3. JOURNAL A-Z List

The Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project

Diary of F. Dewitt, 1943-1944

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Object ID: WV0245.3.001


F. Dewitt was a nurse in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during the Second World War. She served in North Africa during the Allied invasion of Italy. Her diary details her service in Morocco and Tunisia (where she worked as an emergency nurse in several combat hospitals), gives extensive details of the traumas of wartime nursing, describes surprise German air raids, discusses the treatment of axis prisoners of war, and provides a vivid picture of war torn North Africa and Italy.

Events detailed in her dairy include a dangerous voyage from New York City to Morocco aboard the without the protection of an armed naval escort, Dewitt’s attachment to the Sixth General Hospital in Casablanca, Morocco, her transfer to a hospital in Tunisia, a lengthy train journey through devastated regions of North Africa, the capitulation of Axis Italy, and her redeployment to the Eighth Evacuation Hospital.

Details of her romantic and social life are also included.

Creator: F. Dewitt

Biographical Info: F. Dewitt served in North Africa and Italy as a member of the the Army Nurse Corps during World War II.

Collection: F. Dewitt Diary

Rights: It is responsibility of the user to follow the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Materials are not to be reproduced in published works without written consent, and any use should credit Jackson Library, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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[April 16, 1943]

Learned today we are leaving midnite Saturday. Rushed around getting ready for inspections and packing bed roll and barracks bag. Got a funny feeling when I heard the news. The colonel is very strict about promptness & no communication with the outside. Confined to area of 3rd general.

[April 17, 1943]

Said good bye to Camp Rucker. Had three happy weeks with Major Paul (7th Corps) while there. Still miss him a lot. I wonder if I will ever see him again.

What a day. Up till 4 am getting out barrack bags and bed rolls. Of course my bed roll was 12 lbs. over weight. 50 lbs. 85 lbs. 40 lbs. Keep ringing in my ears.

Took our beds at 1 p.m. Felt like immigrants being pushed to 6905 said fond farewell to 6906. 105 nurses. All in 1905. Try to find a place to sit. Most of beds [not?]. Left for train @ 12:45 a.m. Went to movie earlier. Was called back. False alarm. Still waiting at station.

[April 18, 1943] 

Waited till 5 a.m. for train. Wet and cold and darn tired. Off to N[ew] Y[ork] at last I hope. Enroute. Still raining. Sleeping most of day. Chow served on paper plates (in seats). Vile coffee. My seat companion is Miss Bailey from Fort Knox. Nice girl. Stopped in Atlanta & got some exercise on platform in Atlanta.

[April 19, 1943]

In Atlanta. Still moving & enroute. It’s so dreary in Virginia this AM. Slept lousy on chairs we fixed up as a bed. Walked in station at Washington. Reached Camp Shanks @ 10 pm. Raining hard & cold. Place is a mud hole. Chief nurse seems very nice. Might get 12 hrs leave. No hot H2O [water]. Took an ice cold shower. Small beds.

[April 20, 1943]

Up at 7:30 am. Weather improved. More like spring. We are so near home but unable to go. Feeling homesick. Not much doing today. Had inspections of equipment. Meals not bad. Took advantage of hot H2O [water] today. Am rooming with Helga Rogers for time being. Everything a mess & mixed up. Hope we have time to pack decently. Can’t leave area 16-K. Am now known as 1254RR. Last camp & name to be completely forgotten. One thing I’ll never forget about Camp Rucker. Miss him a lot. Hope we meet again someday. Very tired. Am going to bed early.

[April 21, 1943] 

Dreary & Rainy again. Up at 7:30 am. Meeting at 7:45 am which no one knew about. Thru efficiency of "Madam" Chamberlin. Was awakened last night around midnite & asked what size long underwear I wore!! Went to have typhus shots this PM. Walked 3 miles to get 1/4 mile for shots. Led by La Chamberlin.

Ate off aluminum sectioned plates in mess today. Not as bad as I thought. Honored by large number of WAACS in our mess hall. They look pretty snappy. At least neater than [us at?] the A.N.C. Hope we get O.D.’s soon. Went to movies. Saw Reap the Wild Wind for the second time. Nearly froze in the show. Still raining. So to bed at 11:30 pm. Wrote some letters for first time since news.

[April 22, 1943] 

Went thru gas chamber today. Cried for rest of day as result. Good news. 12 hr passes were granted to leave post. Went to N.Y.C. [New York City] at 5PM. Had a swell steak dinner at Ruth’s & did some shopping. Bought some precious toilet H2O [water] and dropped it on street & broke it. Went all over town. To Astor, Columbia Room, Taft Hotel, Duffy's. Ate breakfast at Childs at 3am. Returned to base at 4 dead tired.

