Saturday, August 13, 2016

Diary of Joseph F LaBarbera, MD

I received the following letter from my father, 74 at the time, which described his wartime diary.  In the reserves at the time of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he left immediately for overseas, returning home for his stepmother's funeral on the day the first atom bomb was dropped. The diary details his day-to-day existence in Tonga and Fiji during WWII,  and then time in Guadalcanal. The actual diary transcription proceeds after his letter.  There are three parts to the diary. This blog post is the first of the three.

He notes that he was at Lingayan Bay in Jan 9 of 45, and by there are photographs on internet of the scene that and the next day (see below)  By that time, however, the diary had been turned in for security reasons. The diary begins after Pearl Harbor when, as a reservist,  he was called to duty after being a ship surgeon on the Grace Line.

Lingayen Gulf Landings, 1945

Anti-aircraft fire from ships of the U.S. Navy task force in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon. Taken from USS Boise (CL-47) on 10 January 1945 (80-G-304355).

US landing barges carrying invasion troops in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 9 Jan 1945 (US National Archives: 26-G-3856)

US landing barges carrying invasion troops in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, 9 Jan 1945 (US National Archives: 26-G-3856)

---Damon LaBarbera, PhD

July 15th, 1986

Dear Damon,

I have read my diary after a lapse of forty years. We had to "turn them in" for security reasons while at either Guadalcanal or Cape Gloucester (New Britain). I have found that it is not exciting and very repetitive--dull, as it actually was. We were always waiting for something to happen.

When we went through “The Canal” (Panama) our Fleet Task Force found, after a secret letter was opened, that we would head for Tonga (a name none of us had even heard of)--an "expendable" Taskforce.  In April 1942 when we left the states, the Japanese were still conquering all--even though the Philippines had not as yet been taken. We were to be a holding group to try to prevent further expansion of the Japanese forces. The Japanese were actually headed to the same area to use as South Pacific headquarters. We had two plans, a forced landing, or if the Island had not been taken, a peaceful landing. 

Admiral Fletcher and his Task Force engaged the Japanese Fleet at the Battle of Coral Sea (a misnomer since it was actually the Solomon Sea).  The Tokyo raid and attack on Midway occurred while we were halfway across the Pacific. We arrived at our destination as that battle was taking place, hence a peaceful landing-in a Tropical Paradise--unspoiled beauty since we were the first to arrive in that area. Everything was as it had been for centuries. We kept ourselves busy on the island treating medical and surgical casualties.

On Fiji, I volunteered to join the Rangers #37th Div. who were to up into Cape Gloucester. I backed into that one saying I’d go if no one else would--and since all the other officers declined your dad was it. On the morning that I was to leave my footlocker outside my quarters, the commanding officer rescinded the order. The group (Rangers) went in on the invasion and it was total annihilation. None survived.

We were staging to invade a very strong Japanese base—Kavieng on New Ireland. (Rabaul in New Britain, Kavieng on New Ireland, and Leika were the strongest Japanese Pacific bases. The plans were aborted since we found that casualties would have been too high as we found they knew our plans. Therefore more sitting around and waiting. 

 Eventually, we arrived at Cape Gloucester-the worst spot in the face of the earth, having stopped on the way in Finchbarren, New Guinea. I received permission to go ashore and look for Ed—unfruitfully.  The Japanese were at the east end of the island at Rabaul.  We staged for the Philippine invasion. We stopped at Manus Island and spent Christmas of ’44 up in the air in dry dock.  The ship’s bottom was scraped free of barnacles to improve our speed and after a few days starting about January 1st 45 we started our way northward towards the Philippines. We went through the Serago Strait with Jap bases on both sides—and up the west coast of Luzon with many Kamikaze planes (brave pilots) up there, and coming down at us throughout the trip. Their main targets were aircraft carriers—and battleships, cruisers, etc., and an occasional transport.  We were at Lingayen Gulf, Jan 9th, 1945.  The Gulf was jammed all full of ships—with many planes flying overhead. At 6AM to 9AM all hell broke loose with battleship, etc hurling shells and rockets, and planes dropping bombs, and strafing the shore. Jap planes came out and dropped their bombs around our ships with some hits. I remember one Jap was swimming alongside our ship—he still had his glasses on. Looking up we saw Jap planes appearing and then disappearing into the clouds—the sun symbol on their wings. The Kamikaze (Divine Wind) planes and pilots were all destroyed, either shot down or crashing into the vessels or sea. The noise was horrendous—deafening.

I was boat team commander and leader and we descended down the rope Jacob ladder into the heaving boats below some falling into the boats having lost their footing. We circled around for about five minutes before getting sick on the gas fumes from all the landing craft that were circling--and on command headed toward the beach. The sea was heaving (It was chosen since the Japs would be less likely to consider landing there. We lost many landing crafts which were turned over by the rough sea and the men lost. We landed on a sandbar and had to disembark chest-high in water with a carbine and 70 pounds backpack, etc. but made it without much trouble. I had the men run to the shore--1/8 mile--go into the bush and clean their carbines one or two at a time.

We met no opposition--since we did not go ashore the first day--but settled where the unit was to bivouac--dug fox holes. The Japanese had withdrawnmiles  inland, which was their custom to avoid the bombardment. -and we, as our custom, thought they would counterattack . Three planes (Black Widows--P61s) flew over at dusk to be shot down by our own men. They had not been briefed on the new plains. We slept in fox holes--rather than in zippered mosquito bar hammocks since it had been easy for the infiltrating Japs to knife anyone from below trapped in the hammock through the rubberized lower hammock section. Our troops forced the Japs southward. Lts Sam Maroon , Van Atton and I requested the use of a natives's thatched and bamboo house-elevated about three feet above the ground on bamboo supports. We used the native fireplace to cook our meals. About six weeks later we moved provisions to the village and occupied the house the Japs used as headquarters. We treated many casualties--medical and surgical. We stayed in pyramidal tents. 

One night the O.D. (officer of the day) alerted us that they believed that Japanese were infiltrating our area--which did not seem to bother anyone to any degree. It seems we had been exposed so much to danger that it did not register as it would have been three years earlier. Our men (some) after finishing their medical routine went off for hunting and killing Japanese who were trying to make their escape from the mountains to the sea. Human life value had been lost. I disapproved and treated the Japanese prisoners as well as I possibly could.

Two or three other officers and I jeeped to Manilla and stayed in the basement at the University of Santo Tomos which had been used as  a POW locale. Many of the unit had been sent home for various reasons--alcoholism, N.P, Filariasis, etc. I rose from ward office (Lieut) to Asst Chief) Major, and acting head of my unit (The latter position I never had to assume--where warranted a Lt Colomer and which sometimes unfairly perhaps but not of my doing were ranked higher than some of my superiors at the star of the war.  As a team boat leader, I had a major and a captain as subordinates, as well as a group of enlisted men.

Manilla was a mess with much evidence of combat—downed planes, mostly Japanese. There was very little diversion except for movies—and reading. Toward the end of July, I learned that my mother (stepmom) had passed on suddenly—and I was urged to come home on emergency leave. To do so I had to sign up and return after a month's leave, for another year. I was long past overdue to be returned, and to go home for a month and then return was an extremely unpleasant thought.  Not knowing what was taking place at home, I decided to go on leave.  The trip to New York, July 31 to Aug 6, sitting up, with no solid sleep, was enervating and extremely depressing. On the day I arrived in New York, the bomb was dropped. It took about three weeks for me to learn I was to proceed to Fort Dix for separation—rather than the San Francisco port of Embarkation.  Our group was scheduled to invade Kyoto, the southernmost Japanese island in October. Two million were to take part—we expected a million casualties (allies). I had been in the service for almost four years and spent only four months of that in the US.

Note: Part I. May 15th, 1942 to Nov 31th, 1942

Personal Diary of
Lt. Jos. F. LaBarbera, M.C.
A.S.N. 0404750
Force No 0051-I

In case of accident
please forward this Diary to
 Mr.  Frank LaBarbera
532 9th Street, N.Y. 
New York

May 15th--1942
On my arrival in New York from South America, I learned that the 7th Evacuation Hospital had been called to active duty. (Jan 12) The following day I had my physical examination and invested some $150 in uniforms. After a few farewell parties, our group set out for Fort Dix, expecting to be there for only a few days. However, our stay there was much longer than we anticipated. We were quartered in barracks and altho our heating apparatus was poor (26’ one morning) and the routine monotonous, we were all in relatively good condition when we left.

After many false alarms due to rumors, the unit was ordered to the Port of Embarkation on the sixth of April. I had already moved to the Fort 9 days previously to assist Major Preston with the supplies. I had charge of all ---and was glad that one hectic week had passed before everything was all set. We were aboard ship for two days before sailing (3:40PM) 4-9 and while sailing down through New York Bay I tied to get a few last glimpses of New York through a porthole as all army personnel had been ordered indoors so that the troops might sail undetected. Our trip in the Atlantic, thru Mora Strait and the Caribbean to the Canal took ten days. We saw the Aquitania there which appeared in a wretched condition. It sailed soon after our arrival. Were not allowed ashore.

Our ship was the Barnett (The Santa Maria of the Grace Line), We were “blacked out every night” except for blue lights in the corridors and one row of lights in the ward room. Our group (Lts Maroon, Hutchinson, Van Notta and Stansfield and myself) was very unfortunate as we had neither a ventilator or fan in our room. It was hot and stifling and humid and there were very few morning when we could say we actually felt that we had a good nights sleep. I tried sleeping on the hurricane deck three or four nights but sleeping conditions were poor there, too. We took aboard the General and his staff at Balboa as the Hunter Leggett, the HQ. ship had engine trouble. She was to follow later after repairs. This was a bad break for us as Col Meagher and other ranking officers of our unit were left with the Leggett.

We spent our time aboard ship reading, sleeping, and preparing lectures for the enlisted men (Military Sanitation, Field Sanitation, Venereal disease in the tropics, Tropical diseases). As far as I know our destroyers contacted only one submarine in the Atlantic. Our trip in the Pacific was very quiet although we had frequent drills and had to wear our life belts at all times. We held our Neptune’s Rex ceremonies passing over the equator and I took first as a sheet back and initiated the “Polly Wogs”, passively, although I carried a canvass club. I found that after our group went through that they had used my unused clothing, including my new shoes--all of which were soaking wet. I did not appreciate it too much. When were out of Panama for about 1 week we were informed that we were bound for Tonga Tabu the largest of the Friendly Islands. We started thereafter, had meetings to organize our forces to take the island by force as we did not know whether or not the japs would be in possession of it on our arrival. Since I was bored with the inactivity of the trip I found myself hoping that we might run into some action providing that there be no causalities in our task force. We arrived unopposed at Tonga on Friday, May 9 which automatically became Sat May 10 as we had passed over the International Date Line.

I was ordered ashore on the 12th and was glad to set foot on Terra Firma after 33 days. I was immediately impressed by the good nature, friendliness and hospitality of the Tongans. The men wore Sarongs (Lava Lava) and adorn themselves with beads, and necklaces of various colors. They go shoeless and their feet are extraordinarily large in length and width. They are well built, rather tall, thick-chested, with large calves. We were all quartered in the collecting station, slept on low cots, ate canned rations which were not too bad, and began our adjustment on the island. The Tongans supplied entertainment at night in the form of music and dancing. They did very well with American music. (You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, etc.”). The Island strikes me as a virtual paradise and I hope that we Americans will not spoil the dispositions of the natives. There has not been a murder on the island for twenty years, “there is no theft and the woman are not molested. We were split up into two groups and took quarters in two homes., one of the beach had man modern improvements-but the one I was assigned to was more spacious but had not plumbing facilities at all. We slept on the floor the first night and found that I was not as hard as I thought I was. I guess that the ocean trip did things to me after my toughening up at Dix.

May 16--Slept better last night, as we finally wrangled cots from the O.M.C which is pretty darned busy right now. Our temporary hospital is fairly well established now in a building which previously was part of the Tongan college

Grove awoke last night and felt something walking up his leg--he kicked it off--and it fell to the floor. Probably was a rat--as there are many here. Took up my duties in the hospital today. Things are rather slow.

Have picked up a few Tongan words.

The Hunter Leggett arrived today--and was glad to see Col Meagher again as we had had too many “generals” in our group who like their position but are afraid to assume any responsibility.

The Yorktown Aircraft carrier with a few cruisers and destroyers arrived in port to-day. The ship carried the casualties from the Battle of the Coral Sea. We learned that the Lexington was sunk and that our losses were heavy altho those of the Japs were greater.

Writing by candlelight is difficult. I sympathize with Honest Abe.

May 17th--Sunday--Quiet day--Locals gave me a haircut--short and moth-eaten in places--but it feels good as I have not been able to get a haircut for the past week. Gave Alley a bath with helmetfuls of water and he reciprocated. The entire 7th  is ashore now and its good to see the fellows again after 5-6 weeks. Probably will move out to our permanent site soon. Gave Alley haircut--and did better than I thought I could.

May 18th--Uneventful day--List of Tent Mates was passed around today. Lt. Day and I are to “keep house” together. Also learned that I am in charge of a Med. ward for Gas and Shock Casualties.

Gave Sam Maroon a haircut this afternoon--after which he had to fetch a professional to rectify my mistakes. I did a bum job. A native is now instructing about 8 of the officers in Tongan. Rumors that there might be a Jap attack within 2 weeks. Naval officers are making bets. Some of the men are moving to the permanent site. I’m to stay here and work at the hospital.

May 20, 1942

My first day as O.D. Very slow day—but had to stay at the hospital

Bought trinkets for the family about a week ago but will not be able to send them home until the censorship regulations are revised (Bead Necklaces).

Benjamin requested a trimming today--and learning from yesterday's mistakes did a fair job

Stories of American sailors in the battle of the Coral Sea shooting Japs in lifeboats—and bayoneting Jap aviators seeking refuge on another carrier--. Don't know how much truth there is to them.

Confidential notice on a new German Gas – HN2 which is more disastrous then Mustard or Lewisite. We'd all be lost if they attacked us now, as no one carries a gas mask or wears helmets.

Would like to eat at a table without flies-instead of the porch at the nurse’s home.

Bought two bolo knifes s yesterday--4 shillings a piece.

 May 22nd, 1942

We moved from Nuku'alofa to Houma yesterday. Many tents were set up –and things are getting into shape rapidly. The hospital is in a coconut grove –coconut trees are all over with a few banana trees in their midst. The officers' sleeping quarters are across the road beneath the coconut trees and the fruit hangs treacherously above. Our tent has not come come yet and is probably on another ship which has not been unloaded.

We went swimming yesterday—in the ocean about a mile away—our beach is a beautiful place with cascades, blowholes, dense coconut trees, and cool water. However, coral is abundant and cuts sharply. It actually is a South Sea Paradise and just about the most beautiful place I've ever seen. Eating conditions are much better—as we eat good food at tables with very few flies protected by tents. The Red Cross furnished entertainment last night in the form of American (record) and Tongan music.

Most of the patients were removed here from the other hospital yesterday.

Day and I cleaned our spot yesterday afternoon with machetes

Saw an octopus hanging outside of a natives hut last week—when on a hike. Tentacles were about 2ft  long.

Heard my first broadcast in 6 weeks from the states last night over our short-wave radios. There is a seventeen/ nineteen (remember—EDST, ENT) hours difference in time between here and New York.

The natives are extremely poor and live in thatched huts --and by far , most sleep on a mat of coconut leaves on the floor. The children roam naked: They live on fruit for the most part altho, there are some pigs and chickens which roam loosely. However, the natives are about the happiest and most content group I have ever seen. Life here in many places is primitive and has been the same for hundreds of years.

Captain Cook called the island Tonga.

I met Dr. Steadman [Note: “killed in action” added ] of Garden City at the hospital the other day. He is on the Solace which was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked and has some interesting talks.

May 23rd

Yesterday was a quiet day—Assignments to Med. Service made. I am to be free for a while but will be O.D. Tomorrow.

Went swimming in the afternoon—

Admired the natural fish pools and rock gardens with Col McKelvey.

Medical meeting last night- Topic-- “Modern Aspects of Shock” and a discussion followed.

There are many cemeteries on the island—graves are marked by gravel mounds –. An equivalent to our flowers as a token of remembrance is a grass skirt strung up over the grave. The natives also wear their skirts while in mourning.

News via radio last night was encouraging.

The enlisted men are now starting to set up the nurse's tents adjacent to ours.

May 24th

A bad day yesterday after I wrote the last note. Developed extreme weakness, general malaise, headache, and G.I. disturbance. Fever, and chilly sensations. Must have swallowed a lot of bugs. Went to bed at 4 P.M.—got up at 11:30 A.M.

Day and I are now in our tent.

May 25th

Gradually getting well. I definitely had the tar knocked out of me. Was as weak as a pup. A few of the other men are also feeling low.

Spent this AM and part of the PM fixing up our tent. We had thatched coconut leaf rugs.

A coconut cluster missed me by about 10 Feet this AM. I expect that those above my tent will start bombarding any day now.

Jack Kaiser paid a native boy to climb the tree adjacent to his tent to knock the ripe coconuts off. There was a shower of about 20. The boy scrambled up the tree like an acrobat.

May 28th

Was operated on yesterday morning—Thrombosed Hemorrhoid—. Hurt like holy blazes when the local wore off. Was confined to bed—and bled like a stuck pig. Feel better today.

At about 10 AM yesterday while laying in bed I heard some anti-aircraft firing in the distance. I learned later that a Jap plane was sighted and they were trying to bring it down. However, this morning I found that a New Zealand plane was the target –a case of mistaken identity—and that the pilot was green when he came down—The plane was a very slow, outmoded, reconnaissance plane.

Living conditions are very crude. The meals are becoming monotonous and I hope there will be a change.

The nurses moved into their quarters adjacent to ours. Some are indignant since the M.D.s don’t bother much with the group.

Day awoke last night and felt some claws on his hand which was laying against the mosquito netting—was probably a rat.

We were all set for the movies—furnished by the A.R.C last night but there was insufficient electric power. Felt disappointed But they returned later and it worked—but I was asleep. Have not seen a movie in seven weeks.

May 30th

Nothing of any great significance has occurred in the past few days. Had been confined to my tent for the most part. Have been rather uncomfortable.

Medical meeting last night—case presentation—-“Adenocarcinoma of the Rectum in a 27-year-old Negro” and a discussion of War Wounds.

The Governor General of New Zealand and General Lockwood visited our area this A.M.

The A.R.C. were around that night and gave an amateur entertainment and played popular records.

An airplane from our base went down in the sea the other day and the pilot was lost.

Very cold last night—used three blankets.

There was a full moon last night—the setting was beautiful.

June 1st

We started arising before dawn 5:30 AM yesterday--so as to be alert in case of an attack. This will continue for the duration. A sore spot for most of the men.—I suppose its best to prevent a repetition of Pearl Harbor.

Has been windy -- 2 coconuts fell off the tree above us and rolled into the tent yesterday.

Have been doing plenty of reading—short stories for the most part. I read in bed by flashlight at night as there is nothing else to do.

My Sanitation detail starts today. I hope I’ll like it.

Sherman was right.

Hope to be able to go swimming today.

June 2nd

Was on the Solace yesterday--. They have a fine setup.

Rumor that a Jap Expeditionary Force is 89 miles away. We may expect trouble any day if it is true.

My job as sanitation inspector is not bad. I have my Jeep and will be able to see a lot of the island (Beaches).

June 3rd

Traveled 52 miles by Jeep yesterday. We first investigated an attempted assault—one negro attempted to attack another with a knife. Probably insane.

The ride to the airport on the southeast end of the island is a long one—but we saw many interesting things—grapefruit trees with fruit 8” in diameter, Guana trees—the fruit from which are covered with a citrus like skin and the meat tastes like pomegranate. Hibiscus flowers, and papaya trees. There are also many flying foxes in that area—which are bats with a wide wingspans and hang body down from the trees. They have a fur like covering and faces like foxes when not flying.

