness, deaths in the family, or for some other screwy reason.
It’s apparently only a matter of time before they start in to send out men with a full overseas tour. The only thing that will influence this is a very sudden change in the war. We picked up a lot of MOs who had been in some sort of a pool in England. They were there for about 6 months. 5 before the D day and one month after. As soon as the beach head was successful they quickly sent them back to the States with 15 days leave and then sent them to the South Pacific. I imagine there are a lot of guys in Europe with less than 18 months duty. They will all be eligible if things fold in Europe.
[page 3] Incidently what do you think of the work they’ve done in the Pacific since you left. If they do as much in the next year as they’ve done in the last we’ll be getting som where.
What have you learned from our great student Lentz? I sure would like to have the 3 of us get together again. Pat talks about it a lot too. But I suppose that someday we’ll be free and able to move around. What kind of post war plans do you have? How about Indiana? I don’t know what I’m going to do for sure. Nevada looks awfully good. I may go out there and try and mine some gold before the depression which is a sure thing for my money.
I cast my ballot for Dewey the other day as a member of the armed services. Sidney H. for my money should be number one man on some beach raid.
Before I forget it I want to thank your better half for that swell letter she wrote the folks saying that Pat and I were coming soon. That’s a long way back and I realize now that you don’t much about our trip.
I came back in a tanker from Wellington leaving there on May 6th and reaching here May 23rd. Pat followed me on the 12th of May and reached San Francisco on June 1st. I landed in San Pedro with Mason, Rutter, and Sherrovk from Silverstream. It took them 5 days to get my orders fixed. On the 6th day I left Pedro and went to S.F. on just a hunch although through a cable sent me by Ed Lentz I knew Pat had left N.Z. by way of Auckland.
[page 4] I met Pat’s ship in S.F. and took her off. Criss, Witter and Cathcart were all with her which made the trip a lot of easier for her. Hudgins helped her out a lot to with food as she acts like her husband does when the ground swells start in.
We had a honeymoon in S.F. staying at the Mark Hopkins then came on to Rockford for about 10 days. I had a total leave of 15 days plus travel time. I will always be glad that I talked you into that trip to the South Island.
Well bud, I’m going out and get a coke. Wish I could just run down to your room and have one with you.
Let’s hear from you and not the way I usually do.
Lt. R.P. O’Donnell
414 South Jackson St.
©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/03/17/update-from-robert-p-odonnell/
“You letter was forwarded” should read “your letter”
“you have the bes set up” should read “best set up”
“Dotty LaMour is giving the low down on the beautiful tropical islands.” Gosh, that name takes me back. She starred with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby in the famous “road” pictures.
“Also are you planning another south seas trip before this conflict is over?” NOT if he could help it!
“As soon as the beach head was successful they quickly sent them back to the States with 15 days leave and then sent them to the South Pacific.” WOW…what people had to do.
“I realize now that you don’t much” should read “don’t know much”