[April 23, 1943]

Got in bed at 5:30 am. Had to get up for 7:40 meeting. Some effort!! Due to the wildness of a unit of paratroupers [sic] who are here we are restricted to our area. No PXs [post exchanges], or anything. The paratroopers visited the WAAC’s [Women's Auxiliary Army Corps] (two barracks full line in our area) in a platoon and serenaded them. Madame Chamberlin reported them thus the resulting order. The WAAC’s are a snappy looking outfit. Nice uniforms. They are doing K.P. [kitchen patrol] in our mess hall where they also eat. Don’t blame the paratroopers. Signed pay vouchers. Hope we get paid before we go. Went to see "The Moon is Down" very good show. To bed early. Dead tired after packing bed roll.

[April 24, 1943]

Up at 6:30 for a meeting. Partial pay vouchers to be signed. Had a quiet day. Slept all morning. Went up to the new PX [post exchange] for nurses & WAACs [Women Army Auxiliary Corps]. Everything sold out practically. Stopped by guards everywhere. No one allowed off post or area. Wrote some letters. To bed around 12. Some nurses who came after we have left during nite. Hope we go soon.

[April 25, 1943]

Went to church this a.m. Doesn’t seem like Easter Sunday. Feel very home sick today. Got our shipping order today. Things might happen now. The WAACs [Women Army Auxiliary Corps] are keeping us entertained. They come walking down the street, interspersing a dance step here & there, probably former Rockettes. Restrictions still on. Everyone getting restless. Movies don’t change very often . Our only diversion too. Got my packing practically all done. Am all ready to go. May it be soon. Played some gin rummy & Michigan. Lost .19 at rummy and won .11 at Michigan. Betty K. won as usual. Go to bed.

[April 26, 1943]

Meeting at 8. For not much of anything. Got paid today, partial payment. Went to movies tonite. A new officer’s club for Task forces was opened tonite in our area. Had a fairly nice time. Came home with a flyer. A Dutchman , a kindred soul, says he is going out tomorrow maybe. We are starting to work in the station hosp[ital] tomorrow 8-4:30. What a break. We are always being pulled in for that stuff. I work Thursday. I hope we are not here by then. Good nite diary.

[April 27, 1943]

Everyone is going "stir crazy." Various enterprises have sprung up on our floor. One beauty salon, managers Murial Spalinger & Betty Klein, chief op. Frankie Siders. Prices increase as you make an appointment. .15 for a shoe shine, bring your own polish, no deliveries. Cleaning & summary[?], ect.[?] by Kitty Vanee, Prophylaxes Station run by Betty Kelly. Peeka boo tan by Faunia & Ruth Barthel. Everyone is a screwball. Went to the officers club last night, men galore but no good lookers. Came home [with] a pilot, Paul Van Ort nice boy from Michigan. Ran into some interference [with] the guard. Went to movies tonite. Lousy shows, but nothing else to do. Raining this afternoon. Had Typhus shot today. Arm sore.

[April 28, 1943]

Uneventful day for us. Two groups of nurses went out today. It seems everyone but us is going. Very discouraging. Passes were issued to N[ew].Y[ork]. to the other 50% of the group. Went to the officers' club. No one there worth a second glance. Why am I so fussy. Goodness knows I haven't so much that I can afford to be. But after the ones I have had I can't stand the little pip squeaks I see around here & those in my unit included. Helen was very rude last nite. Walked off & left me standing by myself [without] even a word of excuse. But then she’s more interested in the males here than I. Area restrictions were supposed to be lifted at 2 pm today. Waiting line at mess hall decreased considerably. Food still lousy.

[April 29, 1943]

Up early today. Reported for duty at the hospital at 8am. Was informed not needed. 12 of us went to cafeteria & had a second breakfast & dilly dallied before coming back. Return at drill at 9:30 am. We just missed it!! We get passes to N[ew].Y[ork]. tonite. Have some shopping to do. Usual rush in city. Didn’t get what I wanted. Time is so short & it flies when shopping. Had a good dinner and came home @ 1:30 am. No excitement.

[April 30, 1943]

Up at 8:30 for signing of pay vouchers. No drill because of inclimate[inclement] weather. Heard Major Julie Sternson[?] speak today. Very charming person & she gave good advice. Went to movies tonight. Saw The Human Comedy [with] Mickey Rooney. Very good show. Expresses what one finds so hard to put into words. True to life. Very well done. Thunder & lightning shower coming up. To bed early.

[May 1, 1943]

Went to N[ew].Y[ork]. at 1 pm today. Got myself some brown shoes before getting the train at Hoboken for home. Just made it by the skin of my teeth. Virginia was surprised to see me. It sure was good to get home. How true that song is "There’s no place like home." The boys have grown so, both as tall as I. I envy my sister in a way, wish they were mine but then I feel as though they practically are. Got home at 6:30 p.m. and left at 10. Got back to camp exactly at 2 am. The other groups have to be back by 12 m.n[midnight] today. Hope there is really something in the air. Am tired of staying around here.