An autopsy was performed yesterday on a soldier who was drowned in the lagoon—our second causality of war. Hope it’s the last.

A native girl was attacked by two members of our force the other day and was killed.

Probably had some ants {added “rat flies”} in bed with last night—itched and scratched a good deal of the night.

I saw the queen of the island, Salote, driving around in a small sedan which she confiscated from a Jap at the onset of the war. There was about seven in the car—and it reminded me of Sunday picnickers in the states.

A.R.C.—showed “Woman of the Year” last night with K. Hepburn and Spencer Tracey. Since I had seen it at <crossed out> while stationed at Dix I did not stay long but went to bed at eight and read by flashlight for ½ hour.

Am looking forward to a quick termination of the war. Hope that it will be over by Christmas. According to radio reports of massive bombings of Cologne and Basil it seems likely-- if they keep it up.

Its quite a task arising daily before sunrise. We have to dress and wear our steel helmets and gas masks. Our clothes are very damp at this time of the day because of the heavy night dew.

A native does my laundry and I pay 1 pound a month. No starch and I have seen cleaner clothes—but it will have to do for awhile.

June 5th

Traveled about 60 miles today to the northwest end of the island and inspected the 20th and 50th C.A. There are many flying foxes out that way.

I bought a kerosene lamp yesterday and hope to make good use of it. Candles burn too quickly and flashlight batteries may become scarce.

We had a lesson on Tongan last night which lasted for about one hour. The fee was a total of one dollar for the group (ten officers). They say that you can learn the language in six months.

The island was originally discovered by the Dutch on 1616 and called Amsterdam – A neighboring island was called Rotterdam. Capt. Cook landed many years later and called them the Friendly Islands.

Read a New Zealand newspaper 3 weeks old. (May 13th ).

Rex Finnegan and I went swimming at the blowholes yesterday. There are many different fish in small pools. We also saw a water snake which we tried to catch but were unsuccessful.

The sanitary conditions on the island are very poor and we are going to try to clean up. It seems that the natives have developed immunities to many diseases which are apt to prove serious for our force. They are content going along as they always have and it has been found that they promise to reform but readily dispose of the idea. There was considerable hookworm on the island 30 yrs ago-- but Dr Lambert (“A Yankee Doctor in Paradise”) introduced a privy named after him which had cut the incidence considerably.

The native drink is Kava--nonalcoholic—which the natives make from a root which they pound-- add water to it—then dip a rag into it—and then squeeze the juice into a container. They used to make it by chewing on the root and spitting it into a container for the consumption of others but this practice was stopped because “TB”was spread in this fashion. There is a high incidence of “TB”, and typhoid on the island. There is no syphilis but a moderate amount of G.C. I have seen only one saddle sore and no other stigmata of yaws and have yet to see any Elephantiasis altho there is supposed to be some on the island
(We discussed later to our dismay that existed in our aea. some of the men contested it.

June 5th

Has been raining torrents all day. On arising before dawn today our clothes were all wet. The bed felt damp and sticky. We started off on our detail and took specimens of water from three wells for examination.

We are really getting a good dose of tropical rain. Reminds me of Sadie Thompson.

We organized an officers club last night and are going to build a thatched hut near our camp area. Altho liquor is prohibited we probably will have some good times there—as a meeting place.

The nurses have more or less been a thorn in the side of the unit. It has been very difficult to please a few—especially the chief nurse. I believe that most of them thought they were going on a picnic. On the whole I believe that they are an inferior group of nurses and none of the medical men bother with them. They are the only white women on the island—so the infantry, navy etc call upon them frequently. There is some debate as to permit them to join our club but I think that to bind the group more solidly their membership will be passed.

Arising before dawn reminds me of general quarters at dawn aboard ship during our trip here. At that time and at sunset all guns were manned at dawn and sunset visibility is greatest. There was a grand scramble for the guns after a whistle sounded. If you happened to be in their way, sleeping on deck you’d have all you could do that to be trampled to death.

June 6th

It rained all day yesterday and last night and the mud is deep.

Medical meeting last night—. Burns was discussed after a paper was given by Locales. Dr. Steadman discussed the topic in relation to his experiences on the Solace at Pearl Harbor. He said flash burns predominated enveloping the body and that those who were most fully clothed fared the best. Those who wore shorts had enveloping burns of the body except for the midriff and he emphasized the importance of full apparel at all times.

Tagging those who had received M.S. so as to prevent repeating the dose and knowledge of the use of the plasma "set up" was also urged. He stated that many walked aboard ship and died another 2 hrs. Locales emphasized the importance of preventing shock, sepsis, and scarring.

June 7th

Visited the premier's office yesterday—. He was not in but his secretary attended to our business which was to arrange with a contractor for the construction of our Officers Club. We had a chat. It seems that at one time the natives had an alcoholic brew—which they made from oranges, raisins, etc. This was very potent—and was called “one and torrent” because of its potent effect. It was banned because it caused many deaths.

On our way back we dropped in to see Manasi at his home—to have a letter translated. He is a native governmental water inspector and speaks pidgon English. He asked us if we wanted a banana and when we accepted his offer he gave us a bunch. His daughter translated the letter very shyly. Their home consists of two thatched huts in a clearing about 50 feet back from the road. They have a horse, chickens and pigs, but as usual no furniture.

I received my first mail yesterday. –from Eula and Margaret and Father Madden—Was glad to hear some news from home. I wrote some letters in return. I hope that mail will come in regularly.

We had our second Tongan lesson last night. It does not appear to be too difficult. An hour sitting on the ground becomes pretty uncomfortable. 

June 8th, 1942

--Yesterday was a quiet Sunday—Heard last night that the attack on Midway resulted in a great navel victory for the allies and that the war is past the half way mark.—I hope!!

We had to walk down to the church well for a water specimen—as our gas is low and is being rationed. No more long trips for a while I guess.

I also understand that an American convoy has reached India. I hope all this good news continues.

It gets dark here shortly after six—There is a 15 hr. difference between here and New York—. I suppose with daily saving and war time that it gets dark at about 10 P.M. there.

We learned last night that we will have to dig fox holes beside our tent to jump into for protection in case we are raided. Blackout will start June 13th .

All movies have been canceled (and other R.C. activities due to shortness of gas).

The pastor at the church here is a Frenchman, about 30, who lives by himself. He appears tuberculous and has a dry persistent cough. He leads a lonely life.

The PX truck was here a short while ago so I bought some washing soap, hard soap for ocean bathing, writing paper, flashlight batteries, candy, and crackers.

Admiral Byrd is supposed to visit us today.

The natives are going to build us an officers club—and in return we are going to give them a picnic with beef. It has been decided after much controversy to permit the nurses the privileges of the club. I think a more exclusive one will built shortly thereafter.

Most of the men are itching for the war to be over and to be at home. After dark there is not a thing to do—except to chat and go to bed early. A lot of steam will be let off when we get back to the states.

June 9th

—Yesterday was a quiet day—Inspected sanitary conditions of natives in vicinity of our bivouac. Not so good! Went swimming yesterday afternoon.

Last night I learned that the Japanese were on the way to get our convoy and were intercepted by our navy—-resulting in the battle of the Coral Sea.

A coconut fell on the tent last night—sounding like a bomb. I thought that the time had come.

The natives of Huoma turned out this morning bearing gifts, woven carpets, beads, woven bags, chickens, a duck, bananas, oranges and other things, as a sign of their friendship. They put on Hula Hula dances with grass skirts, and sang. We reciprocated with cigarettes and candy and sang and some danced. We all enjoyed it.

June 10th

Another group of natives arrived yesterday at noon—bearing tapa cloths, beads, coconuts, many stalks of bananas, breadfruit, crabs, and chickens as gifts. We reciprocated as is with candy, crackers, and cigarettes. They made Kava, going thru a ceremony while doing so and passing it out. It does not appear very enticing. They then followed that by natives dancing and singing. It was a very fine demonstration of the goodwill of the people. The chief of the island was present.

There were about 40 stalks of bananas so I took a stalk as did others, for my tent.

After the ceremonies, one of our soldiers was struck in the head by a coconut. Luckily he has his pith helmet on and was not injured seriously.

Jim Jones and I went to stake our grounds for an officers club—-However we found a more suitable site and staked that off intending to use it rather than the original. We cut down some young Guava trees to make steamer chairs—but decided that we'd let a native Beni make some cane chairs for us.

Tongan lesson last night—Getting down to sentences now.

June 12th

For the last few days here done very little of interest except to help supervise with Jim the construction of the officer's club. The natives have made considerable progress in the past two days and the thatched roof and walls of woven coconut leaves have yet to be done. It is a big job and since it is against the law for them to accept money for construction just now since government buildings have priorities we bought for them 158 lbs of beef to evade the issue. However we are afraid that all work will stop as soon as they consume the meat. They cook in deep pits using coconut leaves as fuel and wrap their meat breadfruit leaves and roast it. They also roast large yams some of which are 2 feet long and 6-8 inches in width. The end product of both of these is not very attractive but relished highly by the natives.

 Jim is as great one for getting work out of them. But the last straw which resulted in rebellion was when he asked them to construct a “parquet” floor out of coconut trees. The major Hokafamma objected. However we will have to plan some sort of flooring.

They offered us some Tongan Kava yesterday but we refused.

 We were supposed to have a Tongan lesson last night but inasmuch as we had a movie scheduled—it was called off. The natives have peculiar names e.g. Motoka—named after the first automobile—on the island—and Manwar—after a battleship. They usually have one name.

June 13th

Went to Nuku'alofa yesterday afternoon in the truck—making three or four stops on the way. Picked a water spec on the way and dispatched it to the Solace.

We visited the PX—and bought a few odds and ends. —but never again as I had to wait 1 1/2 hours before service.

Had a rough trip back on a load of lumber in the rear of the truck.

Medical meeting last night followed by a movie “Carefree” with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The first movie in 2 months.

We had a real downpour this morning—and it is still raining. Sorry that I put on fresh clothes this A.M as my trouser legs are all wet.

We have to carry our gas mask and helmets when we leave the area now. Feel foolish—but perhaps the safest policy.

Complete blackouts starts tonight.

June 14th

--Rained all day yesterday—mud is thick and deep—. Hard to keep anything clean. Half the roof of the  club has been completed—coconut leaves.

Wrote three letters yesterday—to the family, Frank and Nancy, and Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim. Bull session last night—to bed at about nine.

June 15th

Attended 2 services yesterday--mass at 10 AM and general services at 11 AM.

Was asked to set up another medical tent in the morning—but took some time to get started—as a tent was assigned which had two large trees growing in it—and the tent was slit in two places to accommodate them. Also had trouble w/ Capt Horn in regards to supplies but it was straightened out—finally got the place cleaned and leveled and set up 20 cots with the aid of 6 enlisted men.

Saw a native yesterday with his foot bitten off by a shark.

Father Tremblue--a Bostonian Catholic missionary to Haalai a hundred miles away—visited us last night and recounted some of the history and habits of the Tongans.

Tongatabu—means forbidden south—in as much as it is impossible to land on the south coast due to the rugged coral reefs. Tonga—south.

A native boy when he is 18 receives 18 acres of land in the bush and 1/18 acre in town. A state of socialism exists so that they have to pay for very little. Medical attention, education, etc are all free but they pay about 9 L a year as tax.

At the wedding many gifts are brought, tapa clothes, mats, etc.--but the bride and groom receive nothing but the mats they sit on. All the gifts go to the relatives of the bride and groom. The bride is examined on the night of the wedding to determine whether or not she is a virgin. If she is the father is given an additional feast for preserving her virginity—but there have been very few feasts according to the Padre. If two of their women are in love with the same man they try to bite off each others nose so that they will lose their attractiveness. The Padre states that the natives are very affable and kind—but they have to be watched as they are perfect actors and may lie and resort to thievery and maintain their innocence.

They also have a peculiar since of humor and do not think what we believe is humorous to be so—but they get a big kick out of hearing that a person has fallen from a coconut tree and broken his neck.

Obstetrics is in the hands of midwives and the mortality is becoming lower. The women are held in high respect and do no heavy work in the land--and work particularly lightly after bearing children until the child is developed. Some nurse their young for about 2 years which accounts for the irregular in conception. Adultery and fornication used to be punishable by death.

The furnishings of each house consists mainly of mats and tapa cloths. They sit on the floor with legs crossed and have other mats which they use as a beds—using a block as a pillow. They wrap themselves up in tapa cloth which is supposed to be very warm—even covering their head.

They bury their dead in sand—which accounts for many of the graveyards being located close to the sea. The bodies are enclosed in tapa and then mats and sand is dumped in by basketful by the natives--.The ceremony is carried on with considerable wailing. Fine gravel and sand is mounted in squares on the grave. No flowers are allowed to grow on the grave as they believe that if the root should grow down and touch some particular part of the corpse some member of the family will be afflicted with some illness in that area. They are very superstitious. There is a story of a woman who complained of seeing a native boy about 19 walking about her place after death and burial . She had seen this several times—so the natives dug up the corpse and shot it three times with a shot gun and reburied it. This ended the episodes.

 Smoking in the area of a graveyard is supposed to incur the anger of people buried there. The Taw—lala—is a mat worn and tied around the waist which is supposed to be a sign of respect in the presence of a chief—or is used by men in mourning. The women in mourning let their hair hang loose.

 Their names translated into English sound very strange and disrespectful—e.g.--Old Pig, Hen Manure, Rotten Banana—but they don't think anything of it unless these appellations are used when the person has the another name.

On the night of the wedding ceremony afinimatus (married women) go home with the married couple—sleep in their hut—which is divided in two for the night by Tapa cloths—and after the act look for blood stains on the white sheet which they have placed on the marital bed to determine whether virginity was shed.

The sarong woven by the natives is called Lala.

The Kava ceremony is the center of a social gathering. Kava- nonalcoholic has a numbing effect from the hips down—and causes a tingling in the fingers. It is very refreshing and does not cause one to perspire. It is impolite to refuse. In as much as it is disgusting to see it made up and served I am afraid that have been rude. There are no intoxicating beverages on the island.

The people are supposed to be very clean—but I have failed to concur with this. It is a grave insult to say that one went to bed without taking a bath.

The Wesleyans made it a law about 100 years ago that both the upper and lower parts of the body have to be covered—in contrast to Samoa where women are uncovered from the waist up. To disregard this rule means a fine or imprisonment. The natives have considerable pediculous capites. Mothers while fishing with nets out of the children's hair crack them with their teeth, eat them more or less in revenge for biting their children. In Samoa males are forbidden to wear anything above the waist.

Tonga is noted for its tapa. Hopai- (the same word as Hawaii) and Java-igi (small Java)] is noted for its finely woven mats. The padre has been there for 20 years.

Houma-where we are-is noted for its rats.

The natives have no tables and eat off coconut leaves and make cups out of banana leaves. They have two meals a day--one at about 9 AM which is hot—the men do the cooking. What remains they hang away from the pigs which are abundant and eat it cold later in the day--as they are too lazy to cook a second time. Dish-washing is the pigs' task.

Friends relatives, children are spectators at deliveries.

The padre states that there has been only one murder in 50 years--the culprit was hanged. It would be impossible to commit murder and dispose of the body as everybody knows everyone elses business.

The natives eat the entrails of pigs--eating one end while the other is cooking--like spaghetti.

June 16th

 Worked at the ward yesterday to put it in functioning order. Went to the Novena last night and then to a movie and saw “Meet Dr. Christian” with Jean Hersholt. The officers club is about completed except for cleaning up and making a garden. That's all.

June 18th

Visited the Methodist College (Tubow College) in Nukalofa yesterday afternoon with the intention of buying some native products. The children were having their field day races, sack races, coconut husk peeling (six in approx three minutes)--coconut tree climbing (50 ft—ascent and descent in 15 seconds). They looked just like acrobats on the ladder events--. In the descent, they could come down faster only by throwing themselves clear of the tree. Was surprised that they were not injured.

Girls were very adept at juggling five guava at one time. There were many things on display—Tapa Cloths, native combs, grass skirts, woven masks, Kava cups, odd shells; However, they did not want to sell most of their goods and the least I could do was to buy two grass skirts. I believe that most will be sold to the natives to sell at a higher price in town.

The natives are money conscious now and try to charge exorbitant prices. I enjoyed the afternoon however-. Our means of conveyance was a truck

Beer is now being distributed--a case of 24 per officers per week  The alcoholic content is 3.2%  Mac and I had a few bottles last night but the kick was small. We finished my supply of liquor--it takes much longer than I thought it would. I have found I have practically no real desire for it.

Spent some time at the officers club this morning. It is almost fully completed. We now have 6 natives working on it --at 85c per man a day. The foreman is a TMP (Tongan Medical Professional) who studied at Sura at Rockefeller Medical Institute in Fiji. They study for three years and return to work amongst the natives and are said to do good work. There are 9 on the island. We expect to have Johnny as our bartender and caretaker. Many of the male natives are called Jonny and David

The natives work very leisurely, and if one is spoken to, all work stops and they listen. They all do one job at a time and finish that before they can get organized to do another. They waste a great deal of time and have to keep prodding them

They have American cigarettes and approach like vagrants in New York and ask for them. Many of my cigarettes have gone this way. 

We have a chair in our tent now, with a straw seat as seen in cream parlors in the states. I have ordered a canvas back chair. There is nothing like comfort! 

The other day Jim and I visited the club. The natives working the outside grounds told us to look at the interior, which we proceeded to do with me in the lead and my head bent to avoid tripping. When I was about two feet from the doorway, they and I stopped suddenly. Hanging in the doorway were two rats that the natives had killed. They got a good belly laugh out of the whole scene. I had to laugh myself and was glad they stopped me in time, even though I was the butt of their joke.

June 19th, 1941

Not much new. Went swimming yesterday. Learned last night that Major Adams, Chief Engineer, was drowned in the afternoon while fishing near the airport. Struck unexpectedly by a big wave, probably hit his head against the coral. As yet his body  has not been found. He was aboard the Barnett. A wife and five children are left.

Saw "Laddie“, a movie, last night.

June 21st

Has been raining almost continuously for the past two days—and daily for weeks. We are in the rainy season—and I have never seen so much. It is almost impossible to keep our tent free of mud. It is useless to put on fresh clothes as they "look like the devil" in an hour.

We had our “backyard” lengthened about 12 feet—supposed to be 15ft but David was ordered to stop at 12 ft for the two shillings I promised. Liksae, “the nobleman”, has been stirring up trouble with our workmen--telling them that we have been underpaid and they are laying down on the job.

Beer is now available—a case per week for each officer for two
dollars. I got a case yesterday. Went to town yesterday morning
and picked up 10 benches for the hospital and officers club.

Played cribbage last night with Jim—had a few beers, argued with Elias about Socialized Medicine, and went to bed. A lively Saturday night.

Have to have my ward in spic and span condition for Major General
Richardson tomorrow.

A coconut missed me by 5 feet yesterday.

Hope to get some mail in a few days. Wish I were not on the island now. What a life!!! Rats, bugs, ants, rain, mud, poor food, no conveniences whatsoever, diversion is practically nil. But C'est la guerre. I believe that all of us will be much more tolerant when we get back because this is really low, but I suppose things could be worse.

Radio accounts do not appear quite as favorable now.

A rumor was passed around during the week that Italy had revolted
and martial order was declared--but this had not been substantiated and I'm sure is untrue. The end would seem much nearer if it were.

June 23rd

Rain and mud. There has been practically no let up. Have not done much except to get the ward in condition. It's probably the best of the hospital now. Also attended to a few things at the officers club. I saw Johnny last night—his arm is still weeping. I'm having an X-ray taken to see if there are any calcified parasites. He gave me a pineapple. Went to the novena last night and then to a movie "Five Came Back" which I had seen about 4 years ago. Went swimming in the afternoon. Some nurses came along and caught a lot of the men short.

Heard that mail won’t be in for two or three weeks.

