Tag Archives: New Zealand

Update from Robert P. O’Donnell

October 20, 1944 envelope

October 20, 1944 envelope

Letter transcription:

October 20, 1944, p. 1

October 20, 1944, p. 1

Saturday Oct. 20, 1944

Dear Yeggy

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.

October 20, 1944, p. 2

October 20, 1944, p. 2

[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.

October 20, 1944, p. 3

October 20, 1944, p. 3

[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.

October 20, 1944, p. 4

October 20, 1944, p. 4

[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/

At Last I landed (Lentz)

[Editor’s Note: Dr. Edmund T. Lentz was one of Roscoe’s oldest Naval acquaintances. They both arrived together in Norfolk, Virginia, and shared a room during the early summer of 1942 at Mrs. Evans boarding house. They were shipped out to Noumea, New Caledonia, in August 1942 as part of the CUB 13 unit. During the fall of 1942, Dr. Lentz and Roscoe parted ways when Dr. Lentz was shipped to another location. They were reunited in Wellington, New Zealand, at Base Hospital #4, for a few months before Roscoe was shipped out first.]

Letter transcription:

July 2 44

Dear Roscoe – Well, at last I landed in U.S.A. – Thursday nite – an am quartered in this hut until notified of my assignment which I expect to be in a few days.

Was out to dinner with Frank Olrich last

[page 2] nite and today when I called Jim Graeser of Cub 1 Hosp. – he notified me that they are having a Cub 1 shindig or reunion tonite so I will be off to the Races in an hour or so.

Frank gave me your address – why the hell didn’t you write?

Had quite a time at the Pool les Bateaux

[page 3] then drove up from there to Auck. – in the meantime had 7 days leave, spent at Rotarua.

Hope to see you if I can – I expect to go by train, don’t like flying; flew part way up, got stuck for 12 days in N., waited for ship.

[page 4] I can wire you when I get to Chicago – how about it?

Quite a place – this country – but hell to be a stranger or a serviceman I can see that.

Well – cheers
Regards to the family

946 Duncan Ave
Yeadon, Pa.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/03/08/at-last-i-landed-lentz/

Dear Yeger (Rosenberg)

[Editor’s note: Dr. Julius Rosenberg served with Roscoe at the Base Hospital #4 in Wellington, New Zealand. Dr. Rosenberg was one of the doctors who stayed behind after Roscoe shipped out. As evidenced in the letter, the Base Hospital closed down in the late spring of 1944. Military activities were drawing away from the far south Pacific, and maintaining a Naval hospital in the region was no longer necessary. During earlier letters written by Roscoe, he refers to Dr. Rosenberg as his friend “Rosey.”

In a very strange historical twist, Dr. Julius Rosenberg shared his name with a rather infamous Julius Rosenberg, who was executed in 1953 with his wife Ethel for espionage. Both men were New Yorkers, were about the same age, attended the same University, the City College of New York, and served during World War II. ]


Letter transcription:

June 17, 1944, p. 1

June 17, 1944, p. 1

Saturday, June 17

Dear Yeger,

Well, here I am back in the promised land, although it certainly took a long time getting here.

I’ll go back to the beginning, and tell you everything since you left Silverstream. Base 4 officially closed April 1st but we had practically no patients after the first week in Mark. We sat around doing nothing & just about went crazy. Finally the orders started to come & on April 13th, 8 sets of orders to the States came in, including mine, Myers, Criss, Witter, Hynes, Reuckert, Schneider & Drennan. They were the only orders that came in from the time you left. We all went to Auckland & found that we had missed a fast ship by 18 hours. After waiting around for weeks we just missed that boat – The old Navy snafu. Then started another long wait – I waited at the Grand Hotel in Auckland for one month – nearly went nuts – and finally Stan Myers & I were ordered as passengers to a slow

June 17, 1944, p. 2

June 17, 1944, p. 2

[page 2] Liberty ship out of New Plymouth – so we had to take another train & then started a 25 day sea voyage – at 9 ½ knots – I never thought we’d get here – but we finally landed at San Pedro on June 8th – almost 2 months since our orders arrived. We were in Pedro one week & I got just what I wanted and asked for – the course in Neuro-psychiatry at Philadelphia Naval Hospital – will report there on July 9th . I’m now on my way to Chicago & from there to N.Y. Stan Myers is going to Sampson, N.Y., for duty. Was worried about landing at Pedro – but got a good deal there & had a good time.

Are you still at Great Lakes? – Write me all about yourself. Address is below.

Excuse the writing – I’m writing on a moving train – will mail this before I hit Chicago.


U.S. Naval Hospital
Philadelphia, Pa.

©2016 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/03/06/dear-yeger-rosenberg/


1944-03-01 Fourth Endorsement USAT Willard A. Holbrook

Fort Mason,
San Francisco
1 March 1944
From: The Transport Commander
To: Lieutenant Roscoe S. YEGERLEHNER, MC-V (S), USNR
Subject: ORDERS

  1. Reported for transportation this date.
  2. Subsistance was furnished without cost to you.
  3. Proceed and carry out basic orders.
  4. Transportation completed 15 March 1944.

Lt. Col. TC
Transport Commander

USAT Willard A. Holbrook during WWII (Image courtesy of http://www.navsource.org)

There are no known surviving documents describing Roscoe’s return trip to the United States at this time. Since the trip originated in Auckland and concluded at Fort Mason, San Francisco, Roscoe crossed the equator and the international date line. One item which survived the journey was Roscoe’s membership card from the Domain of the Neptunus Rex. Roscoe described this ceremony in detail on his journey across the Pacific in 1942. While the card is undated, it bears the name of the ship USAT “WILLARD A. HOLBROOK.”

Domain of Neptunus Rex

©2012-2016, copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/01/04/usat-willard-a-holbrook-roscoe/

Third Endorsement (Roscoe)

1944-02-28 - Third Endorsement US Navy Base Auckland, NZ


28 February 1944

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: Lieutenant Roscoe S. Yegerlehner, MC-V (S), USNR.
Subject: Orders

  1. Reported 27 February 1944
  2. On or about 1 March 1944 , you will report to the Commanding Officer of the vessel or plane verbally designated for further transportation in accordance with your basic orders.
  3. Government quarters were furnished you.

By direction.

© 2012-2016, copyright owned by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2016/01/03/third-endorsement-roscoe/

All Progressing Satisfactory (Roscoe)

February 27, 1944 v-mail

February 27, 1944 v-mail

Letter transcription:


NAVY 132

Dear Mother,

Just a line to let you know all is progressing satisfactory. Hope you received the cable a few days ago.

I think I wouldn’t write anymore until I send you an address because this one might cause my mail to be delayed.

You will be hearing from me as soon as I can get word to you

Love Daddy

1944-02-27 (RSY) envelope

[Editor’s note: This is Roscoe’s last letter on foreign soil. He did not write any further letters until he arrived in the United States two and a half weeks later.]

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/31/all-progressing-satisfactory-roscoe/

Change of Duty (Roscoe)

Change of Duty orders, dated February 26, 1944

Change of Duty orders, dated February 26, 1944

Roscoe received his orders to return to the United States on February 26, 1944. The journey would take a few weeks. Before he left Wellington, he presumably sent a cable home to Indiana as he makes reference to one in a v-mail written on February 27th. The cable has not currently been located, if it still exists. The first stop on the way home was to the north, in Auckland, New Zealand.


©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/30/change-of-duty-roscoe/