[May 2, 1943]

Quite[quiet] day, slept late. Went to U.S.O. show "Something for the Boys." Only fair. [With] Allan Jenkins, Bell Johnson, etc. Heard 4 of our officers went on as an advance group under sealed orders. 20 more to go Mon.[?] am. Had to pack barracks bags & bed rolls tonite to be ready by 5am. Looks as though we are really going at last.

[May 3, 1943]

Bed rolls & barracks bags picked up this am early. Expect to be ordered out at any time. Had a physical this noon. Med[ical] officer glanced at throat & back. Wonder we all passed, it was so strenuous. Had another typhus injection today. Arm still sore from last one. Will look like the tattooed lady time I get out of this army.

[May 4, 1943]

Getting ready to leave Camp Shanks. And I’m not sorry. Hand luggage all ready to go by 5 PM. How I ever got it closed is beyond me. Left in trucks at 6 p.m. Went by train to Weehawken [N.J.]. Took ferry to N[ew].Y[ork]. Boarded boat (Louis Pasteur?) directly from ferry. A band greeted us on docking at the ferry. A cheery note. In C6 state room with 17 girls. Some have 30 girls. Got our meal tickets soon after boarding. 6 at a table. Dining room nice. Hear we are going to Casablanca. I like that. There is an advance division, signal corps some quartermaster troops on board also. We are only medical outfit. Sailing in the AM, will probably be asleep when we do. Will struggle to my top bunk & to sleep I hope.

[May 5, 1943]

Was kept awake by loading during nite. Sailed at 7 a.m. Unable to be on deck until after we had cleared harbor & were out of sight of land. Some were on deck but not us. Passed a convoy going out. We are not having one. Supposed to be a fast ship. The Louis Pasteur (23-30 miles per hr). Crew is English. We are zigzagging. Boat is heavily armed. Guns all over. There is so much water. A beautiful day. Sea is calm. Wouldn’t know I was on a boat if I didn’t see water & of course the quarters help. Getting more rough in evening. They say Capt. expects a storm. Heard the radio graph picked up a sub[marine]. Only a rumor. Saw nothing but water. To bed.

[May 6, 1943]

Slept extremely well. Sea fairly calm but ship is rolling more today. Quite a few sea sick. 6 cases of mumps reported. Am on call in O.R. in AM. Spent most of day on deck. [Unclear]. Lovely out there. Water is so pretty & blue. Zigzagging leaves a wake for way back. Talked to members of crew. Very very English you know. Had fun. Listened to victrola. Nice dining room. Fairly good meals. Nice service compared to former arrangements. Quarters for enlisted personnel bad. Feel sorry for them. We have to bath[bathe] in salt water. Fresh H2O in face basin, faucets turns off at 8PM though. Sea is getting rougher now as evening comes on. Had a black out tonite. Planes patrolling frequently. They look reassuring to us. Have no fear really. Seems funny not too[sic]. Time set 1 hr ahead.

[May 7, 1943]

Rained most of day. Sea rough. Had two almost-bouts of seasickness but warded it off by stay[sic] on deck in the rain. Ship is rolling a lot. Quite a number sea sick. Was on duty (on call from 7-3 PM, not called). Usual boat drill. Guard said another boat passed us before dawn. Would like to see something besides water. Have seen no planes today. Still take a zigzagging course. Played cards in officers lounge. Went out on deck (rush order?) last nite. Sea rough & noisy dark as a dungeon. Lights are out in ships of course. Went to bed in a hurry to prevent loosing[sic] my supper. Time set ahead another hour at 11:11 PM.

[May 8, 1943]

Much clearer day. Cloudy at times. Had boat drill at usual time also action alert signal. Got sort of scared when I heard guns but turned out to be practice only. K. Gibbons was already to run [with] duty bag and all. Wished I could have seen it from the deck. Was on deck most of day. Am getting a nice sun burn. Enjoyed talking with an English officer on deck. Imagine the amusement at accent is reciprocated. Went up to lounge in evening. A colored orchestra string quartet were there to keep privates[?] tame [unclear]. Played bridge. Sea was calm most of day getting rougher at night. Wish we could go on deck after dark. Still no other ship besides our own on the sea. Had 2 more atabrine pills today.

[May 9, 1943]

Went to church today in officer’s lounge. No boat drill. English officers appeared in shorts, rather cute!! The water is much bluer & clearer today. Sea weed which looks like sponges is floating by this AM. Spent entire day on deck. Saw some flying fish. Sea calm, is really beautiful day. Black out time comes too early. 7:40 tonite. Black out is complete, believe me. Got a nice sore sun burn on my face. Enlisted boys came on deck with string instruments and gave us some music. Made it seem like a pleasure cruise instead of a troop ship. Feel sorry & guilty about the quarters the boys have. Wish I could do something about it. Hope they have better trip back. Played cards in lounge all evening.