June 24th Found 7 Patients in my ward this morning—one was medical. Felt rather disappointed as I was hoping to have a pure medical ward—in as much as I took considerable interest in getting it in shape. In all fairness, it should be strictly medical—but they say there are two ways to do things—the right way and the army way. Pretty disgusted as to how things are run in general. If this war were run as efficiently as affairs in civil life we'd feel much more encouraged about its duration. Too many clam diggers have too much to say.

Asked McKelvey this morning— if I could handle ward in addition to O.P.D. the other day. Will request him now to leave the plans as they were.

Saw an elderly Tongan—70 years old—in the bush this morning—a relative of Papua—who has a large indolent ulcer of his right lower leg and ankle in all probability on a sclerotic basis. Advised rest, elevation, soaks and strapping. Will see again in another week.

Attended another Tongan lesson last night. Attendance has been cut down markedly. The Colonel, Majors Ackaly and Kidder, and myself attended.

Went swimming yesterday and enjoyed myself. Major Adams body has not been found and doubt that it ever will be.

The Major General failed to show up—probably due to the inclement weather.

Wrote a letter to Margaret yesterday. It must be nice on the island now—and I wish I were home. Pretty well fed up with everything.
There are rumors that we might go on to Australia. Would appreciate the change. Radio reports from Japan that Tonga Tabu was raided and bomb and Nukalofa laid in ruins. One bomb could do that. The New Zealanders (Col McLeod) say that the hospital would be the most likely place to be bombed as everything is in the open—uncamouflaged. Somebody is wrong—and I hope it isn't us. I believe that if a transfer came up, I'd grab it.

June 25th Went to town this morning via truck and picked up coral from the shore and also 12 chairs for the officers club. The coral is to be used in soakage pits. Took a walk to the blowholes last night—it began to rain—but this did not deter the swimmers on the beach—nurses and probably the infantry. In the past few days the natives have been pounding away at their tapa, which is made from the bark of the Tutu tree which is pounded with a
rolling pin likehammer--on part of the circumference of the tree. It spreads out many times its original width. The tapa cloths are used for blankets, table cloths, etc.

We had fresh meat and potatoes for the first time on the island. The meat was roast beef with gravy and although we did not have much it was equivalent to a feast. Our values certainly have changed.

I understand dog meat is part of the native's diet.

I learned last night I am to present a case tomorrow night at the medical meeting.

The working men have walked out on as they did not like to be told what to do. The enlisted men will probably have to finish the club.

The queen was supposed to open parliament today—but it was called off—probably because she is shy and does not like to appear in public. Some of the men were disappointed as they were set on seeing the ceremony.

June 27th

The rain has let up. We went out into the sanitation detail and spent the morning in the Jeep.

Went swimming yesterday and the water was fine. Presented a case of Tertiary Malaria last night at the officer's club which will be opened to the members soon. 

I am going to try to get a native girl to do our laundry and keep our tent tidy.

I obtained a large soup can for foodstuffs which is hanging in the rear of the tent. Its impossible to keep the ants and rats away otherwise. The place is alive with both.

Was OD the other night and administered 5 cases—infected mosquito bites, pneumonia, 2 food poisoning and open tonsillar abscess. Had to get up at 1 AM.

Frequently think of what the folks are doing back home. It is about 8 AM now and 3PM in the afternoon up in New York. The family is
probably down at the beach for the summer. The slackers back at
the hospital took at beating this morning--Tammy, Been, etc.

June 28th

Took the worst drubbing in my life in the Jeep yesterday. Rode around all morning through mud and bumpy roads. The jeep was swinging and swaying, skidding and slithering like a snake.

Another aviator went down yesterday morning at about 8:15. Mac saw him twirling; nose down, almost 2 miles away. He apparently straightened out but too late as he flew into coconut trees. I examined the head--3/4 of the top was knocked off. He was 23. 

Arranged the furniture in the club yesterday and last night.

Beautiful night last night—full moon, star speckled sky, coconut tree, and quietude. A great night for the infantry.

The Barnet

June 29th

Rained quite a bit late yesterday afternoon (Sunday) and the roads were still in a bad state this morning

Have a chance to see many beautiful scenes while making rounds in the Jeep. The island is certainly very beautiful and I wish I could snap some photos--but regulations forbid. Had a bull session with Father Lynch last night--which lasted 3 hours from 6-9 PM. We discussed many things and aired our views.

Learned that an unidentified plane flew over last night--but was not fired upon so as not to attract return fire.

All diaries are to be destroyed if an emergency occurs so as not to give information to the enemy. I hope that all my efforts in this direction will not be in vain. About thirty native women are working on our clubhouse floor today. It will open this week. I went to SOS (Service of Supplies) to obtain a refrigerator that belonged to Major Adams but was unable to take it back in the Jeep, as it is too big. Also inquired about some wire at the Naval supply for our electric lights at the club. Mail has not arrived yet. I hope to get some soon.

Parliament opened today and the ceremony is taking place at the Tubou Methodist College. I could have gone--but thought it best to attend to sanitation rounds. Several of the officers went. I’ll hear what they have to say when they get back. I hired a woman to do my laundry and keep my tent for about $1.10 a week. Never did care for housework.

June 30th

They say that the opening of parliament was worth seeing but lasted about 10 minutes. Last night saw “Love Affair” with Irene Dunn and Charles Boyer. I had seen it 3-4 years ago. However, I enjoyed it probably more than the first time. Saw some nice tortoiseshell ware this morning. Hope to be able to buy some to bring back with me.

The British, Chinese, and Russians don’t seem to be doing very well these days.

July 1st

Took a trip to the Horn of the Island (Manuba) and the airport yesterday. Start on O.P.D. and medical ward today. Last night watched Tek, a native, make a bracelet out of tortoise shells. Expect to have some made.

We have learned that some of us may go out in the field---to permit the medics in the field to get up with their medicine. There is blanket rejection amongst the 7th Evac.

Went swimming yesterday about a mile from the blowhole--a nice sandy beach--but the water is very shallow.

No mail yet!

July 2nd

Another plane crashed yesterday over the ocean. The pilot bailed out but has not been found.

Made medical rounds this A.M.--very dull.

Officers club about finished. Had to go to Nukuloofa this afternoon to get some wood for a dance floor. Gross lack of interest on the part of most of the officers. James and I had been the only ones who have done any real work on it. The committee is practically non-existent. I find that the officers do not like to take any responsibility or to do any more than they have to.

No mail yet--making it a month since we received our last batch. Expect a lot this time.

Have a native woman who fixes up our tent now.

July 3rd

Put over a big deal with the OMM--Capt. Gilliman. Got enough lumber to floor our living room in the club. Truck was bogged down wheel high in the mud yesterday. Saw a movie last night--a detective thriller.

July 4th--Far from home--and no firecrackers. We’re in for a quiet 4th. 

The officers’ club opens tonight and we are going to have the 147th Inf. orchestra there. The club looks nice. I spent last night there, listening to records and bought a couple of cans of beer that were cooled in our refrigerator. I believe that the club will be a success but I‘m finished working on it.

The morale is pretty low in the outfit. There is a lot of discussion as to how it is run and the Lt. Cols as well as the Col. have been taking a verbal beating. Things are run slipshod with no organization. A lot could be done to improve the morale.

No mail yet. The last mail I received was dated April 29th. Over 2 months without word from home.

The airport was on the alert the other night when the unidentified plane flew over and they were all set to go up. Its seems that the pilots are being turned out without sufficient training. Up in Samoa they started with 45 pilots and have 20 left--the others killed through accidental causes. I hope that Ed does not pass--and is retained on the ground. The glamour passes off when faced with reality. The pilot who bailed out the other day has not been found--neither has the plane.

Had fresh eggs this morning--the first in 2 mo.--since leaving the ship.

July 5th--Had a nice day yesterday. In the afternoon I attended a “feast” given in honor of the birthday of the Mayor’s grandson who is 5 years old. I gave him a can of salted peanuts as a gift. They mayor of Huoma--Hoka received. A lei of flowers was placed around each of our necks and there was native hula dancing by the mayors daughter Lissell. We then went into the feast--arranged as seen in the movies. All of the food was spread out on banana leaves. There were yams, roast chickens, roast pig, coconuts, and fruit salad. The chickens were cooked with their heads. Although the spread was nice, I had many inhibitions and just ate some yams and fruit salad. A girl of about six had a hula and “monkey face” dance. She was really marvelous. It was surprising and enjoyable to see her gracefully move her hands. We had coconut and papaya juice to drink and sat on the floor legs crossed.

Last night had a party at the club. It was a big success. We had a large tarpaulin spread across the ground to dance on. The beer flowed freely--and many felt it after 5-6 cans--probably due to lessened tolerance. There were some there who had more than beer, I’m sure. I had a few dances-with Margaret Benoit, Freda Patterson, and Kay Smith. The party broke at about 11 O’clock.

The pilot who was lost the other day drew a hand for a two dollar bill, and won the night before he bailed out (2 dollar bills are supposed to be unlucky).

We have to carry our gas masks and helmets to from the hospital area now. Something may be in the air

I’m O.D. today. I hope its quiet. 

July 6th—Quiet day—yesterday. Swam and basked yesterday afternoon—and spent the evening at the officers listening to the Victrola. No O.D. calls.

July 7th—Helped Jim stake out an area for the non-commissioned officers clubhouse. Went to see Hokafoma the mayor of Huoma with Jim to determine who is to construct the building. The government set a price of 15 L---about $50. Spent the evening at the club. Inspection this morning by General Lockwood and the Governor General of Fiji.

The inspecting party passed right by my tent—sans inspection. I managed to get two letters off today—one to Frank and Nancy and one to Ed. Spent the afternoon reading at the club as I was OD ing for Jim who went to a feast.

Checked up on a dozen soldiers who had received lot #368 of Yellow Fever for their immunization dose. It was found to be “impure” and several of our men have come down with catarrhal jaundice. There are 6 in the hospital now. It was prepared at the Rockefeller Institute and is a serious mistake. One has developed a pulmonary complication. 

The weather is beautiful now—mild--with blue skies, fluffy clouds.

July 9th—Am preparing another medical ward and expect to have it ready for patients tomorrow. Things were all messed up as usual in army affairs. It seems that everyone except me knew about a new ward until 4:30 PM yesterday. when the supplies were all ready to be shipped to it. Many annoying things occur which could be avoided through better judgment farther up.

I learned that I am also to treat Yaws—several cases have been picked up by Kahn test. I picked up a case of Hepatitis today—one who had received Yellow Fever #368.

Saw “Lucky Partners” with Ginger Rogers and Ronald Coleman last night. It rained very hard but most stuck about although dripping wet. I expect that there will be another movie tonight.

Have been reports that signals are passed at night by Tapa tappings which are heard all day. Some one may have insomnia and utilizing his time. However, it is being investigated.

No mail yet!

Have a boy at the ward who fell asleep while a guard at the watch tower—he has been a prisoner since May 27th and will probably get a year and dishonorable discharge.

Apparently things are very quiet here in the Southwest Pacific—but I guess you can't tell when things will break.

July 10th—My ward is now working. I have four patients—who came in today. Worked them up in addition to two consultations. Been working harder the past few days. Was a bit peeved because they send patients before we were fully set up. The seem to things the last minute without foresight. Our supplies are scant –and it would be impossible to have satisfactory setup for 750 pts for which our unit is designed.

Am all set to treat the Tongans.

The rumor that the Queen Mary was torpedoed is false—as proved by a soldier here who took the trip in it to Australia around Cape Town.

Have a hunch that ships conveying our mail may have been sunk—since it has been such a long time since our last mail.

July 11th—Worked up several cases to-day. Most are U.R.I. And Enterocolitis and on toxic neuritis and acute catarrhal jaundice. Took a swim and bath this afternoon. The hard soap makes the hair feel thick and full.

The novelty has worn off and although everything is quite different from the states—people, dress, thatched huts, scenery—no note is taken of them now. The only striking thing that draws the attention is the peculiar scent common to all the natives—as they rub coconut all in their skin and hair. They are very proud of their hair—and dislike to have it disturbed. They use a yellowish clay when washing it. Spent some time this morning burning brush about 20 ft behind my tent. Want to get rid of it as it as is a great nesting place for rats.

The days are cooler than they had been, but mild. However it is comfortable with a field jacket.

Wrote to the family and Margaret today. No mail yet but expect that it will arrive the first part of next week.

We would all be happier if we did not have to get up at dawn daily. The carrying of gas masks and helmets has become irksome but has to be done. Sunset fall early here—at about 5:05 since we are in the middle of winter.

July 12th—Sunday--Went to mass—after making rounds and working up a patient. Nothing much doing. Had some fun with Alley and Gaypol at Dinner. We find that we have several mutual acquaintances. Alley said he knew a girl from Long Beach—whose father was a realtor—and could not recall her name. However—he said she had buck teeth—and I immediately said Jean W.—and it was correct. We had a good laugh over the meagreness but accuracy of the description. He also knows Chris Mitchell who was a patient at P G.

Some rumors about messages being sent out to submarines via tapa tappings. Seem far fetched but may be so. Communication wires have been snipped suggesting 5th column activity. The natives send messages all over the island via tapping.

July 13th—Have 17 patients now—3 more for a full ward.

Last night at about four o'clock I awoke and found something running up my arm. I hastily shook it off—but realized that it was still within my mosquito netting. I jumped out—put on my flashlight and rummaged around—whatever it was disappeared—a rat or lizard.

I found a rent in my netting where I had burnt it—but repaired about 2 mos. ago. Just sewed it up. An unpleasant experience.

No mail yet. Am looking forward to it. Probably will be in a day or so—I hope.

July 14th—Have a pretty full ward but nothing of any great importance—but get a kick out of running it. Had O.P.D. This morning. Saw about 20. Rumor that the ship that was carrying our mail broke down and had to go back to Honolulu.

Somebody took possession of my pillow. Still sleeping on blankets altho I could have a mattress—but I'm used to it so won't bother.

Saw a 4th rate picture last night ”Conspiracy”. One of the worst I've seen.

Played football at the club yesterday afternoon: out of condition: was puffing like a steam engine in a short time. Not so stiff as I thought I'd be today.

July 15th

Heard that mail ship came in and that they are censoring—i.e. spot censoring it so it will probably be a few days before we get it.

We had permanent election of officers last night at the club—Major Jones is President. Rosemary Byrne as a representative of the nurses—Vice President. Captain Gaypol Secretary-Treasurer, Feldman, Van Notta, Pearce and myself—committeemen. Ruth Adkins, Grace Well—Sally Bladen are representing the nurses in the committee.

Wrote a letter to Mary Nelson yesterday. It will probably travel ¾ around the world before she gets

“Of Human Bondage” is a fine book and probably the best I've read. I recommend it highly.

Off to make my morning rounds.

July 17th

Mail arrived the night of July 15th and received more last night—14 letters in all. Heard from Pop, Eula, Rose, Margaret, Rose and Edgar, Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim. Am glad to hear that everything at home is satisfactory. Hate the thought of Ed's success at Maxwell Field as I have been particularly conscious of the hazards of flying since here—as three pilots out of 25 have met their death through accidents. Too bad about Jerry being called. The family believes according to Rose that I am in Australia—as Aunt Marge says she identifies me from a newspaper photo. I wrote 5 letters yesterday afternoon—to Pop, Eula, Margaret, Rose and Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim.

I was elected Chairman of the House committee and will probably have plenty of headaches—but it will be fun too, I guess.

Saw “A Great Man Votes” last night and then played some bridge at the club.

Rose sent some photos taken I believe in late April. Was glad to receive them. Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim and me too.

July 18th—It has raining in downpours for the first day—and things are pretty messy—mud, dampness. Just came in and soaked up to my knees. Tropical rain!!

Not much new in past day. Played Gin Rummy with Jones last night.

Wrote to Ed yesterday and hope my mail makes the 1st ship out.

July 19th—Miserable night—practically a hurricane. Wind and rain in torrents all night—impossible to sleep. Thought frequently that the tent was going in one piece. Foot of bed got soaking wet—bugs for some reason or other were biting more than usual. Wind howled all night. Coconuts and branches fell. This morning rain stopped—coconuts and branches —mud and water all over--banana trees blown down, coconuts and coconut leaves scattered all over.  One nurse and an enlisted man's pyramidal tent blown down—but mighty glad that it is all over...mud and dampness persists.

The enlisted men of the 77th CA were ordered out of the hospital yesterday. They are moving off the island to we don’t know where. Many ships—about 15 including the Wasp—are supposed to be in the harbor. Get homesick frequently.

Hope they make a good mechanic out of Ed. Hate the thought of his flying.

Donated $20 to the beer fund yesterday. Hope to get it back later. Starting to get things in shape for the party—next Saturday—tea in the afternoon and beer at night. Inviting the Queen and Tongan nobility to the the tea in addition to Army, Navy, Officers and Europeans.

Seems that this is going to be a long war—rather discouraging. Hope that things will not be changed after the war.

Spent last night at the club—drank beer—played solitaire—came home and read.

Have not heard from Frank yet!

July 20th

Gave Alley another haircut—I really got myself in for something . He insists I do the job–and although I have no particular liking for it, feel that don’t want to have him feel that I don’t want to do it. He likes my haircuts better than the barbers. Hidden Talent? The only way to change his opinion is to buttonhook his scalp a few times. I feel that wouldn't be cricket.

The officers from the Wasp visited us yesterday. They were supposed to have been in the Mediterranean a couple of weeks ago—but the report was published several weeks after she actually had been that to confuse the Axis—she had already started from the states for this destination when it was released. She delivered planes to the British at Alexandra and has touched on many British ports. The officers' opinion of the British is low and they believe the Navy is much inferior and is really a World War I fleet consisting of large battleships--almost solely with few aircraft carriers. They believe the aircraft carriers will win the war.

The 77th C.A. are leaving –probably for the front—and there are rumors that we may leave. The building of the hospital has been off the priority list which is a surprise to me. I hope that we will be sent up to the front if the war continues. Have seen enough of Tonga Tabu. Played Gin Rummy last night with Jones—won 2 out of 3. Say in one

July 21st

Spent yesterday afternoon at the club—reading Life, Time and News Weekly. Was interrupted by 10 Naval officers visiting the club—and they all had a beer. Went to a movie after supper and saw Lupa Velez in “Mexican Spitfire.” The performance was interrupted and Major Kidder made an announcement that a call came from the Whitney informing us that a Typhoon was on its way with a 100 mile per hour wind. We are advised to quickly secure our tents and our possessions. I returned after the show to my tent—drove in ½ dozen more stakes, placed odds and ends in my trunk, and secured everything I could. We were informed that they expected ½ of our tents to be blown down. I went to the club and had a few beers—and then came back and went to bed. A detail of men came around and drove a few pegs in deeper. I fell asleep and slept like a log, although I awoke once and heard it raining on my tent---and thought that it would not be long before we got the full impact but promptly fell asleep again. This morning everything was calm in awakening—and now the sun is shining brightly with large billowy white clouds in the sky. Everyone seems tired—as many were kept up during the night. Nothing has been unpacked yet as the the threat still persists—no laboratory work or pharmaceutical dispensing.

The 77th is leaving with its 1800 men and conditions are quiet in the ward. rumors that well be following soon. hope that we will be going soon. 
The real threat here of any storm is falling coconuts and trees. prefer that if we have a big storm that it occurs during the day so that we can see it coming

July 22nd The typhoon failed to arrive-so that is one experience that will have to wait for the future. They had a severe hurricane last year--with a lot of damage. Learned that the wind velocity 4 nights ago during the storm was 45 m.p.h.

Went for a swim yesterday—and spent the evening at the club—reading. My mustache is about 10 days old now—and becoming rather full.

Nothing else new today.

July 23rd Was mildly ill yesterday—gastroenteritis. Feel better today. Many of the officers and men have been troubled with it.

Nothing much is new except that it is believed that a big naval offensive is about to be started. There are about 25 warships in the harbor now including 2 aircraft carriers (the Wasp and another), a few battleships, 4-5 cruisers, 6-7 destroyers and 5 transports with marines—tanks, etc. (Probably about 5000 marines). It is believed that they will leave in a day or two and that a battle (to take New Guinea?) will ensue within the next week. It will be a forced landing and I wish I were going. I understand that there are forces now up in Fiji. Sounds very encouraging—and hope that the offensive will be our policy henceforth.

