Tag Archives: Dr. Herman H. Ash

V-mail From Jim (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Lieut. R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
Navy 60
F.P.O. San Fran. Calif.
Aug. 23, 1943

Dear Mother,

A v-mail came from Jim yesterday. It was written Aug. 1. That was the first letter from Jim in anything like good time as I answered it immediately in the hope that he gets it before he changes his address. I suppose he is really anxious to get out of the States and go places as most of those fellows back there are or at least they say they are that way. In fact I think I had the same feeling but that was probably due to the place where my first tour of duty was endured – Norfolk!!!? I was afraid I’d have to stay there for the duration – I didn’t.

Some time ago I read an article in the Newton Co. E. relative to mosquitoes – That really is a problem to consider there for it some of these malaria cases get up north it sure will spread. We use a big spray can and a good mosquito dope at night to kill the critters out before going to bed and that wouldn’t be a bad idea there because I

[page 2] remember how numerous they were especially this time of the year – Maybe I’m a little late but it is something to think about.

I don’t believe I wrote you anything about Geo. leaving – He went back to where Dr. Ash is located to have some work done on his teeth and also for a general physical check-up. I don’t believe he will come back – not because of his health primarily but I believe he will get a new assignment. Maybe back to the U.S.A. Out of our original gang that came here that leaves only two of us. That’s not Drs. That includes all the officers – So you see we have quite a turnover. Dr. Gardiner (dentist) came out with our gang but didn’t come here until a month or so ago.

At this point it seems I’ve been wordless – just simply blank for I’ve been sitting 10 min. just sitting and nothing comes to write. But So I just decided to fill up the space with telling you I could think of nothing further. Anyway.

Lots of Love

Russell Islands  Image by Kelisi at Wikipedia.com (Wikipedia Commons license)

Russell Islands
Image by Kelisi at Wikipedia.com (Wikipedia Commons license)

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2014/12/29/v-mail-from-jim-roscoe/

Local news (Gladys)

1943-03-19Letter transcription:


Dear Daddy – It is raining and some wind too. March is keeping the tradition. Some weather we have had since last Dec. the humidity is up now since it has been raining. You remember Cecil Duttonhaver (you delivered their first baby). He was killed, while driving a truck this week – his funeral is today. John’s name was in the paper this week – about the essay contest (he won second prize $1.50). I am going to try and get him to send you a copy. He wouldn’t let me read it so don’t know what he wrote. He has been studying ‘Courtship of Myles Standish’. Says it is interesting but mushy. Mark is feeling fine and no after effects of measles at yet. David weighed 7 lbs this morning. I see that Geo Clark had been discharged being over 38 years old now. John Krull has been sent to Tampa Fla. Lloyd Tilton is home. He is going east to an officer training school, Jos Mullen is going to Ft Sills Oka for Officers Training. Emmett Miller has been sent to Ft Leonard Wood – Mo. There are several others mentioned in this week’s paper but I thought you knew these better. I suppose you know Dr. Ash has been sent on from N. C. I heard indirectly he had been & Mrs Ash doesn’t know where he is now. I haven’t any late news about town. Haven’t heard any more about Ira Dixon – Link & Irene aren’t back yet from Mayo Clinic. We are all feeling fine. Just hope John & baby don’t take measles but it has been two weeks since Mark started runny a temp so I am hoping they won’t get them. Finances O.K. – Taxes figured 157.33 in case you missed other letters

Love Mother

©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2014/02/24/local-news-gladys/

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:https://genealogylady.net/2013/07/22/thanksgiving-i…ic-1942-roscoe/

November 21, 1942 (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Nov. 21, 1942

Dear Mother,

I can’t see much difference in today from yesterday. Same weather, same work and no mail. There are a few letters but for the most part most of them are old letters and some are V-mail. In other words the whole situation stinks. We did go to the ball game this P.M. Saw the last half – two arms teams. It was a relaxation.

I was in town this morning but didn’t go to the Leper Colony this P.M. because the other fellow didn’t want to go and I don’t believe there would be anything gained only morbid curiosity and I’m not that curious. I would like to get out and see more of the country roundabout and maybe will be able to do that some of these days we hope.

I’m surprised I don’t see more fellows from home but it’s only occasionally that I see anyone from Indiana. Lots

[page 2] of fellows see others they know but other than Dr. Ash I don’t see anyone.

I’m beginning to be able to tell where fellows are from by their characteristic talk. Even to the states they came from. Mississippi I’ve learned has a distinct difference from Alabama and Texas is in a class all of its own. I often wonder if other can tell I’m from Ind. Of course the middle west has a distinctive talk but not so much as in the South.

We haven’t heard anything about movies now so don’t know when they will get things fixed up. Seems as if a coil burned out and after all we can’t just order one from Sears etc. I suppose when we do get the picture they will be old.

I’m writing before chow because one never can tell how busy he might be after chow and after 10:00 P.M. nothing doing. I’ll reserve the

[page 3] remainder for late developments. Not much extra to report. Three of us played two games of Dominoes. I won one game. The way we play it one game lasts about 2 hours so you see it kills the greater part of one whole eve.

Fred & I found some Detective story magazines to read tomorrow. They are those very juicy kind that rank along with True Love and True Confessions. We’ll probably get hopped up on them. So I’ll write you a letter full of it – don’t think anything of it –

Well, So Solong

Love Daddy

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/06/22/november-21-1942-roscoe/

The Big Reveal (Roscoe)

Postcard of Noumea, New Caledonia

Postcard of Noumea, New Caledonia

The big secret has been revealed. Where was Roscoe exactly? The Navy finally allowed the men in New Caledonia to give their specific addresses to loved ones at home. Since the beginning of September 1942, Roscoe was stationed at the U.S. Naval Advance Base in Nouméa, New Caledonia. For the first time, Roscoe used his specific address on the return envelope as well as including it inside the letter for all to use. I can’t imagine it was much of a security breach at this point. The Japanese surely knew there was an American base on New Caledonia. Roscoe had provided many clues for the family at home. The islanders spoke French. They had a distinctive red hair color. He included references to a certain National Geographic Magazine article about New Caledonia from July 1942. And of course, he gave his location to Gladys in code, right from the very beginning. The above postcard was mixed in with the letters. There is no writing on the back so it was most likely sent as a visual reference for Gladys and the boys, tucked into one of the letters.

