Tag Archives: Wellington

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.
Waukegan,
Illinois

©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
Ed

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.

Sincerely,
Rosey

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/

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.

New_Zealand_Cities

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

V-mail Number One (Roscoe)

February 25, 1944 V-mail

February 25, 1944 V-mail

Letter transcription:

LT R.S. YEGERLEHNER (MC) USNR
NAVY 133 BASE HOSP #4
F.P.O. SAN FRANCISCO CALIF
2-25-44

MRS R.S. YEGERLEHNER
KENTLAND
INDIANA USA

Dear Mother,

This is V-mail number one conforming with the wishes of the postal department. It seems to be a good idea if everyone will oblige. I’m just as anxious to receive your v-mail or air mail but I do hate writing them. Possibly after I’ve written a few it won’t be so bad. Your v-mail dated 2-11 came today and it really was a treat to be informed of snow and snow drifts, but I do hope it won’t keep up too long.

I’m looking forward to the picture Bart put in the paper for it must be a wow. I’ve seen the pictures he has printed of the Beagley boys and the Rowe boy and I can’t say so much for the artistic work of the Newton Co. E.

Maybe tomorrow I can write another air mail so solong
Love Daddy

1944-02-25 (RSY) envelope

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/28/v-mail-number-one-roscoe/

Write More V-Mail (Roscoe)

February 24, 1944 envelope

February 24, 1944 envelope

February 24, 1944, p. 1

February 24, 1944, p. 1

Letter transcription:

Lieut. R.S. Yegerlehner
USN Base Hosp. #4
Navy 133
F.P.O. San Francisco Calif.
Feb. 24, 1944

Dear Mother,

I’m writing a little early today and hoping that mail will arrive later, and writing of mail there is a notice out that we may be restricted to two letters per week. That is air mail letters and we are also encour informed to tell people at home to write more v-mail. So if you begin to get v-mail from me you will know the reason and possibly it would be a good idea if you used a few more. My excuse for not writing v-mail is very good. I don’t have any forms and cannot remember to get any when I’m around where they have them but if I

February 24, 1944, p. 2

February 24, 1944, p. 2

[page 2] have to I guess I can make an extra trip.

One of the fellows today was chewing the fat and went into great detail in telling me how lucky I was to be here where it is nice and warm rather than back in Ind. where the winds are cold, probably slush on the ground and flu all around. My only reaction to that was Bull Dickey and I still think I’m right. Of course I’ll have to admit that a few of his points were well taken in so far as the weather is concerned but further than that I can’t agree. In fact I think he didn’t even agree with himself but was just idle conversation.

Just stopped long enough to open a coke, only my second so far today

February 24, 1944, p. 3

February 24, 1944, p. 3

[page 3] but probably not be the last as I generally have one somewhere near bedtime and they don’t keep me awake. Probably would if I went to bed early but as a rule it’s near 1200. A habit gotten into at home – partially broken on the islands but restored when reading was again possible.

You probably have read about the Bush fires in Australia – well they have them here also but they are not so destructive as in Australia but bad enough for pasture land is often destroyed. They are sure a weird sight at night, almost beautiful. Maybe those two words don’t fit in any description but that is about the best way I can describe a mountain side burning.

February 24, 1944, p. 4

February 24, 1944, p. 4

[page 4] I have to watch a group of corpsmen for an hour this P.M. while they take their exams for higher rating. It really isn’t my regular job but one of the fellows wanted to be off so I told him I’d take over for a time. It means just being there so the boys won’t cheat much. I gave enough of those exams before so I’m glad that that is not one of my duties here – too much like teaching school and if I’d wanted to stay with that I wouldn’t e here, but I’m here so why teach. That may be mixed a little but you probably get what I mean.

I’ll add a P.S. if mail –
Love Daddy

P.S. a Nov. Reader’s Digest came

New_Zealand_Cities

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/27/write-more-v-mail-roscoe/

O’Shaunnessy (Roscoe)

1944-02-23 (RSY) envelope

February 23, 1944 envelope

February 23, 1944, p. 1

February 23, 1944, p. 1

Letter transcription:

Lieut. R.S. Yegerlehner USNR
USN Base Hosp. #4
Navy 133
F.P.O. San Francisco Calif.
Feb. 23, 1944

Dear Mother,

After having a battle lasting a good five minutes with some huge flies maybe I can write. These flies are the super bomber type, very much like the ones we see around home in the early spring and since screens are unheard of in New Zealand we just have to swat them with newspapers, etc. One can’t rest unless they are downed because they buzz peck on the window, ceiling or bulkhead – well you know how it is.

I didn’t say anything about the pictures by way of explanation but I guess there wasn’t much to say. The overseas cap I had one was borrowed and

February 23, 1944, p. 2

February 23, 1944, p. 2

[page 2] my blue suit looked as if I had slept in it but I hadn’t. It really hadn’t been pressed in a long while. The one picture of myself I thought best was the one when I was sitting in the doorway. Really I think that one flatters me and it doesn’t look too good at that.

I’ve forgotten the name of our show tonite but someone told me it was a story with a setting in a South Sea Isle. That should really be good. I believe it was Rosie. Said he had seen it before he left the states. Possibly I should have explained or maybe I did – Rosie is short for Rosenberg and the latter name speaks for itself but we get along OK, strange as it seems. There are so many Irish people around here that instead of calling me by my real name I have been dubbed O’Shaunnessy and when someone calls out that name I know who they mean,

February 23, 1944, p. 3

February 23, 1944, p. 3

[page 3] some fun wouldn’t you say? I think Bob’s wife started that in the first place with a name like McReynold and O’Donnell she thought that would be more proper. She comes out rather frequently for evening chow but he goes to town of course more frequently.

Later after the show – It was a leak out. Had its beginning in England, its middle in a South Sea Isle. A very beautiful girl on the South Sea Island and that is a downright falsehood. Maybe for those who don’t know it makes good entertainment but I’ve been around some and I know where of I speak, and I might add New Zealand with the Isles. However, I haven’t probed into the inner sanctum sanctorum for beauties but seeing the rank and file of the streets I have seen no prize winners. In fact not none that would even equal you. Is that flattery or what?

February 23, 1944, p. 4

February 23, 1944, p. 4

[page 4] Anyone here over I’d say 25-30 has false choppers. These people are very notorious for their poor teeth and of course they all say it’s due to a lack of minerals but I think it’s the age old custom of tea 4-5 times each day. Always, along with the tea, they have cakes, so you see sweets play a very prominent part and I have a feeling that that starts at a very early age. And of course it is a prenatal habit which must have some bearing on the child.

Just think only 6 more days in Feb. Surely something will come thru before long but several of us have been thinking that for so long now that it has become almost an obsession with us.

Well Dear we will just keep the chin up and know that love will find the way.
Lots of Love
Daddy

P.S. There was no mail today.

New_Zealand_Cities

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2015/12/25/oshaunnessy-roscoe/