Things are pretty well set for the party Saturday.

Have to take some of the patients down to the blowholes this afternoon.

July 24th—Uneventful--movie last night, “The Saint in New York” with Louis Hayward. Visited the club afterward and played Gin Rummy w/ Jones. Alley was feeling very good having returned from a picnic where Ethyl Alcohol and fruit juice was the main item on the menu. Rex received two abrasions sustained from a fall on the Coral—and Col. Lockhardt had pieces of coral removed from his elbow this morning. Quite a party!!! Was invited but could not attend since I was scheduled to take the patients to the blowhole. Took Finnegan's rounds this morning.

The food is rank!! and I'm afraid its going to be so for the duration. Fresh food is scarce. The food generally is poorly prepared. Powdered eggs and sows belly are the most frequent breakfast—and I don't touch either. Hash, stew, dehydrated potatoes, chili con carne—are foods we most frequently—but never touch them. However, still weight 170. Spend plenty of money on supplementary diet obtained from PX.

One of the patients I escorted to the beach yesterday was a New Zealand Staff Sergeant Alistair Wallace—who is awaiting his commission in the Army as a second lieutenant. A very intelligent fellow who is a lecturer in civilian life. He has been in the Army 2 yrs—entering it as a volunteer. Great Britain, he says, established a Protectorate over Tonga tabu about 100 yrs ago when there was internal friction. Two different factions waged warfare against each other—using machetes as weapons and seeking the crown from one another.

The king sought aid from G.B. They sent a ship with marines who established order. It was agreed that G.B. would protect Tongatabu from internal strife and invasion in exchange for Tonga’s products. The Queen declared war on Germany--with GB.  Two hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor all Japs were in custody as was previously arranged—if America should attack Japan or visa versa. Wallace's brother of the Q.A.F. was killed in combat. He believes that some British forces are joined up with the Russians at the eastern front—and seems to think the British are doing well—but admits that he thinks that the battle of the Coral Sea + Midway Island were the turning point of the war.

July 25th Worked up a good sweat this morning getting things set for the party this afternoon. The Queen was invited but probably wont show up. Its a job to get any work out of the Tongans and you have to keep at them all the time. Turn your back and they stop. Was informed last night that there is a note from headquarters that they found a wrapper of a package for me that was stolen. Probably others of mine have met the same fate.

I bought a tropical helmet this morning—Price $ 1.27.

Ordered also—a pint of Ethyl Alcohol just in case things are dull tonight.

Have been asked to gather information on Jaundice of unknown origin by Col McKelvey. Lt Day and I are assigned to it.

That's all for now.

July 26th—The tea party and beer party were a great success. In the afternoon there were several local dignitaries present—including the Premier who represented the Queen—the governor of Vavnu and his wife and others. Last night turned out to be a brawl. The club looked very attractive—and now we have electricity and a radio. The liquor flowed freely and there were a few fights. The Premiers Secretary—a Mr. Brownlee—who was very much under the weather--- made the almost fatal mistake of stating that the American Soldier is no good—and that a British Tommy is twice as good. Captain Johnson pulled a knife and was about to let him have it when an enlisted man stepped in the way and had his hand cut—requiring four stitches. Mr. Brownlee was carried out—and shooed away. A New Zealand General was lost yesterday afternoon when the ship went down and both he and the pilot have not been found. The Britishers on the island re now upset because the general would not let use the radio to try to contact them. My estimation of the British is hitting a new low. I don’t think I like them!

More aircraft carriers and other ships have arrived—the Hornet and Enterprise—and North Carolina—and many other ships are in. There is a tremendous force about to bear down on something in the near future.

The Queen Mary with 11000 troops-- and many other transports are in harbor.

July 29th

The last few days have been exceptionally busy—both in social and professional ways. I received considerable mail on the 24th and 28th f  rom the family and friends—and am glad to hear that everything is well. Medical meeting yesterday. Filiariasis discussed—4 cases presented—natives--with elephantiasis of legs and arms, scrotum, orchitis.

Am in the process of a having a cabana made on the beach for the officers and nurses--the natives are starting on it today—for $12. It will be about 20 X 10—with partition in the center.

Have felt rather peculiar in the last few days—overstimulated--and overactive—probably am working too hard.

A case from my ward was operated on last night---appendix about 8” long.

Expect to spend plenty of time answering mail during the next week.

Busy day yesterday answering mail. Wrote nine letters. Spent the evening at the club.

Having trouble with the girls in the club. Refuse to pay their  fee since some officers have yet paid for the party. Expected trouble of this sort.

It seems that most of the folks at home know we are—except the LaBarbera's. Wrote a a few hints in my letters and hope they catch on.

Played volley Ball last night and had a good workout.

Was glad to receive so many letters from home. Hope that mail will come in as promptly in the future.

July 31st.

Have answered most of my mail—14 letters in all and am looking forward already to the next batch. Yesterday was quiet as it rained hard all day and night.

I understand that the task force was engaged in a second battle of the Coral sea.

I have tried to give the family hints of our location. I actually mentioned the language spoken here and hope Eula catches on—or calls up the hospital as suggested.

The Navy was put on the alert—and also the airfield as a convey and unidentified planes were found in our area. They failed to notify us, however.

Aug 1st Thunder and lightning overhead—the mud is thick—has been raining for three days. Wish I had boots. Rain and mud have become almost typical of Tonga-tabu. However, Colonel Meagher forbade pictures to be taken of the area in this state. Practically the whole administrative department have become unpopular because of passing unpleasant duties that are actually their own onto medical hands. They are incompetent and inefficient. If everything where left in our hands I'm sure we could manage much better. Some would like to expel them from our club.

It is the 1st of the month—so I start work in two wards with Jones and Mac Mullen. I'd like to have a ward of my own—but rank has its privileges.

I have heard no news as yet of the battle supposedly gong on. With all the ships we have—it should be very decisive in our favor.

Although it is only 8 AM, I am working by kerosene in my tent—as have to keep the flaps down, or the tent would be flooded.

Wrote a hasty letter to pop last night thanking him for the Toffee--wanted it to catch the boat pulling out.

Meals seem to be getting worse---mess officer is very poor and should be replaced. Flies abundant—utensils dirty. Had plenty of trouble with him when I was Sanitation Inspector—but he has failed to improve and is getting worse. Another example of poor administration. He is very incompetent!!

Aug 2nd It let up raining this AM. Last night saw “Too Many Blondes” with Rudy Vallee—in the Force Surgeons Tent.

Mac finished up his month at the airport today—and has a growth on his upper lip about 2 weeks old.

We were notified to have maximum bed capacity installed to take care of possible casualties in the Coral Sea Battle.

I was also informed, confidentially, that a tremendous amount of supplies are being shipped to Europe and a new front will be opened this summer.

The colonel just showed Jim, Mac and me some photographs—taken about 1 ½ months ago. I look like a seasoned veteran in one.

Have a letter that I wrote Eula returned. Was too rash.

August 3rd

Quiet Day yesterday—consisting of rounds, reading, chatting-and spending the evening playing Gin Rummy with Mac.

Someone left a cigarette in the fold of my tent and burned a hole in it. Probably take “years” to have it fixed.

Houma means rat in Tonga—and it seems that at one time the natives ate them. However it is an offense now to say “kai houma” to anyone as it means “rat eater.” Pre-marital relations are common here—as a man is supposed to be more desirable if he has 3-4 children before married. It enhances his chances—and no stigma is associated. The woman is not thought of much in this respect—and there is what might be called a mild stigma.

Would like to be back in the States! Samel our club boy quit Sat.--so we'll have to get another. He was getting L1.103—about $5 a month. Probably should have given him more. However, I have my first Xmas invitation.

Aug 4th—Quiet day—Played Volley ball in the afternoon. To a movie at night, ”Let's Make Music”, Bob Crosby and the club for a couple of beers. All the lieutenants have to censor mail daily now. I am not going to enjoy it much.

Am reading “For Whom the Bells Toll” now—and find it interesting. 

Aug 5th—Rounds, censoring, taking the men for a swim and playing volleyball followed by a few games of Gin Rummy at the club with Jim made up the day.

The Solace pulled out yesterday, heading west, to be nearer the scene of activities. No elective operations are performed in the hospital in order to have enough beds for possible casualties.

Have not had a drink of water in over 2 mos. The water her is chlorinated and does not taste too good. Have confined my liquids to beverages, coffee, tea, fruit juices and beer.

Censored some mail this morning—there is considerable difference in the way the men express themselves. Some write very fluidly, reserved. Others overflow, gush, are melodramatic. Most to to save the folks at home any activity while few—very few attempt to excite sympathy, concern, worriment. Some are almost illiterate but most write an intelligent—or fairly intelligent letter. There are very few letters from which anything has to be deleted.

I wrote to V—letters-me to Pop and the folks—and one to Margaret before taking up again with my diary. This morning I had a haircut and mustache trimmed--it really as though it has g.. places

I sent $170 home by money order yesterday and hope to receive and send home also $150 which we expect to get for uniform allotments—only a small part of the amount we have laid out for uniforms.

Aug 6th

Volley ball and then to the club last night. Read a few A.M.A. And then to bed.

On Fiji—about 400 miles from here—there are 20,000 men with 2 General and 1 Base hospital—which seems disproportionate compared to our one unit for 8000 men. There are no blackouts there and they have liquor and dancing nightly. However we have our compensation. They have about 100 inches of rain a year--162. I don't miss liquor at all and have become accustomed to the blackouts.

We have had about 5 months of blackout now—starting on the ship. In retrospect that was like a nightmare. All ports were closed at night which made living in the cabins very uncomfortable, hot and humid—especially near and at the equator. I tried sleeping on deck a few time--and under life boats having to carry my mattress, pillows-etc--Up narrow stairways. The procedure was usually followed by rain-and we would have to put up with it or scurry below. At 5:30 AM the alert would sound-and would to go down below—as it was useless to sleep further. I slept on the hurricane deck once or twice. We saw the destroyers dropping charges once or twice. The only place there was light was in the hot stuffy washroom where nurse and officers, both and army and navy would congregate--to read, play cards, and the Victrola. The food was not bad—but not quite enough.

The service was poor and the servers seemed to resent waiting on us. A few were nice—but most surly We had a couple of enlisted men to do our rooms daily and paid them a dollar a week each. The voyage seemed as though it would never end and I was glad when we reached our destination which looked veritably like deserted islands—sandy beaches with tall coconut trees in the background. I was anxious to go ashore but had to wait 2 days before doing so—to go to work on land. An M.A.C. tried to put me on night duty—to the exclusion of others—but I put him in his place thoroughly and without hesitation. On disembarking I had to descent via a Jacobs ladder with full equipment.

I have had feelings of nostalgia in and off. Although there are many around—I find myself getting lonesome.

Aug 7th

Rounds -- a nap in the afternoon, the movies (" Joe Smith, an American ") and the club made up the day. Also had a few games of volleyball before the movies. I ordered seven bracelets last night -- at the price of three dollars per and also expect to have some rings made. I also expect to have access to tapa cloths in about one week.

Have just about given up worrying about the welfare of the club -- the men are always ready to enjoy the privileges of the club -- but few -- two or three, are interested in taking responsibility and showing willingness to sacrifice any time or effort with it. We expect to run out of beer soon -- unless another shipment arrives. So -- -- will see what happens.

Have not heard any good news for a long time -- seems that this war is going to be endless.

August 8th

-- rounds -- getting statistics on jaundice cases with McKelvey, Finnegan and Day. Gin rummy with Jim -- a visit to some natives and Father Caille in reference to the making of some native Christmas cards -- volleyball and a dull evening at the club made up the day.

There are rumors that the task force which left here about two weeks ago engaged the enemy (where?) and was successful in one encounter -- but lost a the second with heavy casualties.

Another airplane was in an accident last week -- the pilot sustained a concussion.

We're giving a party for the men of the Whitney tonight -- starting with a cocktail party this afternoon.

August 9th

-- Attended the party in the afternoon -- Potent drinks consisting of grape juice, grapefruit and coconut milk with ethyl alcohol were served. Had a good dinner -- the best since on the island and then the party was resumed. Had a very good time. The party broke at midnight.

The task force is supposed to have gained one objective -- and unsuccessful in the second with about 1600 casualties. Rumor that the Wasp and the North Carolina were sunk. An American submarine -- laying in wait in Tokyo Harbor is said to have sunk in aircraft carrier just launched. I went down to Mukalotah yesterday to buy boots -- but was unsuccessful -- wasting the whole morning there. Sella -- our house girl, and Lissile Ali -- danced for us last night.

August 10th

-- Spent the whole day at the club -- with Mac, Rex, Karsi, and Horatio -- and indulged. We had a good time -- played basketball -- but we couldn't see the ball -- In the evening went to Karsi’s hut. Benji came in the while Rex and I were asleep made the comment that it looked like a two bit flophouse in -- hotel -- I got a date and visited the blowholes -- but I should have gone to bed. 

Reports that the task force that was here three weeks ago had landed in the Solomon Islands in New Guinea, which are occupied by the Japs.

August 11th

---Rounds -- and nap in the afternoon the movies ("Tight Shoes" by Damon Runyon) and a few beers at the club.

Reports that we have taken the Solomon Islands against much resistance. Would like to be there. We might just as well be back in the States as in this position. However, they may send us casualties that might help keep us busy.

August 12th

--- The battle is still going on -- and we're supposed to have taken the southernmost islands of the Solomon Group with some losses -- which Admiral King states is well worth while. We have not been getting much news in reference to that battle or that of the Aleutian Islands.

Had a bull session with Tom and Father Lynch -- yesterday morning – re’ the war. Lieutenants (Van Notta, Stansfield, Pierce, Robins, Robbins, Maroon, Dinges, and myself) beat the NCOs at volleyball yesterday afternoon -- two out of three. We have a return engagement today. Spent the evening at the club.

I am going out in the bushes to treat Tongan children with yaws -- at Mau today.

Have a case of Filiariasis in the ward who had a large gluteal abscess -- which was incised and drained of about a gallon of puss.

August 13th

-- Rounds, Reading “And Now Tomorrow” by Rachel Field, volleyball beating the NCOs –2-1 and the club.

The rats had a grand time in and around my tent last night -- running about and squealing. They were all over except in bed with me – and I thought they might even try that. The night before it was insects. Perhaps I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight. News about the Solomon’s is very vague -- and scanty.

Aug 14th

Went to Kovali yesterday afternoon with Mac, Bill Grove and Miss McGeloray to treat civilian Tongans. Saw the general run of the mill—one pretty definite TB—one suspected—or probable, bronchial asthma, bilateral pterigium, 7 mos pregnancy, bronchitis. Definitely medicine in the raw. . Stopped at the Flying Fox Tree that I had seen before, but which was a new sight to the rest. I guess that it will be a permanent job for me. Also learned that I am to be a quarantine inspector for all incoming ships.

A ship is in today—with “40,000” pounds of mail. We will probably get it tomorrow

Tom reports we have taken three of the Solomon Islands—but with heavy casualties, and hand to hand fighting.

Movie last night, “Ride 'Em Cowboy” with Abbot and Costello –silly but entertaining. Played the upper ranks in volleyball last night and beat them 2-1. Not very enjoyable as they play like sand lots kids and argue after every point. They were ahead of us in the third game until they tried to put over a raw deal, which made the rest of us fighting mad—and we went ahead to win. There is plenty of enthusiasm in the game.

Aug 15th

Rounds –Reading “Philosophy of Life”—Durant- & “And Now Tomorrow” by Field. A swim and evening at the club. All good news yesterday. The Marines have a good foothold in the Solomon's, three Jap ships burning, one sunk, Jap guns silenced in Kiska, Aleutian Islands, and the Germans are withdrawing some of their planes from the Russian Front to stem the R.A.F. attacks. The hospital is in the process of construction. Was hoping that we’d be out of here before they started.

There is going to be a cocktail party this afternoon for Gardner who was recently promoted to Major.

The mail has not arrived yet.

The days seem to be getting warmer. It must be as hot as blazes in the summer.

Shaved my mustache this morning.

Aug 16th

The cocktail party extended through the evening and a good time was had by all. Contrary to previous parties, there were no fights as the usual offenders were absent.

There is supposed to be mail inbound, which will probably come tomorrow.

Aug 17th

---Slept practically all of yesterday morning—Finished ” And Now Tomorrow” and went to the club in the afternoon and again at night. Received about 8 letters from home yesterday and expect more today. Am glad to hear that everything is well.

The rats woke me up last night. They made an awful racket running around in the tent. I felt something in my foot and kicked it off. They sounded like full-grown rats. Lay awake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. The rain probably drove them in.

August 18th

-- Rounds -- a letter from Margaret and magazines from Pop -- a visit to Father Caille -- and Papua -- the movies Fixer Dugan with LeeTracy and the club. We visited Father Cailles. and he said he would have Tapa cloths ready for us. He had about 30 and we helped him in setting prices on them. They are to be exhibited over the weekend at the rectory and we are to place orders.

I have received nine letters in all -- and expect to respond today. Not as much mail as I would have hoped to receive.

The enlisted man beat us badly last night at volleyball—3-0.

I had a good night's sleep last night -- if there were any rats around I did not hear them. Some rumors -- undoubtedly wishful thinking -- that we might move up to the Solomon’s.

August 19

-- Routine day -- received more mail yesterday -- and a package from Aunt Marge and Uncle Jim -- which contained almost everything but the kitchen sink. Got off six letters in the last couple of days.

Went swimming yesterday afternoon and basked in the sun. It was a fine day. Visited the hospital being erected -- four are under construction --41 to go. It is in the midst of jungle growth.

August 20th

-- Routine day -- rounds -- reading of Time in AM and PM. -- and the club at night.

Was bothered by fleas all night -- scratching and turning -- with a rat also scratching nearby. Insects are very abundant here -- and many are hospitalized for the treatment of infected bites

Practically all of the radio news is encouraging -- and the A.E.F. has landed in Africa. Hope to see some action now.

Volleyball again last night -- with the captains—1 to 1.

We get radio news on the short wave from San Francisco every night. Had the Waldorf-Astoria last week-- Xavier Cupat and his orchestra.

I made a trip to Golami this afternoon -- and saw four patients. Nothing very interesting. Also received an appointment as Quarantine Inspector for Tonga Tabu. Never thought I'd hold a Tongan political position. The job is to inspect crews of incoming ships for communicable disease.

Just heard that a second front was opened in Europe today. The most encouraging news we've had yet. I hope they drive on right to Berlin.

August 21st

-- The invasion turned out to be a 9 hr commando raid in which 91 Allied planes and 150 Axis planes were shot down. We also lost many tanks but apparently it was worth it.

Lost a volleyball game to the NCOs last night 2 to 1 and then went to a show to see one of the years worst pictures – “Young America."

Spent in our so at the club and then to bed. Fine night's sleep

Afternoon -- I was here reading a magazine when I find myself wondering off and reminiscing, about the week prior to embarking when I was at the NYPA. Those days were just chock-full of running around from office to office and to the pier all day long trying to straighten out our supplies -- making sure that they were all present to be loaded and taking in hand the baggage foot locker and bedding role situation. It was a doost of a job and I’d be busy from 8 a.m. to 5:30, 6 p.m. or later, butting my head against red tape and Army inefficiency, so that I’d be dead tired on arriving home -- satisfied to just to sit around and relax. I knew that we were going on the sixth and I was a bit anxious to be off to get it over with. Not many, if any of the family suspected we would be shoving off so soon—but Ed cornered me the last night at dinner and put me on the spot. I told them that I if I did not return home for dinner not to expect me. Pop cornered me that night and I confessed that I was leaving for good the following morning and gave him instructions to tell the rest on missing me the following day that I had returned to Dix.