[May 10, 1943]

Another beautiful day. Sea very calm. Saw only one flying fish today. No other signs of life. Water is getting lighter & clearer in color. Sun very hot up on deck. Have quite a sunburn. Talked with a very nice Lt.[lieutenant] from the Ordinance. Real cute boy. Had to work from 6PM to 12, poor thing. Doughterty, who bunks below me is always teasing[?]. She’s a card, funny. Marion & I spent the entire day on deck as usual. Salt air gives me an appetite. War news of Tunisia & Bizerte being taken sounds good. Maybe we won’t stay in Africa for long. Am anxious to see Casablanca. Had masquerade of sorts in evening given by Mrs[?] Chamberlin. Her promotion party. Most unique & original hat was a [unclear] [with] [unclear] for [unclear]. Ship rolling considerably. Heard a sub almost rammed last nite by us. Was up to charge battery[?].We were going too fast to stop.

[May 11, 1943]

Very windy & cold on deck today. Low planes circling us again also a destroyer appeared on horizon. Both looked good to us. Although in dangerous waters do not feel afraid. The sky was beautiful today. Sea very calm. Almost glassy. Also saw some birds flying around close to water. Will be glad to see land. Jumped up to bed last nite (top bunk) and hit my head on the electric light bulb which broke entirely off. Got a sore spot on my head today. Had a shampoo. Some beauty salon they have on the boat. Ship is rolling considerably all day. We are following in wake of the destroyer. Are debarking at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow. Got food rations today. 3 pkgs B.D.S. Rolled my bed roll for the morning. Want to get up early & go up on deck.

[May 12, 1943]

P.S. Had bubble and squeak & fried egg for bkfst. (hash to you) A beautiful day. Up on deck @ 6:30 AM. Saw land at 10 AM. Debarked @ 3 PM. Had no lunch. Saw ships in harbor which had been bombed. One almost completely submerged, others turned over. One with no stern, a lot of damage done. Casablanca looks like a modern city. Buildings similar to southern California. Look very modern. Inhabitants on street very dirty & poor looking. Ragged clothes. Saw some women with veils, others without, & are quartered in a boys school. The johnnies are funny. A place for the feet & you squat. A smelly dirty place. 39 of us in one room. Cots for beds. Have to go downstairs to shower. Boys 8-12 have school here. Priests overseers. Very colorful gardens. All kinds of flowers. Geraniums are profuse & roses. All colors together very pretty. Water is obtained out of lister bag for drinking . Feel sort of land sick also slightly ill from atabrine. [May be here a month. Hope we get better quarters.

[May 13, 1943]

My second day in Casablanca. It's really a beautiful place. Most of people are French & speak it. Hope to learn to speak it myself. Got my things straightened out today. Drove in some nails then I hear we have to move tomorrow over to the École de Jeune Fillé [sic] with the others. A number of girls are sick from atabrine. Flies are profuse. Mesquito [sic] netting a god send. There are lots of nurses here. Too many. Will go on duty Mon. We are on 36 hr restrictions. Have to walk about 1 mile to mess hall. Food very greasy. Hot but there is a nice breeze. Slept most of day. Don’t feel too good myself. Sore throat, stiff neck. APO # changed today to 668. Rumors that we will not stay here. Ann sick. Taken to hospital 66. After trying two others they finally admitted her. Hospitals crowded. Tonight is beautiful. To bed at 11PM.

[May 14, 1943]

Moved over to École Lysée Lyanty [sic] today. Quarters very crowded. Two to a cubicle. Ann is going to live with me again I think. She has pneumonia. Went down town today. Rode in an open carriage. Had some money changed over. Bought a French conversational book. Amazing how much I have forgotten of my French. Hope to pick it up again. Feel very lonely as if I didn’t have any friends left. What is wrong? Restrictions being put on right & left. Colonel Donnelly is a bitch of the worst kinds. Hope he gets his due some day. He lifts restrictions for his girl friend though. [May be out 4 hours at a time & only 5 from our house during that time. Think if I want to go out I'll go anyway. Bonsoir.

[May 15, 1943]

Another lovely day. Quite warm in the sun but cool inside. Went to the hospital to see Ann. She is better. Got a ride home in a jeep with a medical Capt[ain]. Very nice. The homes around the hospital (old Italian consulate) are very pretty. Plenty of palm trees in town. The Boulevards are especially attractive. Some native children gathered around me for souvenirs. Had none but was given 50 centimes piece. Other 16 girls moved over to our section tonite. Broke my mirror today. After carrying it all the way from Alabama!! A.P.O. number change again to 3A22. No one knows anything in the 3rd gen[eral?] it seems!! Only confusion.

[May 16, 1943]

Went on a tour of the city by bus and sponsored by the red cross. Went in the Sultan’s Palace gardens, saw the new & old medina (native living quarters). Went thru native districts off limits if not on a tour. Streets & people there are terribly filthy. Beggars galore. Saw house of prostitution. Quite an impressive place! Went to officers club in evening with Lt. from Engineers. Had a nice time. Going on nite duty so unable to date him again.

