Lieut. R. S. Yegerlehner USNR
F.P.O. San Fran. Calif.
July 30, 1943
I remember one year ago today early in the morning, but I’d rather pass that scene rather rapidly because it is a little shall I say saddening – I remember also the hard tiresome ride that day – The longest hardest ride I’ve ever had. I remember the disappointment at not finding Lentz that night. The meeting of he and I next morning & our reporting next day. The the furious next several days – getting this and that etc. And then on the last day meeting Hicky and going to Helen W. and then the long train ride and finally getting aboard ship. The long interesting, tiresome and exciting sea voyage – often talking with Walsh and wondering how long it would be before our letters would get back home and our speculation as to our destination was something to marvel at = for we didn’t know.
[page 2] I remember how when land was sighted we added finishing touches to letters and went ashore. How good the terra firma felt under foot again. The stamp shortage – finally after a few days we were permanently located in a goat pasture. The wild scramble to see as much as could be seen of the Island – Swimming and shell collecting – where was our mail finally after about 1 ½ months our first letters came – but no word of babies arrival. Our first letters came the day he was born, but the news reached me much later. I remember getting settled to the humdrum of routine again – Then the slicing off of our personnel. Friends leaving for different areas – The final disbanding of our unit. Then the drab months with no change in the daily schedule – day after day. Drs. P & W and I trying to amuse ourselves to keep from getting on each other’s nerves and possibly not doing so well at times – but in general doing a good job of it. Then I remember while doing the regular routine one morning a big shot coming in and motioning to me and informing me I had been selected – you can take just enough clothes for a change or two – draw field packs – field rations – first aid kits and numerous first aid bandages and emergency medical
[page 3] supplies – That was something – reactions – excitement, anticipation, responsibility, importance and possibly some fear. I remember as long as the preparations were being made everything was swell but I also remember that letters were hard to write – to crowd out the million and one non writable things and include only the things that would not cause alarm. Those I repeat were hard to write. Finally aboard another ship – maybe the atmosphere a little more tense than then the last ship. We landed a much more interesting historical place this time. Now more days of preparation, and again to sea – another new land – my memory is still good but I’m not at liberty to reveal the entire extent of it. I remember the days spent in the channels around our new home – the jungle trips – The fishing trips – the call it exploring trips. I remember the indescribably non light nights – beautiful tropical moons, and the black nights when one has to push the darkness aside manually
[page 4] in order to get thru. I remember the work to get set up again – The usual long wait for mail – the anticipation and anxiousness as to whether our mail was getting home. I remember the taste of cold spam, cold meat & vegetable hash. The taste of rain water chlorinated. The fun we had with our own laundry our bucket bathes and ofen of necessity our ocean dips. Then I remember our first locally killed fresh beef. The rank taste because of lack of refrigeration and freshness – then one day a fresh onion – Then a fresh egg – not many of them – fresh potatoes fresh apples, oranges and the most exotic thing fresh celery. Never a time when I don’t remember appreciating mail and an equal appreciation of pictures – Then I remember writing a kidding note relative to a picture of my wife in comparison to another officer’s wife and I remember her answer and I hope she didn’t mean it for I was only kidding, and then I remember last night thinking of the wife and of and the mother of R.S. Yegerlehner’s boys – Love Daddy
©2014 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
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