I felt a bit disappointed when Margaret left early on Easter Sunday—the day before leaving for good—the day before leaving for good—as I though it would be probably years before I would see her again—and felt likewise when Eddie and Rose went out for the night before I was to leave. I thought that they should have realized that I would not be around for long—and highly possible that I never would never return. Eula and the kids were out to a movie that night and I confessed that I was leaving for good the following day that I had returned to Dix.

It was a rather difficult breaking away from Pop and Mom the following morning -- but they took it very nicely. It is a rather strange sensation when you break away from everything you known -- to enter something which you have no power over and which in the future you may face grave reality. I have often felt that I would not care what happened to me -- have -- and still do. However vision within myself becomes sharper, more distant and where personalities are blurred they become strikingly outlined. As is probably a human tendency I begin to reflect, as I had done before but not so thoroughly or persistently upon what different people meant to me inasmuch as I might possibly never see them again and find that I owed a lot.

For August 22

-- read all afternoon, tied the enlisted men in volleyball and then attended a lecture by Dr. Bartley, an elderly man about 70, a public health officer who has been here for 27 years and delivered the Crown Prince. He related his travels in yellow fever and malaria ridden Panama and Nicaragua -- in the latter place tackling the hookworm problem, in Peru describing a case of utu venimosa, Fiji, Wallace Islands, New Zealand and Tonga. After that rather dull evening at the club.

August 23rd

-- Went down to the rectory after rounds with Jones yesterday morning to help prepare the display of Tapa. There are 57 different Tapas -- of varying designs, color, and size. I put an order in for about $20 worth which I hope to send home

In the afternoon I went to a track meet held at the Methodist College (Tubow). It was a fine afternoon -- warm and sunshiny -- and many people attended -- Natives, Englishman, New Zealand soldiers and officers and American soldiers. The events started at about 2 p.m. although scheduled for 1:45 p.m. (time is no element in Tonga). The events consisting of dashes, hurdles, 440, 880, and mile runs, relays, high jump, broad jump, Tug of war, ball throwing (cricket ball --107 yards) were interesting although far below our standards. Pole vault – 10ft 9”, high jump –5’'6". Hop, Skip and Jump 42 feet +. Tubo College beat the civil service and Tongan defense force. The meet was preceded by a competitive parade from which the best person is chosen. We went down in the truck but had no way to get there, as we had made no arrangements. We went to the collecting station and Joe Kassol and Landry invited us to dinner at the guardhouse and motor pool, as we were too late already for mess at the hospital. We had steak, which looked appetizing -- but I could not eat it as it was like leather. However it held me over. Smitty inveigled a Jeep from the guards to take us back to the hospital financial parentheses and our transportation problem is very poor). We got back to the hospital safely -- Driving is very dangerous along the dark roads in the blackout. However there was a good moon out which helped a lot. We promptly had some drinks on Van stans and Charlie's tent next door and all began to glow – and a good time was had by all. I went to the club but came home and went to bed early. Mac is in the hospital with ulceration in his nares. Was up to see him this morning.

They say another boat came in with 25 bags of mail.

August 24th

Went for swim at the Blowholes yesterday with Van and Stan -- met Grove and Graff and was invited to join them in a small picnic they were having to celebrate Grove’s birthday. He had received chicken, tongues. from home. We picked a nice secluded spot at the edge of the blowhole and enjoyed ourselves for about an hour. I was O.D. the last night and was called to treat an acute atropine poisoning -- atropine ()was administered accidentally instead of 1/100. He looked in bad shape but about an hour after physostigmine was administered he looked better. He became excited and delirious during the night and had to be given a sedative. I think he'll pull through.

I had quite a time with the fleas in bed last night.

Aug 25th Spent the morning making rounds and working up three consultations—the afternoon reading and sleeping. We had a dinner celebrating Col Meagher's 25th anniversary in the army—followed by a movie—then a party at the club where the ethyl alcohol flowed freely n the form of a punch. I had a good time—and danced t music supplied by the 147th which sounded like one of the big ten.

Some mail arrived here yesterday but I did not get any.

Aug 26th—Have been shaving with hot water for the past 4-5 days—and it is quite a novelty again to have hot water. Made rounds and began to read “The Moon is Down” by Steinbeck. Slept from 1-4 yesterday afternoon and then spent a dull evening at the club. Heard yesterday that Brazil had declared war.

I am having some Tongan Kava cups made—about a dozen. They will make good cocktail cups when we get home.

I foolishly made a bet of 25$ the other night that we would still be here Sept 21st, 1943. She reminded me of the bet yesterday.

We ran out of beer at the club—and last night there were very few there. The office who was poisoned is getting along nicely.

Aug 27th Went swimming yesterday—spent the whole afternoon—roasting--and finished “The Man is Down.” Pretty good book.

Mac and I imbibed last night and spent a quiet but loquacious night. Hugh came along and we reminisced about mutual acquaintances at P & S. He is about to tackle the flea problem—but I put in my two cents and told him the rats should be eradicated first—as the species is rat flea. Most of the rats live up in the coconut trees—and usually when a coconut falls—there is a hole gnawed through it. I've never seen any in the trees. They come down at night.

The greatest naval battle in history is said to be going on now between the Solomons and New Guinea. We are said to have sunk and aircraft carrier and several other ships. The Japs state they have annihilated our fleet. Some Jap ships broke away from the main group and we were concerned that they are heading this way our our force was put on the alert.

Injured the 3rd and 4th fingers of my right hand last night at volley ball playing against the privates. They won 2-1. It is probably a sprain—but I'll have a peak taken to rule out a chip fracture.

The sun rises earlier so we get up in the light now. It is about 7:30 AM and the sun is shining brightly about a quarter of the way up.

Aug 28th Made my trip to Golamae yesterday—and saw about 9-10 patients, hydrathenes of knee, low back pain, possible tb, scabies, possible fracture of elbow, etc.

Movie last night--”Three Sons”--which was a depressing picture, not so good. Went to the club and played Gin Rummy with Jones.

I am to be on Receiving and O.P.D. next month—and as such am to be part of the M.A.C and will have to mount the guard—and be officer of the day.

We were double crossed by our own ranking officers—who did not oppose our taking over this job but as a matter of fact were in favor I it. Just another thing which shows that the higher ups dont use their heads—and demonstrated the way the Army works. It will be first just for a month and not too bad I hope.

My fingers feel better to day. No fractures by X Ray.

Aug 29th—Rounds--a nap in the afternoon—and a short session with Grove last night followed by a walk to the blowholes with Burn.

A ship from the Solomons is supposed to be in—but without any casualties. We were preparing to take care of the wounded from the battle going on but they were probably taken to hospitals nearer the scene of battle.

A ship from San Francisco is supposed to be in with supplies and probably mail.

A group had a party yesterday—and more of them appear to be crippled in some way or other.

Aug 30th—Went swimming yesterday afternoon. The weather was hot and humid—and the water was refreshing—although the tide was low. Went over to the club last night—drank New Zealand beer and returned to my tent early..

Aug 31st Church and then the club where we played some baseball. Did not have any lunch—but drank N.Z. Beer and stayed at the club all day. Last night returned to the club00played Gin Rummy with James and home early.

The Enterprise (aircraft carrier), one cruiser and 3 destroyers arrived yesterday. The Enterprise was hit by bombs a couple of times—one bomb traversing three decks. There were 92 casualties of which about 75 were killed. We got two of the casualties--both struck by bomb fragments--one has severe gashes in his buttocks and legs and had his right foot amputated—and is in critical condition. The other has had his great toe amputated and will probably have the rest of his foot removed. They were sent on with a diagnosis of Gas Gangrene.

Reports are optimistic. The Americans are not taking any prisoners—because of a recent betrayal in Tulagi. The Japs had raised the white flag—and the marines entered—but on approaching the flag-bearer jumped into a fox hole—and the Japs opened fire—causgin 650 casualties. Reminds me of the double cross at Pearl Harbo—with would be peacemakers in Washington.

The Americans are supposed to have hot 15 Jap ships inn Tulagi harbor. Our losses are supposed to be slight compared to the Japs. There is a compliment of about 2000 men in the Enterprise—so their casualties were less than 5%.

Sept 1

Picnic at Alleys beach yesterday afternoon—Steak, pork chops, beer and punch—and a birthday cake for Jack Kaiser. It would be simple to break one's neck on the incline to the beach as it is a perpendicular bluff of coral—but there were no casualties yesterday.

A piece of shrapnel was removed from one of the men the other day. They say the critical one is improving.

I start in receiving, OPP and evacuation today, which also includes censoring and administrative OD on my turn. Mail should be in soon.

Sept 2nd Very busy day yesterday—in receiving patients, Evacuation, censoring mail, attended officers and medical meeting, cut Alley's hair again, and worked up 3 cases of Enteritis. I went to the club for about an hour and returned with Father Lynch. We had a session for an hour or so and then I turned in. We had individual photos taken yesterday. I hope mine turns out well as I would like to send it home.

We arrived a 530 AM—as dawn breaks earlier. Awoke several times during the night since it was very cold.

Most of the news over the radio sounds encouraging. In the Solomons 35 planes dove on the Enterprise and all but two were shot down. Apparently the Japs are being slaughtered in that area.

Our food has improved a little—as our offices are paying more than the allotted amount. It was getting so that I could not touch the stuff. Powdered eggs, salty sow belly, hash, chile-con carne, dehydrated potatoes, Vienna sausage, shredded beef, but now we are getting fresh beef-and occ. fresh eggs. A rarity down here also is fresh pure water—miss it frequently. We drink nothing at meals except tea, coffee and canned fruit juices. Have had 2-3 drinks of water in about 3 mos.

Sept 3rd Very busy day—treated yaws in the Tongan Soldiers yesterday. There are about 10 receiving treatments-catharses. There only complaint is sore feet—which appear thick with deep fissures on the soles. Some have had 4 shorts—so I'll have a Kahn done next week. Answering sick call, and receiving comprised the rest of the day. Some of the men are very prolific in their correspondence. There is very little censoring to do—as most of the men keep within the limitations.

Had a busy morning—admitted eight patients—mostly surgical and sutured a deep laceration of the hand of a Tongan boy. The children take pain very well without a whimper.

I just got rid of my Tongan Dispensary job and feel that it is going to make a premature death. The T.M.P politely informed Jones that he thought he could take care of everything and would request our assistance if he thought he needed it. I believe some must think we are meddling Americans and I am not quite sure that they are wrong.

The Tongan soldiers receive a shilling a day—amounting to about $4.75 a month. We pay our kitchen help –natives wo wash the pots and pans--$6 per month. Father Lynch requested that I see a native girl—one of Father Calais helpers00who has been sick for 3-4 days. I visited her last night—and after some difficulty in getting a history and doing a physical as 4-5 members of the family crowded into the room—I hazarded a diagnosis—which under the circumstances may or may not be right –but I expect to see her again tomorrow.

Father Callais is a French Catholic Missionary—and has been on the island—about 4 years and has his lifetime to go. It takes a lot of gumption with that outlook—to take a job like that. I've seen him frequently riding at a full gallop down the road in his black Cossack, black split fedora, black beard. He is a fine man and would do anything for you. I believe that our being here has been a pleasure for him.

I hope that the col and general do not have any more brainstorms about how to keep us busy—with dispensaries, First Aid—etc-as we have enough to do without going looking for it.

Sept 4th—Wrote a letter home and took a nap after working half the afternoon. Saw a “Dead End Kid” picture last night which was not so good. Things are pretty quiet here and there is not much new

September 5th

--A party for the opening of the nurses reception room last night started off sedately but ended up in a brawl-- I had a very good time. The 7th Evac, officers from other outfits--and some of the Navy and a few New Zealanders were there. The officers from the South Dakota--a new vessel in the harbor--are going to supply their orchestra and 50 gals. of ice cream tonight for a party at the Officers Club. The 147th Inf. orchestra supplied the music last night. This morning the environs of the newly opened reception room is strewn with cans.

The pilots from The Enterprise did a good job at the Solomons--each of them have about 10 planes to his credit. They have flown in practice combat with the army pilots here and shown them a few tricks they picked up from the battle to beat the Japs in combat. The Army planes are faster but the navy planes are better at maneuvering. The latter put a big hole in the Jap Air force at the Solomons.

Lt. Mosley (margin note: “subsequently killed in the Solomons”)--the atropine poisoned patient--has a responsible position w/ our air force here, and says that we suffered many losses at the beginning of the war because men were sent into combat zone with only 3-4 hours experience and that many of the deaths were accidental.

Today is Pop’s birthday--and I wish I were home to celebrate it with him. I hope that he will have many more--happier than this year.

September 6th

--Spent a long day in receiving yesterday--from about 8-4:30 and felt a bit worn out from the night before. The Commander of the South Dakota sent his 21 piece orchestra--and fifty gallons of ice-cream for a party last night. It was a very fine gesture. The orchestra was very good--and some of the sailors had played with “big time” orchestras in the states. Punch was also served, and a good time was had by all.

A new task force is being formed here and there are several vessels in the harbor: They say that several more including transports arrived yesterday. The aircraft carrier ”Saratoga” is expected today. The South Dakota is a newly commissioned battleship of about 35,000 tons. Some of the men went aboard her this morning. I had to attend receiving, etc.

This morning an Engineer, Major Eudal--a patient in receiving--told us that the North Carolina was overtaken by 4 Jap cruisers. She proceeded at about 20 knots/ hr--and then opened fire--sinking two cruisers directly--and chased the other two sinking them also. He has traveled through practically the whole South Pacific--by plane--Aus., NZ, Fiji and states that the general consensus of opinion in those parts is that the war will last 8-10 years. Those who are more optimistic say 5.

Solomon--my laundry man--brought me 7 Kava cups yesterday for my cocktail set.

The 37th Division is supposed to move up to the Solomon’s--we are part of the 37th--so it is possible that if this is true we might move up also.

The Barnett and The American Legion are in port--as transports.

Sept 7th--

Morning in receiving--slept in the afternoon after starting “Return from Dunkirk.” Dreamt that I was received in the English Court, received a gift of a pipe from the King and Queen--and was made Commander of all English forces in Russia. Also dreamt that I was home and shaved and dressed in the street--as has been our custom here.

We are going to have another party tomorrow night for Admiral Fletcher, Vice Admiral of the task force that was engaged in the Solomon’s. He stated that in Tolagi--700 Japs were ambushed but only two taken prisoner. They are slaughtering them since the Japs have been treacherous--e.g. throwing grenades at First Aiders going to their aid--and cutting them down with bullets when they approached.

The Elliot--one of the ships in our convoy was sunk in the Solomons by a Jap ship which dove onto it after being struck. Sounds like suicide strike but from I heard from Moseby who spoke to members of the Enterprise the Japs don’t go in to much for suicides dives as reported--if at all.

Our mail ship which is about one week overdue is thought to have been sunk or disabled. Too bad--but it may come in yet for all we know. The Wisconsin---here almost 2 weeks ago and carrying 5 med. patients and Col. Blakelock back to the states is rumored to have been sunk.

There are over 30 ships in the harbor now--including the Saratoga, convening for another attack in the Australian area. We received only two casualties--most of them were sent to Australia and proximal bases.

The South Dakota left yesterday. With all these ships in harbor we are a good target for a Jap attack-but they are probably too busy in the Solomon area.

Some of the men have dug fox holes behind their tents--about 5” to 5’-2” to jump into in case of a raid. I have yet to make one. Our place will be in the hospital and not like ostriches in a hole.

The fleas ate me alive last night and it took some time before I could get off too sleep. They are black--oval--the size of a pin head--and you can see them jumping but its hard to catch and kill them. They are rat fleas.

I happen to think of the dreary day April 9th when silently and surreptitiously our ship the Barnett slipped out of harbor; none of us allowed up on deck. But it was a bad day--small snowflakes began to fall and it looked dreary. One of the girls ran to her cabin and began to weep. Wall all felt rather low--because although a great adventure lay before us we might never get back--and if we did get back, who could say how long it would be. Yes! It was a depressing sight through that porthole--and we had 30 hectic days before us before we reached our destination. We had to wear our life belts throughout the whole trip--supposed to even while in bed. The belt consisted of a band of canvas about 4” wide strapped around the waist--and blown up automatically by shooting off two cylinders of CO2--by squeezing two levers together in the front near the clasp. Some received a surprise of their life when accidentally the tube was blow up by compressing the levers. The trip probably was about 10-10000 miles, as we did a great deal of zig zagging.

4:55PM- Aprox 12 PM in New York. Seven more ships arrived today--bringing the total up to about 40 in the harbor. The Captain, three doctors (Harden, Brown and Price) were removed from the Barnett for talking too much. Penalty??

The meals are improving-had fresh ham, fresh mashed potatoes and fresh cabbage tonight--with tea and fruit salad. We are chipping in $4 a month more in order to have better food. The food furnished by the army is not too desirable and we definitely get fed up with it.

The Barnett has the wing of a Jap plane which landed aboard ship as the plane was falling.

I admitted the 1st solder of the Tongan Army--who was inducted 3 years ago. A.S.N. 001. Furenculosis of the buttocks.

Was greeted this morning by an exceptionally large batch of mail. The boys are particularly prolific with their correspondence over the week-ends. Will probably be snowed under when the mail arrives.

Sept 9th

--The medical officers from the Barnett spoke yesterday at the club. They related the various types of injuries sustained at the Tobali and their treatment. There must have been plenty of casualties. The first group of Marines and sailors who landed were all killed. They do not say much of the actual combat.

We had a party last night in honor of the Vice Admiral of the Fleet Admiral Fletcher. There were about 75 to 100 Naval officers and aviators present including the Admiral. Purple death acted on them very quickly--and they seemed to have had a wonderful time. I got back to my tent at about 1:45 AM.

From what I hear, just about the whole naval staff were “knocked cold” by Purple Death and were lying all over our grounds and stumbling about. I hope that they recover fully before they go into combat---because they’d take a shellacking now. The South Dakota on leaving here went up on a coral reef and was damaged. It will have to go back to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Another example of carelessness.

Our losses at the Solomon are greater than broadcasted. The whole first detail of marines to land were knocked out completely. They expected 85%--50%--35%--and very little loss in the last wave with cleaning up on this final wave. The Japs apparently were laying in wait. There was one story of a Jap throwing grenades from a coconut tree. A soldier got him--but was wounded by a fragment when the grenade fell out of the Jap’s hands.

Sept 10th

--Mounted the Guard yesterday afternoon--all in all it was very successful I am O.D. and was up before down this morning--to awake the other officers at dawn at 5:30. I am taking a revolver--without bullets. It seems foolish but denotes authority and is supposed to command more respect.

The Barnett brought down three planes in the Solomons. We have had many aviators visiting us. Most of them are very young.

We consumed 40 gals of Purple Death and 35 cans of beer the other night for approximately 150 people. They began to drop like flies at about 10 PM and were lying all over the place. Those fellows set out to get drunk and they accomplished it in a very short order. I guess they deserved it. They seem to be a fine bunch and if were given my chance again I would probably join the Navy.

Mail is supposed to be in. I hope so but it means a lot of work and sorting.

Sept 11th

--Had an uneventful day as O.D. and was relieved at 4 PM. Movie last night “The Vanishing Virginian” with Frank Morgan. Movies of the trip down the Atlantic Coast and Neptune services aboard the American Legion were also shown. Some good shorts of the other transports and battleships of our convey.

I believe I forgot to mention that our ship broke down in the Pacific for about 8 hours and we thought were going to be left behind to do the best we could--however the remainder of the convey went ahead about 3-4 miles and waited for us. We proceeded the remainder of the journey partially disabled.

No mail yet--there is supposed to be a supply ship at Fiji.

We got a warning last night that the barometer was falling and that another typhoon was coming along--to loosen up the tent ropes and secure every thing. However it rained a little during the night and I slept outside with my side flaps up.

I believe that everyone agrees that our C.O. is a definite failure. He seems to be interested only in photography, the Tongan language, and the farm. He sells us officers farm produce for our mess at city prices, in spite of the fact that his expenses are practically nil. He is one of the most unpopular men on the unit.