[May 17, 1943]

On duty at the 6th gen[eral] hosp[ital] from 8:30 to 11:30. Did nothing but sit. Went on nites at 6:30 tonite. Uneventful day. Slept in afternoon. Hospital has mostly casualties now. Lots went out on last convoy. Others waiting to go now. P[atien]ts (casualties) for next 6 wks are being sent to a gen[eral] hosp[ital]. in Oran. They alternate every 6 weeks.

[May 18, 1943]

Went on night duty last nite. Had a hard time trying to stay awake. Have to cover two wards of 12 beds each. Not bad. Most of p[atien]ts are out of bed. Uneventful day. Slept til 1. Gave back my impregnated[?] clothes, washed my hair, & went back to bed till 5:00 PM. To work at 7:15PM tonite.

[May 22, 1943]

Went swimming out to Fedala [Morocco]. Nice swimming but the beach is dirty sand only. Had fun playing ball. Met a cute officer. Got some sunburn but sun wasn’t out too much.

[May 23, 1943]

Got some new p[atien]ts in tonite. Casualties from Tunisia not too badly hurt. Gave all the boys some candy bars tonight. Got more enjoyment out of their pleasure than if I had eaten them myself.

[May 24, 1943]

Slept better today. Nothing new. Nites the same old routine.

[May 26, 1943]

Usual night & day.

[May 27, 1943]

Got up at 11:30 today to go swimming. Had a terrifying experience. Bob & I walked out too far into the waves and were unable to swim back under our own power. Some boy helped me back ashore. Bob another boy who had gone out too deep were pulled in on the life line. I sure thought I was finished. I hope I have learned a lesson.

Was dead tired tonite. Hear we are leaving soon for Bizerta [Bizerte, Tunisia]. Will be glad to go.

[May 28, 1943]

Same old story. Lot of sleep & work. 7PM [to?] 7AM

[May 29, 1943]

Nothing new. Same routine.

[May 30, 1943]

My last nite of night duty. Thank god. Hasn’t been too bad. Had 2 nice wards and nice patients. But it's good to get off. Went swimming this PM. Water nice. Air cold. Saw Lt. List again. Cute boy but doesn’t seem to go for me. Would like to go out with him. Looks very young though.

[May 31, 1943]

Off tonight but nothing to do. The irony of it. Was supposed to go with Bob Ames but don't care about going with him. I'm too fussy I guess. Should take what I can get and enjoy myself.


Paul Warren

314th Trrrop Carrier Group

62nd Sq[ua]d

APO#650 Ouijda[?]

Paul Warren 2nd Lt

Army Air Corps

[June 1, 1943]

Been in this army since 1 yr ago today. Haven't regretted it one bit. Met a very very nice L[ieutenan]t in air corps. Paul Warren from S[outh].C[arolina]. Had loads of fun. Could go for him in a big way. Nice looking, tall, personality plus. Hope he comes out O.K. Gave me his [illegible] wings. Hope I can see more of him. [May be stationed near us in Bizerte. Got to bed at 1:30AM.

On C.Q. duty today from 12:30 [to] 5. Left at 3:40 to go with the L[ieutenan]t. mentioned above. God help me if the madam had caught me.

P.S. joined the Short [illegible] tonight too. Cost me $1

[June 2, 1943]

Miss Paul very much today. Went downtown in AM. Bought a few things. On CQ 5-9:30 missed out on a doggie roast with Lt. Ames (not that I cared).

Have been thinking of Paul all day. He called at 4PM. Will probably leave before day is over. [May be back end of week. I sure hope so. How can I like him so much by just knowing him for one day? He’s so sweet. Says the things a woman wants to hear. Please god let me see him again & be stationed near him.

[June 3, 1943]

On CQ [Change of Quarters?] 8-12:30. A gold–bricking job if there ever was one. Went to town today to P.X. [post exchange] to get my 4 bars of candy. Had a coke. The Navy gave a dance in the Rec hall here at Lycée Lyanty & gave us a drink. Went out in the evening with a naval officer - & from Easton. Knew places I knew & people also. Girls I played basketball with. Went to the A.B.S. officers club. Had a fairly nice time. Missed my flyer. I do want to see Paul again. He wonderful.

[June 4, 1943]

Nothing new. Went downtown. Bought myself a ring. To bed early.

[June 5, 1943]

Paul was in Casablanca again today. Went to the Allied Club for a drink and then on to the automobile club. Had a wonderful time with him as usual. Saw an iron cross one of the boys had gotten from a German general. Paul exchanged the wings he gave me before for a better pair. I’m crazy for him. Says all I want to hear. Wish he could be around more. To bed at 2:00am

PS  Paul also told me he’s not married now. Divorced 3 months after his marriage 6 yrs ago.