In one of many internet searches of New Caledonia and the surrounding region, I came across a 1943 United States Army handbook for military troops serving in New Caledonia. I love the section in the back for speaking French and the basic phrase book.  Pocket Guide to New Caledonia

Note from Roscoe with change of address

Note from Roscoe with change of address

I am not exactly sure which letter the following slip of paper belonged to originally. I found it with the letter Roscoe wrote on November 19th. However, the context did not make sense. On the 19th, Roscoe was already correctly addressing his envelopes with the new address. The last letter in which Roscoe used the White Poppy format was November 16th. Based on today’s letter, it is apparent that he had already sent the new address at least once. I am therefore deducing that this paper probably belonged with a letter prior to the 17th. If Gladys received a group of letters in a bunch, it is likely that this slip may have ended up in the wrong envelope.

Letter transcription:

Nov. 17, 1942

Dear Mother,

Just a little time between chow and work. It being 5:45 P.M. and the weather cloudy. Needless to say I want you to write me when the check and money orders get there. It might have been foolish to send them when mail is heavy but maybe it won’t be so heavy they there by the time those arrive. We didn’t receive any mail again today. Seems like at first when we came – but maybe that new address will help. That is the third one now so all in all we should fare better. Just in case you didn’t get it

Receiving Station
U.S. Naval Advance Base
Noumea, New Caledonia

There is no doubt now about our location but I suppose you had a pretty definite idea where

[page 2] it was. If you see anybody who cares to write tell them of the new address and I’ll write to some of them also.

We are still pretty busy but it runs in streaks like it used to at home. Out of our original bunch there is very near half at other locations even my old friend Lentz. That makes ones address very uncertain but the mail will always be sent on, so use that new address and in case I leave it will be alright.

I haven’t seen Dr. Ash in so long, guess he is still where he was but I haven’t had time to go swimming so miss our meetings. Swimming was OK at first but anymore the new is worn off so I don’t care so much anymore and along with being busy I don’t care.

Had some sardines yesterday – some fellow go [got] some and with crackers and

[page 3] a little beer we had a fine mid afternoon snack. Of course I wasn’t very hungry when evening chow came along but the meat was corned beef and the cook didn’t use any spoon he just threw all the pepper in he had so I didn’t care for much. We had lamb again today. That seems to show up often and I don’t care so much for it but it’s better than canned meats.

It’s time to think before long about that state gross income tax for the whole year and if there is any questions see Lamb or Agnes Molter and also about the federal. Guess you have done that or will before long. David should come in for his share of tax reduction.

Well, I’ll have to confess there isn’t much in this but there just isn’t much to write.

So Solong
Love Daddy

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/07/05/the-big-reveal-roscoe/

Armistice Day (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Nov. 11, 1942

Dear Mother,

This being my P.M. off I have done exactly nothing. Right after noon chow I came to the tent crawled into my bunk and have been here since, only to take a bath. Have had a little sun bath since my tent bunk is along the west side of the tent and extends north & south. And with the flap of the tent up the sun comes in late in the Eve. One has to stir around during the day or use the net because the mosquitoes take unfair advantage and bite in the day time when they are supposed to do their work only at night.

We were fortunate enough last night to hear some news from U.S.A. again. We got the news mostly from North Africa. Not much from our section was mentioned.

My tent mates are talking of eating – about steak, baked potatoes, etc. Wonder what those things are like, but our eats haven’t been bad. We’ve had fresh meat now for some time with emphasis on lamb. I’m not so crazy about lamb but it could be worse.

This being Armistice Day there was some

[page 2] little celebration. One fellow who was in the last war had a little whiskey and invited us to take a drink. Said he hadn’t missed since the last war and didn’t want to today and he didn’t. Had to go very easy because there was only a small amount of the stuff left. He said his wife always let him drink on that one day. She took care of the calls etc. That day and the next. He now has two boys in the air corps so he knows what the whole situation is like. We do meet some varied and unusual people. There is one father & son combination here both are rated the same – live together and work together, both are hospital corpsmen.

So far today no mail but it is a little early 1645. It may come in around 1700 as it frequently does.

Our mornings are generally much warmer than the P.M. The breeze in the P.M. helps lots. I was lying here in the sun this P.M. not think I rolled over, the metal from my dog tag touched me and I’ll swear it burned. That’s the way the sun feels. Guess it’s a little different there although you may be having some pretty warm weather there as

[page 3] is often the case in November.

I haven’t seen Dr. Ash for some time. He hasn’t been over my way and I haven’t been in his direction so we just haven’t compared stories.

When the Christmas rush is over I want you to send me a small box of crackers and a couple tins of sardines. Just small boxes. We can’t buy things like that and that would be fine to munch on now & then. We have so much carbohydrates that candy doesn’t seem to hit the spot so well. No the reason I didn’t write about those before was because I didn’t think or wasn’t hungry for those things. Don’t send them during the Christmas rush or it you do wrap them very good. I finish later we may get mail.

Later – no mail today – have been rather busy now for the past few hours. Went to town in the ambulance and have been ranting around in general. Maybe more mail will be coming tomorrow I hope –

Good Nite
Lots of Love

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney

Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/06/09/armistice-day-roscoe/

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