A task force set out from here yesterday morning--destination unknown.

Marie--my maid--brought me two more Kava cups yesterday. I have a dozen now. Tekit-Tekit has not finished by bracelets yet.

Sept 12th

--After a day in receiving--where I wrote four letters in the afternoon, I got a ride to the Collecting Station with Colonel Meager, Maj. Kidder, Misses White and Ricky to relieve Landry and Warner for their holidays. Things were very quiet during the night--and I slept soundly--although the other men said that there was quite a storm during the night with plenty of wind. I slept on Warner’s air mattress and it felt good. This morning I rode down to the dock with Landry and the ambulance and the scene was attractive with 12 ships in the harbor--Saratoga, South Dakota, a couple of cruisers, Hunter Leggett, Barnett, American Legion, Vestal, Arctic (latter two--repair & supply respectively). We had eaten breakfast over at the Provost Marshals. The enlisted men are very pleasant--and go out of their way to please. Last night they made me a toasted cheese sandwich and this morning an egg sandwich on toast. A fine bunch of men.

No mail as yet.

1 PM--Had lunch at the P.M.--and took a ride down to the docks. There are four small supply ships in--w/ 117,000 lbs. of meat aboard. There was a pair of depth bombs perched on the stern which looked ominous

Just stopped in at a nearby yard and saw a turtle approx. 4 ft by 2 ft by 1 ft. The Queen has one on her grounds that was given her by Capt. Cook.

Sailors were fishing off the side of the supply ship--one harpooned a dog fish but it got away.

All the battle ships except a cruiser and destroyer have left the harbor.

It is said that we are called a task force rather than an expeditionary force as F.D.R. said that there would never be another expeditionary in one of his previous speeches.

The marines went ashore on their hands in the Solomons--60% casualties on the 1st, 20% on the second--and practically none in the 3rd. The Japs fled into the woods and trenches, and gas was used to drive them out of the trenches. There are some stories of atrocities--which may be true or false. One sailor whom Sgt. Weinstein was talking said that we had new losses, having seen 4 cruisers going down. He said that none of our planes were in the air. The Jap suiciders would cover their faces with a Jap flag and dive. The Elliot met its fate this way--and the Barnett narrowly escaped a similar one.

Sept 13th. Went to the opening of the infantry club last night and had a pretty good time although it can’t compare with the parties here. One of the members had to sign for the D.Z. beer that they served--and charged a quarter per bottle. I had a few dances--the 147th furnished the music. Party ended at 11 --and rode back to camp in a truck with other officers and nurses. I received another notice today that one of my packages was stolen or lost.

Rumor that the American Legion is going to Australia and on its return the 147th is going to practice shore parties which sounds as though they will be leaving in the near future--but this needs confirmation.

I gave the boys at the C.S. a couple of dollars to buy some steak for themselves yesterday. Nice bunch of boys.

Sept 14th--Worked in receiving all day--Quiet day--uneventful. Some of the marines are said to have been caught in swimming at the Solomons and mowed down by the Japs. Frank Fletcher--Vice Admiral, was in charge of the task force in the first Coral Sea Battle. They were supposed to meet our convoy--but intercepted the Japs instead. There is a good story of the battle in the August issue of the Readers Digest.

The Japs captured in Tulagi were marched before the intelligence and questioned with a bayonet to their backs and then disposed of. One officer (US) was killed after giving a cigarette to a supposedly wounded Jap--and while lighting his cigarette. The Jap drew a knife and stabbed him.

Bananas here for the taking and said to be selling for $1 a dozen in the states.

(12:30 P.M. I am scheduled to take the men down swimming this afternoon--things are run abominably --and if I ever should get out of this army, I should never want to have anything to do with it. Our leaders are very incompetent, inefficient, irresponsible and I beginning to wonder how we can ever win this war with such a group directing us. The leaders of our particular unit are not only a disappointment to me but to most of the others. A 12 yr. old child could run things better. I’m pretty disgusted and irritated by it all. I think if we do win this war it will be by sheer weight of production. There are too many grocery clerks and soda-jerks in the driver’s seat in the army. The Navy seems to have competent men. I have often wondered why the Army and Navy never could get along but now am beginning to see the light. If I had to do it again I’d join the Navy--but would preferably be a civilian.

No mail yet. They say a ship carrying our mail was sunk between San Fran and Honolulu.

Sept 15th--My notes of yesterday sound very venomous--but its the truth. You think of such things but don’t like to write them until you overflow with ill-feeling--then you don’t care and write candidly what’s on your mind.

Took some patients for a swim yesterday and finished “Return via Dunkirk.” They are repeating the films that we have seen--as we have received no new movies. The men look forward to the movies as diversion is scant on the island. The Red Cross is supposed to supply entertainment and diversion but this is an organization that yet to prove its worth. It is a farce--and they do very little of anything that could not be taken care of by the men themselves. We have six Red Cross workers on the island--3 men and 3 women and yet to see any good done by them. I have wondered what percentage of money donated actually reaches the purpose for which it is intended. The people are being hoodwinked.

There have been a few laughs--although we deeply regret the incident--about the South Dakota running up on a reef and ripping out her bottom. She is newly commissioned --and will have to return to Pearl Harbor for repair. She set out in the morning after the party--refusing a pilot--and subsequently met with her misfortune. We think our party might have been responsible for this accident. Purple death--Wow!!

We were all heartened yesterday when we heard that mail was in but were let down--as it was Navy mail. Morale has been low in the outfit and something is needed to pick it up.

The two casualties brought from the Solomons are doing nicely.

The recently commissioned battleship “Washington” is in--and is apparently going out soon as they are loading supplies. Mail is also in and we will probably get it tomorrow.

We had an officers meeting today. We discussed the guard situation and also mess. We have decided to have a mess committee to improve the eating conditions of all.

I am pinch-hitting as AOD for Captain Johnson this afternoon.

Sept 16th--received mail from home last night and today from Pop, Eula, Frank, Margaret, Rose, Edgar, Aunt Marge and Mary Nelson. The news is good. Everyone is fine. It will be a great day when we get back home again.

Sept 17th. We expect more mail to come up today--as another mail ship came in yesterday. Feast or famine. I’m delaying my correspondence until all of it is here. Had a very poor night last night getting asleep--the flees were like vultures.

A Lt. Col of the marines gave a lecture to the Commanding officers pf the task force. Contrary to radio reports, invasion pf the Solomon’s was a flop and the featured are very discouraging. The marines on landing at Guadalcanal sunbathed and shot coconuts out of trees.. The men consisted of recruits called to service last spring and were young, irresponsible, undisciplined. When supplies were placed on the beach--supposedly about 5 ft high and 1/4 mile long--the marines and Navy had a squabble as to who was to move it. The navy was supposed to be back on board in 16 hours--instead it took 3 days to get back--giving the Jap Navy time to assemble and sink 6 cruisers--4 American, 1 Australian, 1 Britain, with a loss of about 1200 lives. When the Japanese planes came over Hell broke loose and there was shooting in all directions indiscriminately--shooting even in the direction of the other allied ships. However 23 Jap ships were brought down--i.e. all of them. On arriving at the island--there was no opposition---there no Japs to be seen--only coolies who ran to the hills and hid. One solder stepped on a coolie who dug a hole and buried himself almost completely with dirt and straw.

At a landing on one place--the Japs raise the white flat--a Lt. Col.--and 23 others (including an MD) went to the meeting place in two boats. On landing at the appointed place, the Col. dismissed the boats and told them to return at 12 noon the following day. After boats had gone--the Japs opened fire--and killed all except a sergeant and a corporal who escaped by swimming back. The marines went in down and killed all the Japs. No mercy was shown. At one landing place, 20 boats were beached with troops. That evening a ranking officer went to the beach and counter 35. He inquired where the other came from. Fifteen---the difference were Jap boats. The Japs had landed in the dark unobserved.

The marines were at a loss as the Japs were shooting from the tops of the coconut trees./ However they soon settled the situation by ramming the trees with their tanks and shooting the Japs “on the wing” as they fell. When they ran out of ammunition or bayonets got stuck they went after the Japs with knives--unmercifully--to avenge the treachery and to void more.

After the cruisers were sunk the Jap force turned to North Carolina (previously recorded), the NC sunk four pf their cruisers.

The marines were told before landing to destroy all Jap installations. However they needlessly went too far, destroying valuable instruments which could have been put to good use by our own forces including an expensive radio and flashlight.

Thirty four bombers were destroyed (Japs). There was a total loss of about 98 Jap planes to 19 American. However, the whole invasion was ill planned--with very little planning-revealing lack of discipline with poor leadership--and poor coordination between the different services--resulting in great loss of life and property unnecessarily. We can’t with this war if practices like this continue.

The task force had stopped at the Keys to practice landings. The officials went ashore to make arrangements--but then because of some more powerful Fijian politicians, so that they wouldn’t have to move the natives away from a desirable area--the force was given a rocky beach to practice on--which resulted to damaging 20 our landing boats.

It’s going to be a long war.

Sept 18th--The people at home now think that our engagement in the Solomons was a big success. If they only knew. I received some more mail yesterday, including a letter that I sent Ed on July 27th which was returned as unclaimed. It must have traveled about 20,000 miles--there and here. I have written three letters so far. Rose sent me a 1 lb. box of Sherry’s chocolates--and are they good.

We had practice exercises today--informed that we were to receive 250 casualties. Gets one thinking how you would conduct things if such an event were actual.

Sept 19th--Uneventful day yesterday--wrote several letters in the afternoon. Quiet evening at the club. Played Gin Rummy with Dinger. Wore socks over pajama bottoms last year but was bothered by fleas nevertheless. The nuisances bother me every night.

A member of the War Dept. is visiting this morning. Reason?

Sept 20th--Uneventful day. Was groggy from censoring mail. Had a couple of drinks with Grove and Graft and went to the club and played Gin Rummy with Schlesser. Won one dollar. Mass at 6:20 this morning. Raining pretty hard for the last hour. No work for me this Sunday afternoon.

I spread naphthalene on my bed and on the bed and floor and chairs and had a relatively good nights sleep.

Sept 21st --Read and swam and basked in the sun yesterday afternoon. Had a few drinks in Graves tent--went to the club and lost $13 in poker. A lot of gambling goes on--one enlisted man won 3000 (illegible) . One of our own men has won over $1200.

The N. Carolina is in. Four bodies were removed and buried on the island. Moving pictures were taken to show the family that they had a decent burial.

Received 3 more letters--which had gone astray from Margaret, Rose and George. Mary --my maid--presented me with four tapa cloths which she has made. Has been raining rather hard for the past day--slept with my flaps up--and luckily did not get wet.

One of our sergeants was called today to go back to the states. Its a fine break for him--so now he is on his way.

Received a letter from Margaret today postmarked June 1st--almost four months.

Sept 22nd--Storm yesterday--wind and rain--coconuts and leaves all over. Cluster of coconuts fell on my tent. I thought that the skies were falling. Terrific noise. Would have killed anyone its way. Today it is sunshiny but muddy.

Spent the whole night in my tent--played Gin Rummy with Schlien--won a dollar--and then read. Slept peacefully in spite of the raging storm.

I have to mount the guard today--start as O.D. at 4 P.M.

Rumors that we are going to be sent back to the states--but I don’t believe them.

Sept 23rd--It is 6 AM--crisp but promising to be a good day. Was up at 5--awoke all of the men--made rounds at the rock and blowhole post. Mounting the guard went very smoothly yesterday. It was quiet last night so I retired early and read for a while. No body takes the alert seriously--as there is no sign of activity anywhere.

Sept 24th--Uneventful day--relieved of the guard at 4 PM. Lost 1.25 to Gaylord at Gin Rummy at 1/4 cent a point.

The Navy says the that Hornet and another aircraft carrier have been sunk.

Sept 25th. Ancient movie last night--Queen of the Mob. Loudspeaker broke down several times. Poor show. Had a busy time frame. Was at my battle station at about 5:45 AM and spent the whole day in Receiving alone as Grove went to (illegible) to buy supplies--steak, etc. for a picnic. He was all worn out when he got back. Reminds me of how I used to run about when building the club. We expect to have the picnic on Monday--3 days hence.

Sept 26th--Quite a busy day--in receiving until after 4 PM. Took Bill’s place this afternoon as I am going on a picnic with “Cafe Society” tomorrow afternoon.

Both the Wasp and the Jarvis--a destroyer-- are said to be sunk. The Jarvis has been officially announced. The Wasp sinking has not been disclosed as yet. A torpedo is said to have struck its magazine and it blew up. Both of these were in port about seven weeks okay. Only 50 men out of about 2100 are said to have been saved.

Tekit Tekit brought my bracelets yesterday--10 in all. I hope to have some rings made for Pop, Ed, Uncle Jim, Harry, Frank, and Jerry.

I have a good collection to send home--bracelets, Kava cups, grass skirts, tapa cloths, beads, and sheets.

Sept 27th--We held a party last night with local dancers. It was a failure--and a disappointment to most. Got home rather early--before midnight. Spent the morning in receiving. I don’t believe I’ll go on the picnic this afternoon. Will probably sit around at read. “Tonga Lil”-- Dr. Baileys half cast daughter was present and danced.

Sept 28th Yesterday was quiet--Receiving in the morning--read and sleep in the P.M. Had a few with Alley in the evening--and to bed at about 9 PM. Had a good night’s sleep.

Sept 29th--Went on a picnic with Alley, Jones, Ben Farmer, Grove and Graff yesterday afternoon. Had a fairly good time although it rained intermittently and we were occasionally enveloped in a spray from the Blowholes. We could not use the beach and had to make our fire about 50 yards back because of the rough ocean and spray. To cap it all. I had a sore throat and a mild feeling of general malaise. We had steak which was in the tough side, onions, bread, butter, beer, purple punch, and shelled walnuts. We returned at about 5:30 PM. We had a movie, “no Nannette” which I had seem about 3 years ago. It was pretty good--but we got a little wet as it drizzled and rained.

Sept 30th--Quiet day--read in the afternoon--To the club last night--where it was very dull. Session was Father Lynch--then to bed. My cold is worse--in my nose and chest now.

The Washington is in again--and hear that it is going back to the states. About fifteen patients left for the states yesterday (w/ Certificates of disability discharged). Things have become very monotonous and dull here. Not a thing to do at night. Would almost welcome a few bombs to fall.

We have to be at our battle stations at 5:30 AM now. Another silly regulation.

Oct 1st--Felt pretty low yesterday--but improved considerably in the evening. Quiet day. Club at night--played Gin Rummy with Dinger.

Oct 2nd Started at Med. Ward yesterday. Tongan dispensary at Kolavai in the afternoon and saw about 10 patients. At 4:45 about 40 of us (nurses and officers) set out by truck for the USN Battleship Washington. We picked up 3 WAACs, and boarded a launch and some got quite a dousing on the trip out. We were received very cordially and were shown about the ship--which is the sister ship of the N. Carolina-- 35,000 tons. It bristles with all type of armament--the largest are 16” --of which there are 9. I met a Lt. (1q) Meinschen from Indiana and spent most of the evening with him. We had a buffet supper--with ice cream and cup cakes and saw a movie “Babes in Arms” which I had seen before. it was a very pleasant evening and we left at about 10:30 arriving at the hospital at about 11:30.

I learned that the WASP definitely was sunk south of the Solomons and that the N. Carolina was struck by a torpedo. The Washington is the only Battleship left in the area--and will probably back to the states. Many lives were lost in the Wasp sinking.

It seem that we are actually losing this war with so many of ours ships being sunk and so little being accomplished in the form pf an offensive. However. we are building several 45,000 ton ships to be followed by 50,000 tons ships.

Oct 3rd. Capt. Horn is unwrapping some supplies--bandages etc.--found that they were wrapped up in newspaper from the last war--in one section Wilson stated that we would fight until Germany surrendered unconditionally. Little did they suspect at the time that they would be used in a war 24 yrs later.

Session with Ally, Benjamin, Horn, and Finnegan last night--in which a lot of dissatisfaction with the manner by which the unit is run.

Col. and Kidder went into dinner just after the rest of us last night and had steak--bad for the moral. The dissatisfaction is general--and the administration unit is generally disliked and disrespected.

On my trip down in the Atlantic when the German submarine was contacted the Hunter Leggett was put on the alert and there was general tension aboard the ship. There is a story that one of our officers was so affected that he manifested it by a sympathetic response witnessed by a private who was promoted to an NCO to keep his mouth shut. (The officer was K.). We knew about the submarine--were not put on the alert since the destroyer dropping depth charges. On reflection I find that I had not extraordinary sensation at all--and took it as though it was an everyday occurrence.

Oct 4th--Quiet day--Rounds, read, wrote two letters, played Gin Rummy at the club with George--won 30 cents. Home at about 10:20 PM.

Fire call yesterday--fire with brush near the new hospital.

Oct 5th--Rounds, church, and read all afternoon after rearranging footlocker. Rained all day and is still raining. Session with Father Lynch from about t 5:30 until 9:30 at the club discussing various topics and drawing plans for the new chapel. It was very dark out and Father Lynch had to find his way by lighting his cigarette lighter. He just stopped in and said that he had forgotten about his study club at 7 PM last night.

Was bitten frequently by fleas in bed last night--Not too restful sleeping--and my chest cold is about the same--hard to get rid of.

This time last year I was preparing to leave on my cruse. Plenty has happened since then--travel, new experiences, mode of travel, etc. I think Ill be perfectly satisfied to settle down when and if I ever get back.

Oct 6th. Usual day--rounds--reading, a letter of a war of recommendations for officers training for an enlisted man. A nap in the afternoon. The New Zealand beer I ordered last week arrived last night. 60 1 qt. bottles--cost 11.00. Saw “Mad Miss Mareson”, a mystery last night--then to the club where I listened to a transcript of a World Series game. Cards won 9-6 against the Yanks.

The weather has been bad--raining intermittently for about one week--plenty of mud.

Oct 7--Rounds--medical reading--officers meeting followed by medical meeting. Officers' meeting a farce--Filled with lame excuses by the CO for not doing things of importance around here--which does not flatter our intelligence any. He should have been forced out--with a camera. No one respects him--as a leader he is a total failure.

Some mail arrived last n night but I did not receive any (air mail from Java)

Won 38c from Gaypol last night from playing Gin Rummy. The rain has stopped--sun is shining and it promised to be a hot day.

The news is promising-but I don’t know just how much to believe. We are all fed up with our position now and are hoping for a change.

Oct 8th Received 21 letters yesterday and spent 2 hours reading it. It felt good hearing from all at home. Got a letter from Ed, also. Will take time out to respond today or tomorrow.

I went down to the rectory for the Tapa I had ordered from Father Calais, paid $16.30. There are some very nice pieces.

Spent the evening at the club--Margaret's sending me a subscription to the Readers Digest.

Oct 9th Rounds, medical reading, wrote 3 letters, attended clinical meeting (almost wrote "mutiny" instead of "meeting") --movie "East side of Heaven" and to bed. The 147th has been put on the alert and will probably leave--probably to reinforce the Solomon’s.

There has been plenty of dissatisfaction about the mess--. There have been attempts to improve it--a mess counsel has been appointed--but their hands are tied since Weinberg is refractory--and backed by the Administrative Corps. The only way it will be improved will be to oust the mess officer. The Quonset hut obtained for the mess are being sent to the farm. Our farm is the only one run by the Army.

Oct 10th--A year ago today I started on the Caribbean Cruise.

Nothing new--wrote some letters yesterday--read--and went for a swim in the afternoon--and took a walk with Eleanor last night. The nurses had a meeting with Col. Meaghan last night and threshed out a few difficulties but did not accomplish anything. There is a lot of dissatisfaction due to mismanagement --but things will just continue without any change.

The 147th Inf. will leave in about 4 days with 1400 men--for a small island about 200 miles from here--and are going to prepare it as a base of some sort. Yesterday was uneventful. I packed away the gifts I bought--and will probably send them out in a few days. Lost $1.00 to Willy at the club last night.