[June 6, 1943]

Tired today. Went swimming at Fedala [Morocco]. Nice but a little cold. Went out to the beach on a party with some men from the transportation. Had a fun time. Missed Paul. Would have been perfect with him. Left one couple there. Had to go back and get them. Some fun.

[June 7, 1943]

Went to town again as usual. Didn’t buy anything. Had fun in shops trying to lower prices.

Went to a 3rd gen[eral?] party in the rec hall. Very few 3rd gen[eral?] officers there. Met Lt. Purcell-King…

Had fun dancing. Plenty of men around. None appealed to me after Paul. I got it bad!!

Please hurry back Paul! Nurses had to be in quarters by 12. Had bed check. Our Colonel sure is a _ _ _ _ _!!! Of the first order. And we also are restricted to quarters.

[June 8, 1943]

A meeting at 8:30. Expect to move to staging area soon. Learned we are to have baggage ready by 8AM tomorrow. Spent the day packing. Seem to have a lot less to pack. Bed roll is enormous though. Uneventful day. Still restricted to quarters. To bed early.

[June 9, 1943]

Immediately on arrival here everyone robbed the lumber pile in back of camp. Tables, shelves & everything imaginable built. Some tents fixed up very nice. Think it’s going to be fun. Telephone can’t be used until 5PM for personal calls. Message may be taken. Hope Paul finds me.

Today is the day of movement. Cloudy. Sun never shines when 3rd gen. moves! Played victrola & lounged around waiting to go. Had lunch at Lycee Lyanty. Sort of hate to leave the place. Madame has been fun. One French boy said the other boys looked at us with admiration & the lights would go out of the college when we left. A smart boy. Paul got in today for a few hours but couldn’t get to town in that time. He called. If only I could have seen him. Gave me his address. Miss him a lot & think continually about him. Wonder what he really thinks of me. Wish I knew. Hope to see him soon. Tell more about new home tomorrow.

[June 10, 1943]

Arrived in our new quarters at 2:30pm. [unclear] tents with board floors. 4 to a tent. Betty Kelly, Marion Gundry, Ann, & myself live together. Betty C.Q.!! Think it will be nice. Cots have mattresses, nice!! Latrine about 1 block away. 8 holes back to back 4 on a side. Good old fashioned method!! Privacy has gone for duration. 15 rolls of T.P. [toilet paper] for 116 women per week!! Probably revert to newspaper or Sears Roebuck Cat[alog]. Wash room & showers way down the other end. Have tablecloths (sheets) on tables in mess hall. Food excellent after Lycee Lyanty & the Arabs! Good to see our own boys working in there again. Have a Rec hall with radio, victrola & furniture. Paul was in today for few hrs. Couldn’t see him, he was unable to leave field.

[June 11, 1943]

Up at 7:30, the last to breakfast & first to other meals. Paul was in again today from 11 to 4PM, but couldn’t see him. Was terribly disappointed. I like him too much for my own good. Hope he comes in again very soon. I'll see him next time he comes in even if I have to go AWOL. Wish I knew how much he thinks of me. Wrote him a letter. Hope he gets it & answers. Did nothing all day but lounged around, played some ball. To bed by 11[?] PM. Still restricted.

[June 12, 1943]

Restrictions lifted today at last. Thank goodness! But not my day to go out. Are divided in two groups. 50% go out at a time after 5:30pm and only 5% of the 50% out before 5:30pm. Hope Paul gets in town on my day off.

Was supposed to have inspection but didn’t. Dull day. Nothing much to do. to bed early.

[June 13, 1943]

Went to chapel in area 14. A five minute walk. Had G.I. transportation. Very good short sermon. Went swimming in afternoon [illegible] with the chaplain. Betty Haines asked me if I wanted to go on a double date with her & who should it turn out to be but the chaplain. Seems nice but chaplains are not up my alley as far as dates are concerned. Water was swell. Got some sunburn. Went to movies in town at nite. Saw "Man Power7quot; again. Movie given by red cross. Free.

[June 14, 1943]

Started our training program all over again. Only the 3rd time. Like drilling & calisthenics but not the classes. Very hot today & much cooler this evening. My nite in. Mess not so good today. Feel hungry for some sweet desert [sic]. Had letter from Ginny. Made me feel better. Wrote some letters home.]

[June 15, 1943]

Usual day of training period. Planning to have a show for our enlisted men next Wednesday. Should be able to give a good one. Saw a show given by the 66th Station Hosp[ital]. Quite good & entertaining.

[June 16, 1943]

Today was complete. Saw Paul tonight. He was as sweet as ever. Went to the ABS officer's club. Lights were out. Closed today[?]. On to the Automobile Club. Had an orchestra. Danced. Paul much better dancer than I had thought he was. I'm crazy about him. Wish he liked me as well. He wanted to buy me a gift because I gave him a box of beech nut gum. Hope he didn't leave it somewhere. Expects to move up this week or first of next. I'm praying we get together up the line. Would be heavenly to see him often.