Changed my insignia from shoulder to collar--removing the U.S. Wrote to the children yesterday. The men who first entered the army are receiving elevations in rank, those who are even stationed there. It hardly seems cricket--as will probably remain in the same rank. Thank the Army

Book #2

Personal Diary of Lt. Jos F. LaBarbera

Task Time 0051 I

Tonga Tabu (Houma)

(Task Force Disbanded)

Fiji (Sambeto Valley

Oct-1942-June 1943)

Oct 12--Columbus Day--but its just like any other day. Holidays are a thing of the past for us--and they come and go without any comment.

On starting on this second book, I only hope that we shall be out of here before I finish it. Received a letter from Barbara Allen last night full of information about P.G. Pronhas (?) is a commando and in transport now. I wish I were with him--He had a streak of luck when he could not get his teeth fixed in time. I hope to see him out this way some time

Oct 13--Rounds, medical reading, a session--movies (Green Hell”) and a game of Gin Rummy with Gaypol--won 21 c.

A supply ship came in--the first in several months--now I can shine my shoes when I have not been able to do for about a month.

The days are rather long. We get up at 5:30 and go to our battle stations--where we stay until 6:15. We then dress, shave and go to breakfast until about 7:15. I return here--write in my diary, read or write a letter and them make rounds until about 9:30.

The days are rather long. We get up at 5:30 and go to our battle stations--where we stay until 6:15. We then dress, shave, and go to breakfast until about 7:15. I return here--write in my diary, read or write a letter and then make rounds until about 9:20. Then 9:30 to 12 I read some medical literature and spend the afternoon reading, napping, or taking a swim. At 4:30 we have supper after which I make brief rounds to see if all are comfortable and then usually spend the evening playing cards--at the movies (twice a week). I usually turn out at 9:30 or 10 PM--read for about 15-30 minutes to end the day. All our days are for the most part identical.

Oct 14th--Medical meeting yesterday--Saw a case of elephantiasis of the genitals. Day presented the case of atropine poisoning which I treat and also one of strychnine poisoning from habitual use of alophen.

Heard the president’s speech last night --transcribed--over the radio.

Heard today for the first time that the Duke of Kent was killed in a plane crash.

Rumors are scarce these days.

Beat Jones at Gin Rummy last night.

Oct 15th--Quiet day--read all afternoon--Life and Time. Gin Rummy with Him--and just about beat him.

A cruiser came from the war department, asking for volunteers for the parachute corps. Day is thinking of going--and I’m considering it. I’ll wait until I get more particulars.

Part of the 147th inf is moving out today. I think they are headed for the Solomons where it is pretty hot--as there is a lot of fighting going on.

Oct 16th--Thought out the proposition about the parachute troops thoroughly yesterday and decided I’d pass it by. Had a real hard job making up my mind.

There has been considerable activity in the Solomon area. The Japs destroyed over 60 planes in a surprise attack, leaving only 13. There have been ship losses too. The folks at home get only the rosy side of the picture. We've had terrific losses in that area.

Took a swim yesterday. Movie “For Love of Money” last night, then Jim beat me at Gin Rummy. We now mess in a Quonset Hut which is a big improvement over the tent.

Oct 17th--There is plenty of activity down here--12 Army flyers left yesterday--notified at 12--left at 1--for the Solomons. The Jap transports were sunk yesterday--but our position in the Solomons is said to be precarious.

Oct 18th--We have only half of our air force now--about 12 pilots and planes. The Japs are said to have landed at Guadalcanal. I'm afraid we are going to have plenty of casualties.

Mailed the package yesterday-- and wrote a letter to the family and then invested in some clothing at the PX--socks, shorts, handkerchiefs, boots and caps.

There was a party at club last night for the Hunter Leggett Officers. It was not as good as our past parties--However I enjoyed the orchestra music (147th Inf orchestra). I had had about 3 1/2 qts of New Zealand beer---most while playing Gin Rummy with Jim in his tent before the party.

I received my uniform allowance of $150 yesterday and will send a money order at the beginning of the month.

Oct 19th--Rumor running about that Guadalcanal has fallen to the Japs-15, 000 troops are said to have landed. These rumors have not been confirmed.

Went to a movie down at the naval base yesterday afternoon--Went down in the truck with about 6 others. “A Gentleman at Heart”. Played Gin Rummy with a Schleiss and won a dollar.

The morale is slipping and about 6 of the men are taking strongly to drink and wander about drunk all day. There will probably be a lot more before this is over. Harris’ tent went up in flames last night--the whole front flap and mosquito net were ruined--it happened about midnight and Gardener and Johnson were suspected of setting it ablaze. There are no other officer’s tents to replace it. A mean trick if it were intentional.

I saw the Barnett in the harbor yesterday--and would give almost anything to be embarking for the states.

Watermelons are in season now. --Complaints came in that the natives are missing a lot of them from the adjoining property. Watermelons cost $1 for 24 lbs.

Day has been going about in acute depression since the General would not permit transferal to the paratroops.

Some airmail arrived last night but I did not get any.

The weather has been getting progressively hotter--but very cool at night. I have been reading behind my tent--and have been gradually acquiring a tan.

Oct 20th--Today is Eddie's birthday. I hope that he will have many many more. The 147th is moving out--probably to the Solomons.

Twenty-eight ships are said to have been sunk at Pearl Harbor--and 2000 were killed in an administration building which collapsed.

Saw a relatively good movie last nite, “Dangerously They Live.”

I had a close-up of a young flying fox yesterday. It was about 6” long--with a wingspread of about 20”--claw like feet-- covered c’ fur and it also had a tongue. The head looked like a foxes. The wings were membranous. The face was rat-like.

Oct 21st--There is plenty of activity going on--The 58th Pursuit Squadron has been alerted--and is going to be replaced by New Zealanders. The 1st Battalion of the 147th has gone--and the 3rd has been alerted--the 147th will be no more when they are gone; the 2ndbattalion is at Suma. They will all probably see action in the Solomons.

Our task force is under General Harmons who is stationed at New Caledonia. We might be moved out after all.

They say that 100 WAACs from New Zealand are expected here in the island and they will be welcomed.

Our nurses in general are of very poor quality--inefficient--irresponsible, altho there are some good ones. There is a lot of friction amongst various groups, and they have a very poor leader who should have been removed before we embarked. For the most part they are a coarse group and are much provoked because the doctors pay very little attention to them. I maintain that things would be much better if men were given a short course on nursing in the states---to go overseas as nurses, and to leave the womenfolk at home. We’d be much better off without them.

Oct 22nd- The 147th is not heading directly to the Solomons but is going to an island about 200 miles N.W. of Fiji-- and about 500 mi from the Solomons. (Santa Cruz)

One of our nurses, Miss Callahan, was married yesterday. Until almost 2 mos ago this was not permitted--She married a lieutenant in the 77th C.A.

I wrote to Gladys Ojida yesterday-in response to a letter I received about 10 mos ago-. It will probably take quite some time to reach Santiago, Chile.

The public at home, according to reports. (radio- magazines, newspapers) think that everything was in our favor in the Solomons--- However, the Japs are preparing an offensive which I believe will recoup the islands without much difficulty. A few weeks ago the Washington was the only battleship in that area--and she left because it would have been suicide to remain. Tonga has been in the past the rendezvous for our fleet before entering into the Theater of Operations. There has been no such activity in months. The taking of the Solomon's was no great victory as is commonly believed.

Oct 23rd--We lost two more destroyers in the Solomon area in the past few days--the Meredith and the O'Brien. A few were lost on the Meredith--but all were saved on the O'Brien.

Ralph made a 2-1 bet ($10 - $5) that we would be here next Oct 22.

I was asked this morning to discuss Meningitis at the Medical Conference on Tuesday. Mac is going to present two cases of meningitis in the hospital.

We have been seeing many cases of Atypical (virus) Pneumonia. I have three cases in my ward now.

Oct 24th--Worked up part of my paper in the morning--A swim in the afternoon, then went to a party on the farm, celebrating Bob Ackerly’s wedding anniversary--. We went down in a truck--about twelve of us--Cols M. C. Kelvy, + Hattan, Majors Jones, Curtis, Preston, & Slattery and Ackerly, Capts Benjamin, Alley, Schlein, Gaypohl + Legett and Graff, Lts, Grove and myself. The farm consists of several acres of clearing--with a large trim lawn, tennis court, a nicely planned house with an open veranda on the side, leading into a screened bedroom. There were a couple of other houses--kitchen, barn, and a vegetable patch. The cleared area is surrounding by acres on acres of dense coconut trees aligned uniformly.

We started off with whisky sours concocted to suit our palates by Bob Preston. They were both excellent and potent and the party speedily developed into a state of loquaciousness, well being and good fellowship. We had the best meal I've had since we left the states, consisting of steak, onions, mashed potatoes, succotash, fresh tender corn (grown on the farm)-- ice cream & cake and coffee, and rounded off with an excellent cigar. Employed at the farm is a New Zealand white about 45 or 50 who stayed when the rest were evacuated. He landed on Tonga Tabu 23 years ago-- married, ad has a daughter now serving as ambulance driver in England. We asked him how he happened to come to Tonga--and he said “Wanderlust“--but there may have been something else behind it. The farm is 54 yrs old and belonged to a German--who was sent to N.Z. as he was an alien although he tried to obtain British citizenship. Germany also refused--so he is actually a man without a country.

When I returned I took over the O.D. job which Finnegan was holding down for me. At about 12M I was awakened --and Father Calais and a told me that a woman was very ill and wanted me to go to see her. I dressed--and went--gathering information on the way--. I thought I was going to encounter, from the story an obstetrical problem--but when we arrived at the hut we could hear an infant crying lustily--it had just been born a minute before I arrived. I went in--and found the native lying on the floor--with the baby--crying lustily, the cord was still intact. I left--after seeing that every thing was all right. I was wondering what I could have done without instruments. I suppose I could have gotten along all right.

I returned to bed and could not sleep--tossed for 1/2 - 3/4 hr--and realized that I had an attack of Oivera ippsial aurecular tachychardia, which took some time to control by suprabarbital, Nembutal and carotid sinus pressure. I was awakened twice after that, once for a fractured nose, and once for a tensive burns, which I referred to the Surgical OD.

October 25th--Further work on my paper-- a swim in the afternoon. Gin Rummy during the evening with Gaypohl. Slept like a log last night. Wrote a letter home last note. Received one by air mail from Jeanne Waldron.

Radio reports are encouraging.

A New Zealand Ace is stationed here at the airport-- 13 1/2 Messerschmitts to his credit. The airport will be manned completely by New Zealanders our men are moving up to the front. There is a great chance that the unit or part of the unit will go soon also. Although the climate here is wonderful and days are spent pleasantly--I would like to move on. The nights here are very dull-- and there is very little of interest left.

Oct 26th received mail from Pop, Eula, Margaret, Rose, Aunt Marge--the last date was Sept. 15th--almost 6 wks ago. Expect that more will arrive soon.

Yesterday was quiet. I read most of the day and played cards at night.

It has been raining lightly and two ropes on my tent broke because of shrinkage.

Oct 27--Wrote some letters home---went for a swim. Then a movie at night. Beat Jim at Gin Rummy.

Was called to see a native in labor at about 1130 PM. Had to fish up some equipment and waited around until about 2. She has not made any progress--as yet--as I just stopped down to see her. In order to examine her I had to have all the lights removed and had a doozy of a job. Will drop back again this morning

700 N Zealanders are said to have come in yesterday--mainly the air force. More expected, including WAACs and Infantry.

October 28th--A Major Leighton who is making a tour of the South Sea Islands informally informed us that this unit will remain in the South Seas for the duration. (The South Sea comprises the area between the Equator and the South Pole and Pitcairn Island and the Coral Sea). He thinks that this might be converted into a Base Hospital--but is also high on the list to move. He believes that some of us might be detached and that one surgeon of the group is scheduled to leave. (We don’t know whom yet.) If converted into a base hospital more doctors and nurses will come in.

Another of our warships was sunk and an aircraft carrier damaged in the Solomon area --a British broadcast started last night. None of Solomon area--British stated last night.

The alert was shifted up an hour since dawn is now at 430. was awakened twice during the night--since I was O.D.--and rightfully could have remained in bed--but I got up anyway. Because of the heat--the customary officers meeting medical meeting was cancelled.

October 29th--The Navy has announced the sinking of the Wasp. The Meredith was also sunk at about the same time. They were here together a few months ago before sailing for the Solomons.

Our purpose here, we have learned, is to protect the sea-lanes between the states, New Zealand & Australia.

The Hornet is said to have been damaged a few weeks ago.

There are three divisions in the Solomons: there are 3 battleships to a division--with aircraft carriers, cruisers, and destroyers, so it seems that we have plenty of strength for a sea battle.

Arising before dawn is quite a chore.

Oct 30th---The weather has been very hot and heavy with humidity and we are being initiated into real tropical weather which will be in its fullest form in a month or to. As we arise very early we should be able to finish the bulk of our work before it becomes real hot during the morning.

The water yesterday was fine--but there were too many in swimming to really enjoy it--but it was much cooler at the blowholes.

We had our pictures taken yesterday in groups for the newspapers at home. I was in three groups--The Long Island group (Nassau County Daily News), the Brooklyn group and the Cornell Group--all for the benefit of building up morale at the home front.

There will be a tea for the WAACs (Woman’s Auxiliary Army Corps) on Saturday. We could stand something new to stimulate interest here.

I often wonder just how long this will continue. The ennui, particularly at night---is especially bad. It would be impossible to leave here--as the C.O. would not recommend a transfer if application were submitted.

Some of the fellows are beginning to feel this war as members of their family are being drawn in. It makes a lot of difference--.

There is a big battle going on in the Solomons with heavy loss on both sides. Division consists of 1 aircraft carrier, 3 battleships, 10 cruisers, 3 destroyers. We are said to have 3 divisions in the Solomon area.

Oct 31st---The news from the Solomons is bad--our forces are withdrawing--and they are ambushing as many as they can. It seems as though all of our losses have been for naught--and further promises that this will be a very long war. If they take the Solomons again--all our forces moved into the adjacent islands will be jeopardized.

This island might be subject to attack as it defends our shipping lane. We had a medley group---Americans, New Zealanders, Tongans, the navy. Orders came out that we are to obey superior officers of the NZ group--and their enlisted personnel are to take orders from superior officers of the U.S. Army.

Am reading a good book, “The Citadel” by Cranen

Nov 1st--Contrary to yesterday’s report, our forces have not withdrawn from Guadalcanal--but the Japs have packed up and have left. The marines are said to have the situation well in hand.

I received two letters--one from Pop and from Rose--and I responded. I was happy to hear from both. I have received very little mail lately--probably due to the service.

Our holding the Solomons means a lot to us as it means that we are that much nearer the end.

These have been personality changes amongst some of the men due to this peculiar way of living. I am content to read and write most of the day and pass my time pleasantly enough that way.

There was a tea yesterday for WAACs yesterday afternoon but I did not attend. I attended mess at 5:30 AM--this morning after recall from the alert.

I bought an alarm clock, which is ticking merrily away above me. I hope it can stand the early morning moisture, which penetrates into everything.

Receive cigarettes from Frank the other night. Have a good supply now.

Nov 2nd--

The alert was staffed from 4:30 to 5:30 as the Japs have withdrawn from Guadalcanal and are progressing northward instead of eastward in our direction. There was more sense--although we did not like it--to go on the alert in dawn 4:30 earlier since that is when attacks are made. The Japs had many ships damaged and although not mentioned I guess we had ours. One of our aircraft carriers was sunk--probably the Saratoga or Hornet.

I has been drizzling intermittently for the past week.

Have been winning consistently at Gin Rummy--although I lost 15 c to Willy the other night.

If the Japs had taken the Solomons--our outlook here would not be too good as they would probably have headed toward the Fiji, Samoa, Tonga group--as was recently believed they would do.

Nov 2nd--Rained for about 8 hours yesterday. Medicine in the morning--and finished The Citadel in the afternoon. It was enjoyable but cynical-- dwelling on the deficits of medicine, but giving very little to the rich part. The book would give the that medical profession is farce--a misrepresentation.

I am pretty well fed up with the place and I don’t know what I would do if I did not have books to resort to as a form of escape. The other men use cards and drink. I am glad that I have not resorted to the latter. It is an easy thing to do. I believe that I have been spending my time most profitably.

It rained like blazes yesterday--and I had no chance to tryout my new knee boots which definitely came in handy.

We are said to have damaged or sunk 7 Jap war ships--2 aircraft carriers, 2 cruisers, 2 battleships--1 destroyer at Burma Harbor. One aircraft carrier noted as sunk--was sunk in the Santa Cruz area where the 134th went.

Reports are optimistic and I hope there is foundation for them and that we will continue our drive.

Nov 4th--The Allies have taken Kakoda, New Guinea--and reports from Aprea--- are good. Yesterday was an ordinary day without anything unusual occurring.

Sent a pair of shoes to Edgar--at Deca Tow field.

Played G.R. with Jim and beat him 3 out of 4 last night.

Went swimming yesterday afternoon--the water was very rough--and high--was on the spot once--but managed to get out all right.

Nov 5th

Routine day yesterday--has been showering intermittently.

We’ll have to find some form of exercise---building up too much excess energy. Calisthenics would not be bad. Reminds me of Fort Dix when we used to get up at 630, put on a shirt, and have calisthenics in front of the barracks during cold mornings of February and March. It was more punishment than exercise. We used to vie with each other to see would find something new to buy at the O.M.--and since were were at first scheduled for Europe, we invested in woolens, etc. The day after Day and Stratberry ordered and bought overcoats, we changed to this tropical force.

Spent last evening in my neighbors tent. Pierce, Vand and Storm, listening to the radio. The music was good. Retired at 9.

Nov 6th

Good news from the African front—the British have captured 9000 prisoners—and one general. The leader of the African Corps (German) was killed.

There was a double header movie last night, “Meet the Champ” with Hugh Herbert and a Charley McCarthy picture—from 7-10.

Jim and others have been giving the Tongans Red Cross Lectures. Have gave them an examination the other day—the final question was “Should the mother or grandmother chew the infant foot before giving it to him.” In the past that was quite a custom here—and consequently the infant and child mortality was high from it. And other diseases spread from the chewer.

I have read a synopsis in the Readers Digest “A Donkey Inside” by Bemelmans—about Ecuador. It brought back many memories of last year. There is also an article on Peru in The National Geographic which I enjoyed very much for the same reason. I would not be surprised if many of the men with whom I sailed with are dead now as the casualties in the Merchant Marine are high.

Our 36 day trip—blacked out at night—from Dec 7th on was rather treacherous—zigzagging and changing our direction—there and back. We would have been helpless, unarmed—if we met any hostile craft. We had frequent boat drills but everything went along uneventfully-in spit of being followed by an unknown ship which we were able to lose one night. I had made up some exta first aid satchels in case of emergency.

I won a dollar from Gapol--Dewey won.

Nov 7th--“Victory is absolute and complete”--so says the British Commander in African. A German General Von Sturman has been killed--and several others besides 9000 Italians and Germans captured--250 tanks captured, 400 planes downed, transports sunk--100,00 lbs of shipping in all destroyed. The first good substantial victory of the war.

Visited a Bazaar at the Wesleyan Church but did not buy anything as I was a bit too late and they just had tapas--of which I have already bought enough.

Slept all afternoon--. Was OD last night--called about 12:30-- sloshed through the mud to receiving. The patient said the he felt a supra clavicular lymph gland rise into his throat and choke him when he lay down--after examining him I sent him ward 30 (Psychiatric)--Hys. Was awakened later-- an M.P. had a truck driver whom I was supposed to test for drunkenness--as he slipped off the road and crashed into a tree which any sober driver might do---the roads as they are. In spite of signs of acute alcoholism, I denied that he was drunk as they would have court martialed him. There is plenty of drunkenness amongst officers which goes unnoticed and is covered up. The private seemed very grateful.