[June 17, 1943]

Went on a 4 mile hike today. Tried to go into an [sic] native village but the woman said her husband was crazy & she didn't know what he would do. Husband thought we wanted to buy a baby. How many women wanted to go in he asked? 10 we said. Do they all want babies? he asked. Wife gave us two chicken eggs as a gift in exchange for some gum and candy. Went thru the field and it was hard walking. Tired when I got back. Looked for Paul to go out. He was going to signal. Must have missed him. Wish I could see him again before he goes out. I got it bad.

[June 18, 1943]

Usual routine. Heard we are leaving around July 1,2,3 for Mature [Mateur, Tunisia]. I do hope we get near the 314 Troop Carrier Com 62nd Sq. #650. It will be wonderful to see him more often. I can’t think of anything nicer.

Very hot. Tent is extremely warm

[June 19 , 1943]

Inspected the enlisted men & our officers quarters this AM. Our officers live one in a tent & with beds [with] springs & mattresses. And they say they are treated badly. They had apple cake too which we didn't get till later on in the day. To keep us quite [sic] I guess. Did nothing in the evening. Wish Paul were here. Miss him a lot. Helped Ruth B & Dora L. get ready for a date [with] some colonels. Some circus!!

[June 20, 1943]

Went to church today. Very nice service. Hope we get that chaplain in our unit. He’s good & interesting. Cloudy this morning. Sun coming out now and it is getting warmer. Got some new girls last nite (3). Are going to have a 2000 bed hospital. Are getting more nurses, officers & enlisted men.

[June 21, 1943]

Went to a must[?] affair by the ABS officers. Given to nurses of vicinity & other med[ical] off[icers]. Held at Hotel Robinson. Had fair time. Had salted peanuts. Tasted good I can tell you. Met Capt. Clarkner from Washington, NJ. What a small world after all. He’s a nice dancer. Not bad looking. Said he hasn’t had a date for 4 months. Came home with him in jeep.

[June 22, 1943]

Usual day. Drill, calisthenics classes. [unclear] folding. Hot as hell. Can see why the natives flop down anywhere & go to sleep during the day. Wise people. Thank goodness it cools off at night so we can sleep well.

Are preparing a play for our enlisted men. Hope it goes over well. We all have our doubts.

[June 23, 1943]

Had the play. A big success with the enlisted men. They looked cute bringing there [their] canteen cup for coffee which we served with donuts after the play. The play was a number of skits starting [with] a hike at [Camp] Rucker, Camp Shanks interlude on train, on ship & here in Casa[blanca]. Also a Mex[ican]. Dance number by Lupie & Katie, a jitterbug dance, singing, and an orchestra. Went over very well, everyone liked it. Raised morale of our boys 100%.

[June 24, 1943]

Supposed to have retreat tonite but was cancelled (nurses only). Very hot day. Feel tired all the time. Went out to dinner to "Coup de Pouli[Poulet?]" with Capt. Clarkner and Major Kellan & Mona Sobrin. Had a good chicken dinner. Best meal since I’ve been here. Watched the surf for a while. Pretty rough tonite. Reminds me too much of the time I got caught in the undertow & couldn’t get back [without] help.

[June 25, 1943]

Went to Casablanca today had some ice cream (?). Chocolate had cherries in it. Funny kind of ice cream. At least it was cold. Very hot in town but not quite as hot as in camp. First shopping trip into Casa since I moved out. 30 Red Cross & 3 WAAC officers moved into our camp tonite. Just off the boat. Hope they like Africa. Not a bad place. Advance Parts[?] left today for Mateur [Tunisia]. 10 nurses. Wish I could have gone by truck rather than by train. It’s going to be a long hard journey.

[June 26, 1943]

Had to turn our mattresses in today, much to our sorrow. We’ll need all the sleep we can get before starting out on that train trip. Dread it very much. Went to the naval dance. Met a very good looking officer George Whitney. Had ice cream & Coca Cola also chocolate cake. Was it good too!! Got home at 1AM.

[June 27, 1943]

Went to church. Large attendance for a change. Went to town in the evening and saw "as you were" a play given by the Red Cross. It was very good. Especially the one with a woman as president. Very funny. Had a truth & conseq[Truth or Consequences] show at the end of program. I was the only nurse up there (not by choice) had a very easy question "who was the 1st woman to popularize bobbed hair?" Got two pkgs cigarettes as a prize. And I don’t smoke. Enjoyed the show very much.

[June 28, 1943]

Left for Rabat [Morocco] at 9AM by bus. 2 of them took a large number of nurses. Got there at 10:30. Saw the medina, the old sultan's palace with beautiful native costumes, jewelry, & such. Beautifully embroided[sic] pieces. Climbed to top of minarete[sic]. Wonderful view of the city. The town is much cleaner than Casablanca. The natives are also. Had dinner & supper at the Chantilier[?] Res[taurant]. It was delicious. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, & such & cantaloupes which were so good. Expect to have after effects but it will be worth it. Also had ice cream & berries. Went to ARC off. Club. Talked to some nice officers.