The island is just a mass of mud--and puddles. It has rained frequently and hard during the past four weeks No wonder anything will grow here. The soil is very fertile and gets plenty of water.

I slept through alert today as I was up during the night. Wrote to Jim Hoyt of WR Graci yesterday.

Am reading, “My Son, my Son.”

Nov 8th--A New Zealand soldier crashed and was killed yesterday by hitting coconut trees.

Went with Jim last night to see a pt in Vatna--pregnant-- and supposed to be having trouble. When we got there a group of at least 20 were sitting around the room and she was crying and putting on a good show for them. It seems as though some one (her husband) crossed her during the day. She was moaning and groaning. Was about a pt. myself after the ride in the back of the jeep.

A pt died last night--subphrenic abscess following subtotal gastrectomy.

The news from abroad is excellent. There was a notice in the news to be ready since “the war seems to be taken to the Axis-to move at a moments notice“. The notice read--”Since the election is over--etc.“ From which we are bound to gather that activity was held up until we had our elections in the States. Votes--not lives-- seem to be of greatest importance it seems.

Gave Jim a trimming at G.R. last night. Went to bed at about 10--read for a while-then tried to go to sleep after taking a phenobarb--but the fleas were attacking in full force--was bed was made up improperly, and the wood was flapping back and forth the forced the fly in the tent. flaps. Got up several times--and finally did fall asleep. Bad idea to nap in the afternoon. There is mail in which has not come up yet.

From the way things look now, we might not be here next year!!

Nov 9th ---Attended an autopsy--and also saw the charred remains of the New Zealand flier--who was a non commissioned pilot. There are varying versions of how he crashed. His plane shot up in flames on crashing--and the machine gun went off. There was nothing left but char. A Tongan man was brought in last night--shot accidentally--the bullet went through both hips traversing several loops of terminal ileum and the surgical operation and transfusion did not help and he died soon after.

Trutt and Kassa went to a party given by the Queen. There were a parrot--which they had for 24 hrs. before it died. Joe looks very mournful digging a grave for it. Although it looked very scraggly when they brought it home--I believe they gave the finishing touch by overfeeding it.

Received some mail yesterday but not much. There has been a let-down. Troops have landed on the north and west African coast--the President has appealed to the French not to resist. It seems as though we are actually doing things now.

November 10th--Started from New York 7 mos. ago yesterday. Six months ago today we landed on Tonga Tabu. Algeria has asked for an armistice in response to the Presidents plea. Vichy France has broken off relations with the U.S., meaning it will resist the US in Africa. They are still cleaning up in Egypt and Libya.

Received some magazines from Frank yesterday--a nice gesture.

November 11th-- A rumor spread that the allies have invaded Italy and France yesterday but undoubtedly it is untrue as it was not confirmed over the radio.

The 3rd battalion--147th infantry--left yesterday, presumably for the Solomon’s, leaving the 134th CA and the 77th CA behind. We wont have many left to take care of if this keeps up.

Received a package from Rose Anne-- Toffee from Pop and magazines from Frank.

Marvin bought a lamp yesterday (Aladdin) cost--$18--gives very good light and will come in handy.

Saw our group photos yesterday--most have turned out well--but a few have to retaken. Our B’klyn picture will be retaken today.
Nov 12th

-Admiral Darlin of the French Fleet--totally Nazi was captured and is a guest of our generals. The Bay of Tunisia gave the U.S. permission for our forces to go there, that that country to go through that country and nearly all of N. Africa is in our control.

Hitler has spread his troops all over France. Churchill states that this is definitely our second front.

If the Normandy had not been sabotaged, we would probably be in Europe now. I have been asked to write a recommendation for one of our enlisted men. He wants to join the air corps.

The 147th has left --and will undoubtedly see action.Dec. 20th

Made some more Plunko last night—about 6 of us stayed here—drank and played crap. I won $10.

Bull session until 2 A.M. With Buendaye and Capt. Burns.

This morning had a mild headache. But it subsided readily.

Visited the hospital--.

Bought 7 small mats and a couple of dozen coasters—to send home.

Nov 13th (Friday)- We were put on a 15 minute alert yesterday (Had to be 15 minutes of the camp) as a Jap cruiser and destroyer were sighted at a distance 2 hrs from the island. They were headed this way. The ship bearing the 147th didn't leave port on this account. Eight of our planes were sent out to get them--but failed to find them.

One of my patients--a colored fellow with chronic arthritis died following tonsillectomy. He had profuse bleeding during the operation. The carotid was legated to control bleeding. It stopped but on the ward started again. Last night he was admitted to the OR to clamp the bleeding--he went into laryngospasm and died in spite of a tracheotomy. I hope that this will be the last one.

Was awakened at about 430 A.M. by the bugle and voices. The enlisted men_s_ club was up in flames--about the biggest blaze I've seen--like a dried Christmas tree. The wind was blowing in our direction--but was not strong--or else it could have destroyed our camp. It was burnt to the ground.

The news has been excellent--Admiral Darlin was Commander of all Vichy French forces and he told them to lay down their arms. However Petain is urging them on. It looks like the beginning of the end. I hope that they will collapse real soon.

If I had not joined the unit I_m sure that I would be captain by this time. The men back in the States are going up fast. It hardly seems fair that the men who have been out for several years receive the same appointment --as the men just graduating. Doctors in the first place should start out with a higher rank--since they are usually older than the average 1st Lt. Should be earning more (relatively) due to expense of education, and are more educated than equivalent ranks in other units. There is a big discrepancy. Promotions--they are coming very slowly and it seems as though I will never be advanced. Our unit commander has shown little or no interest in pushing his men. He said before leaving New York that all 1st Lt should be advanced after overseas for 6 mos. It is seven months now with no prospect. As a leader he is a failure. He has the respect of no one--and we would fair much better without him. Enough for that. I could go on all day--but there_s no sense to that.

Nov 14th--The news still is very encouraging in all fronts--and the Nazis are on the defensive for the 1st time. A foreboding of success emanates from a passage in Hitler_s speech in which he sated he would not leave the country as the Kaiser did in the last war.

I read in Readers Digest that shippers have to obey instructions set down by Govt Officials ie course, blackout regulations, Capt Gruff of the Clara after war was declared was instructed to proceed to Jacksonville and along the coast of Florida then through the canal. Instead he took a course between Haiti and PR (Mona Strait). Disobedience is punished by revocation of license if their ship is sunk.

I have a new maid as I fired Cinderella. Marie is rather an attraction, tall girl of more intelligence than the average She is neat, tends to change a little more than the rest for her laundry services--but I got her her to agree to a suitable charge 70 cents for laundry and 50 cents for tent keeping per week.

Nov 15th--A party last night--It did not live up to our first few. We did not have any orchestra as the 147th has left. Left at about 10:30. It ended after midnight. There were many delinquent for the alert his morning.

Many of the nurses are lost now without the infirmary.

Took the men swimming this afternoon. (None went swimming--air was chilly.)

A New Zealand transfer was in the group. From Dunedin which is in the southern part of the Lonoke Island. He has been here 3 weeks-. It required 5 days to make the trip. He is 39--and managed to join up in spite of the age limit of 37. He was hoping to go Egypt or the Solomon_s--and to their disappointment learned on the second day that they were bound for Tongatabu. He has three brothers in Egypt. They are probably seeing a lot of action now.

The men brought a couple of watermelons on the way back from the blowholes, and sat eating them at the side of the road. The paid 50 c/ for each the size of a soccer ball.

Nov 16th--Eddie Richenbacher was picked up yesterday after 5 weeks on a rubber raft after his plane crashed.

Marvin is going out into the field today. A Capt Ward is coming in . This captain did not even finish his internship--but since he has been in field work--he has been advanced. It seems wants his cake and eat it to. I suspect that he will be put in with me although I prefer to live alone.

The news for the past 2-3 weeks has been very favorable with advances on most fronts and the Russians holding. The French fleet might as yet join up with the allies-and Spain has sent a friendly letter to the US after the president notified him that we would not violate the country.

Everywhere one goes in Tongatabu is to be heard the not unusual note of the Tua Tua as it resounds to the blows of the IKE. The small wooden mallet used by the makers of tapa cloth. The manufacture of this useful native cloth is one of the occupations of the native women, who sit for long hours every day, cross legged before the TuaTua, a smooth peeled trunk of a tree about a foot in diameter resting on small raised horizontal sticks to give it resilience. TAPA, or GATU is made from strips of the bark of the HIAPO, a paper mulberry, about three or four inches wide, which are scraped, soaked for several days, dried, soaked again and beaten out into widths of 12 to 18 inches of white material. The pieces are glued together by sticking the edges together with a glue like substance made from the root of the wild arrowroot. Some of the completed pieces measure a hundred yards or more in length. Part of the intricate patterns are imprinted at the time of piecing together, and the r! est are painted by hand with a stick dipped in a dye made from the bark of the KOKA tree. Used as mattresses, bed coverings, screens, articles of dress (I saw a native the other day with a cow-boy like suit made from it) and ceremonial costumes.

The Tongan women also excel in making mats from coconut leaves, and split PANDANUS. (Both types are beneath me in the floor.)--the latter are edged with bright colored yarns--with intricate patterns in the mat proper. These are handed down from generation to generation, and used in the floors and beds.

The men wear VALAS, a skirt like garment of calico, print, or cashmere, fashioned around the waist and extending and extending (sic) to the ankles. In the former days, a kilt of green leaves of the si (SI) plant covered to the knees the muscular legs of the men when they entered in the brush, or even on the warpath, but the vala of tapa formed the ceremonial dress. Over the vala, especially on ceremonial occasions, is wrapped a soft mat which is tied on by strands of pinned cloth.--Worn by men and women alike. Foolish laws imposed on the islanders by a missionary who became Prime Minister compelled the men to conceal their torso beneath shirts, jackets, or other garments--or else prosecuted rigorously by law.

Copra--(main product) sun dried kernel of coconut. A natives wealth is measured by his plantation, his home, and the number of fine mats and tapas he possesses. Liquor is allowed the whites, and in limited quantities to a few privileged chiefs and men of assured sobriety. The remainder of people cannot have it and do not feel the lack.

In 1912 the jails of Tonga were overflowing. No room could be made for more--they were at a loss how to handle the situation which arose as a result of a law forbidding illicit love--they solved it by not enforcing the law.

Free medicine, education, medical service.

YAMS. (KUMALAS) Sweet potato-

TARO OFA ATU--my love to you

The natives eat the flying foxes which of & taste badly.

Nov 17th--Just came back from making a tour of different outfits with Bob Acherly attending sick calls. We started at about 6:40 A.M. and sped, jounced and bounced over rocky roads. It was not so good on an empty stomach.

Heard last night for the first time that a road has been completed from Washington to Alaska--a distance of 1500 miles in 6 mos. It is remarkable feat and the Army deserves credit. I hope to take a trip over it someday. Alaska’s position is now much more secure.

I am reading “Tin Can Island” by Charles Stuart Ramset. It I about the Tongan group of islands and much about Tonga Tabu.

“The meat is supplied by chickens, pigs, goats, a few cattle, and wild fowl. The coconut tree provides copra, their drink, the delicious ream from the grounded nut for preparing food, oil for their hair and body (which when mixed with scent derived from flowers principally from gipangi, cause a disagreeable, easily detected odor for the American) and for illumination.

The leaves are used for thatch, mats, and baskets: leaf nets for brooms and fans, hot sheets for the cooking fire (gives a hot fire and little flame--good for blackouts as little shading is needed) and drinking bowls. The most useful tree in existence.

Some yams (KAFIU) attain a length of 8-9 feet in length with a a girth of as much as a 2 feet--growing that length under proper conditions in 9-10 mos. Breadfruit trees are also plentiful.

The Tongans possess poise and a fine sense of dignity. Their bearing and manner of life is regulated by a pride of rice, old customs and traditions, love of family and loyalty to their church and country.

Children call their parents by their first name.

They are naturally cruel to the animals--as they believe that the animals e.g., horses were put on the earth as a beast of burden--but without sensation--hence riding on sores, and other cruelties.

Men beat their wives on occasion but no one things any the worse of them when the reason demands. The women know what to expect if they misbehave. The slightest suggest, no matter of remote, of relationships between two individuals bars their uniting in marriage. This is extended even to non-blood relatives.

Every boy if he has sisters must on the age of puberty leave his fathers house and take residence with an outside relative. If he wishes to speak to his parent while his sister is at home he must do so from the doorway. He may enter when she leaves. They may speak together if they meet outside. Should the need arise that she go on a journey, the son may not accompany her, though her cousin may. These though still enforced--used to be more rigidly endorsed in the past.

The oldest son is the heir and he has considerable influence and control over his brothers: yet he is like them completely under the domination of his sister. They pay deference to her, and all of their worldly possessions are at her disposal and her children.

Marriage is presided by two ceremonies. The first of these is the formal asking for the brides hand in marriage. The suitor seeks out a suitable spokesman--prepares an umu (UMU), or basket, of baked figs and yams, takes a piece of KAVA, and accompanied by his mouthpiece goes off to the house of the maid o his choice

The second ceremony is the FAKA LE-LEA which is held on the eve of the wedding. It is kept up until daylight as a precaution against last minute abduction of the bride to be by another suitor. The wedding ceremony today is perfumed in Christian Church.

Kava is the visiting card of the islands. It is no more incorrect to make a call on a chief or attend a ceremony in a state of nudity than it is to go without a piece of Kava. It is a dried root of a shrub and grows with cultivation all through the island. The root is beaten to shreds between two small igneous stones, mixed with water in the Kava bowl and strained though a bunch of shredded bark of the FA U tree. The resultant mixture is the color of yellow muddy water. The taste is indescribable. The process of making it is simple but the ceremony elaborate. The excess use of KAVA results in sore and discharging eyes and a scaly chalky appearance of the skin. It has no effects outside of a drowsy dull feeling which readily passes off. However, it is habit forming.

To the Tongan, death is a punishment merited by his own misdemeanors or those of a relative. A fatal accident is taken rather fatalistically with the attitude “It was his day.” Under Tongan law a grave may not be reopened for another occupant until two years after the last burial. After the funeral, they have a feast similar to after a marriage ceremony. Throughout the period of mourning, no singing of love songs or dancing is permitted in the village of the deceased. The taboo in the case of royalty is applied throughout the land and lasts for six months.

Nov 18th--The news is fine from the Solomon’s. There has been a big naval battle going on and the Japs have lost 23 ships including a battle ship, cruisers, destroyers and 4 transports. The losses are said to be between 20 and 40,000 men. General MacArthur is now in New Guinea.

Some beer and wine arrived last night. I bought a bottle of wine (port) for $1.25. My maid Marie requested an increase for the laundry so I’m paying $1.00 a wk. and 50 c for tending the tent.

Was O.D. yesterday but slept undisturbed last night.

Nov 20th--Routine day--. Saw a bomber fly by over yesterday. Later learned that the General was aboard and proceeding to New Guinea for a conference. Colonel Fishbein is commanding officer in his absence.

The Tongans eat when hungry or convenient. Missionaries tried to enforce on them regular eating habits. It is against the law on the Sabbath to plant a flower, gather drinking nuts, to kill an animal or bird, to fish or hunt, to play tennis, cricket or other game, to sing any ordinary songs, or to do any kind of work whatsoever (I have to clean up my tent on Sunday) or else fined.

The Pacific Islands did not escape the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. An N.Z. steamer carried the disease to Nuku’alofa. Sailors from an American vessel buried them as the natives were too sick and demoralized to do it themselves. None of the sailors contracted the illness. Th Papalangi (white men) brought many diseases to the island--and epidemics sprung up due to poor natural resistance. Roving whalers were the first to bring TB and venereal disease.

Due to public health measures, the population is on the increases. (Rockefeller Institute and Gov’t Agency).

In cases of illness, the Tongans are very sympathetic--groups of relatives gather in the house of the patient-sit around the patient--with their den lights (coconut oil) in their thatched dwellings. The Tongan patient seems to appreciate company and distraction as a result confinement. At a recent confinement that I attended- -the whole family and their friends were up with the patient. And at another when the patient was feigning illness because she did not get what she wanted--there were at least 20 in a small hut, taking everything in. Incidentally, this makes examinations rather difficult to perform.

Throughout Polynesia circumcision is the invariable rule and the Polynesians look with derision and disgust upon anyone who has not had it done.

Liu Ciga is a form of shark fishing here. From a boat, one calls to the shark called HINA complimenting her--and using all sorts of endearing terms. Meat as bait is also used. Coconut shells are rattled under water. Eventually the shark appears (if the fisherman had not had any scraps at home--or anything on their conscience)-- and then leaves to return with others.

They are enticed to approach the boat with the endearing terms & persuasion--and lift their heads out of the water to grasp the bait (meat) held up alongside the boat. A noose is then slipped over the head and tightened behind the pectoral fin and the fish is then clubbed to death. If it should fail to approach the boat--one of the natives dives overboard---approaches it and then swims back leisurely with the shark fooling luxury as though charmed by the procedure---to be trapped and killed.

Saluka (SALUKA) a twist of native drive leaves-- used as a cigar and frequently carried in various stages of combustion behind the ear (They have great faith in this procedure).

Nov 20th --Routine day-. Movie called off last night because of rain. Stansfeldt and I finished my bottle of port. Played Gin Rummy with Jim. This morning hunted for flees on my bed--saw several but was able to catch only one. Very elusive.

Nov 2nd. Mary just bought me 3 gardenias--which have a very fine scent. Yesterday she gave me a watermelon. I just presented her with a cigarette lighter.

The sun is shining nicely but yesterday it was dismal--and rained all day into the night---it came down very heavily. We sat and drank Port in Steve’s, Van’s & Pearses ten and retired early. We had a good time, while the rain beat hard on the canvas above us.

The morale amongst our officers is poor. There has been a personality change in several--and it's a different group from that which started out. Lack of work--and organization has caused a lot of dissension. In the army if you should think--you are lost. The best way to get along is to just follow along--or else you will be lost in bitterness and resentment. There is plenty of it here.

One of my ward boys (Isadore Samuel) is critically ill with pneumonia which he picked up from a New Zealand patient in the ward. One whole lung is involved. There has been plenty of virus pneumonia in the wards--particularly in the past two months. A patient admitted with an upper respiratory infection--developed a generalized pinpoint erythematous rash yesterday---so my ward is quarantined and I'll get a rest from admitting patients.

Nov 26th Went to a party at the ground force club yesterday and had a good

Nov 28
All construction work was stopped on the island yesterday by order of the General who returned the other day. Rumors spread fast that we were to leave and spirits were high. Our colonel was called to HQ--but he was very reticent on his return. All are anxious to move up to the front line or N.Z. or Australia. The C.A. was ordered to have guns ready for movement--and no lumber is to be drawn. Dr. Weiland of the Navy was very downcast as he has made many friends in the hospital--a large convoy is coming in--and we are all hoping that we will be made part of it before it leaves. However, although something is in the air, we do not yet know just what we are in for.

The South Dakota is in--and I hear that they have some good tales about the battle in the Solomon’s.

Nov 30th--The was another party at the Ground Force Club last night but I could not go as I was Med OD. Several of the men went and had a good time. It was given for the men of the Battleship South Dakota which first returned from the Solomon’s after having sunk seven ships. It was hit 40 times on the superstructure deck. Casualties--40 dead--157 wounded. There are several other warships in harbor--including the Indiana.

I believe that before long we will be moving up to the front--at last! Nothing definite has been said--but plans for embarkation are being carried out. I think that it probably will be New Guinea.

Alley and I were first aboard to apply for a transfer when the rumors started but now we will wait to see what happens.

The Blackout Restrictions have been completely lifted---and the alert is over. We are supposed “stand do” ion the mornings at 5:30 now.

Nov 31st The Indiana is in port--commissioned last March. ---Robert Montgomery---the actor is morale officer--I met him last night at our officers' club and bought him a drink


Note: Tongan proper nouns may be misspelled-DL

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