[June 29, 1943]

Have had no water for two days. Getting acute[?]-water turned on later in the day. Very rusty and messy. Gives one canteen to drink. Oh for some good old N.Y. Water again. Washed my clothes and have to do them over again due to the rust in the water. Got some peanuts at the P.X. [post exchange] very good. All moving Sat[urday]. & Sun[day]. In two loads. Have had warnings(?) about censorship. We are getting too talkative. One does get careless without [thinking?]. Must be more careful. Have been warned by censor once and that's enough for me. Went to post movies in the pit.

[June 30, 1943]

Uneventful day. Same routine & heat. Wrote 6 letters this evening. Wish I could see Paul. I miss him very much. Water situation bad. None again today except for a very short while. Mess hall has been taken over by A.B.S. Food a little better.

Rabat Tarcoiri[?]

Port Lyanty[?]

Petite Jaen - Sidi Kacem

Dued Khommant[?]

Ain Kerma - Moulay Idriss




Oved Metlili


Berri Dinkel[?]


Sidi Bel Abbes

Oran [illegible]

[July 1, 1943]

Had barrack bags ready to go at 1PM today. Went to Casablanca for the last time. Did very little shopping. Went to the engineers officers club outside of town. A beautiful place. Formerly a French villa taken over by the U.S. government. A large formal garden, tennis court, etc. Had the Royal Caseliers[?] Orchestra. Was with Bob Galioppi, from N.Y. A wonderful dancer. Had a nice time. Got home at 1AM. To water today after 9AM.

[July 2, 1943]

Our last day in Casablanca or Don Passage Camp. Have enjoyed it here a lot. But am anxious to move on to new fields. Bed rolls went at 1pm. We go at 7:30. Inspection of Camp @ 7PM. Had to take a cold shower with a minimum of water. Felt good after but oh- getting under the thing. Supposed to leave at 8:30PM. French ran off with our train. Entrained [at] 12 min. [midnight] train filthy. Had coffee & sandwich @ 11 before getting to train. We were last to leave. Good bye Camp Don Passage.

[July 3, 1943]

En route. 4 to a compartment built for six. By rearranging the seats we were able to stretch out. But didn’t sleep well. Stopped in Petite Jean Kidi Kagam(?) and had breakfast @ 10:30am. Dog bisquits[sic], hard boiled eggs, coffee, & applebutter. Had lunch there. Cornbeef[sic] on bisquits[sic], watermelon, lemonade. On our way @ 11:00PM. Went thru beautiful country. Irrigation system wonderful. Landscaping pretty. Many native village[s] spread out. Laid over in Fez from 6PM to 2AM. Had supper in restaurant in station. Saw a train load of prisoners (German) on way to Port Lyanty. Seemed happy. Scenery wonderful.

[July 4 , 1943]

Woke up to find our compartment full of bed bugs & full of bites. Had it deloused but still leery of it. 7 more days of this. Oh oh. Had breakfast at a stop over. Another load of German & Italian prisoners came in while we were in the station. Got a mess kit utensils & medal from them for cigarettes & candy. They were singing & seemed happy. One spoke English. Were forbidden to talk to them but got around it. Saw a train wreck! Completely demolished. In Spanish Morroca [sic]. Costumes more colorful than any seen before. Stopped in Ouidja [Oudja, Morocco] for 6 hrs. Called Paul but he had moved out 1 wk ago. Talked to some boys. Gave us 1 can pineapple chunks. Water scarce. 1/2 canteen only. Meals lousy. Corned beef, lunch yesterday, lunch today & supper today. Left Ouidja [sic] @ 2am. Set time ahead 1 hr.

[July 5 , 1943]

Slept sitting up last nite. Not so good. Passed thru beautiful country this AM. Very deep valleys & high mountains. Somewhat cooler. Stopped for breakfast & lunch in Sidi Bel Abbes [Algeria]. The home of the French foreign legion. Did not see the town. Many Arab children on way. Pitiful looking creatures. Story of the duck- Frenchman met train & said soldiers had stolen a duck from last station. Sgt Dourl appeared with it freshly picked (15 mins after). Quite dead too. Told Frenchmen duck flew into train. Was very much amused and [unclear].

[July 6, 1943]

Passed some more prisoners who hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for 3 days. The damn French in charge of them. Stopped in Africa viel Milliana [?] for a shower. Got 12 pounds pork prepared meat, pineapple chunks, peanut butter from 8 boys stranded here. Haven’t had any bread yet. Meals lousy. Sleeping problem same. Went thru beautiful country. Full of grape vineyards. Miles & miles of them. Mountains. Saw train which had been bombed full of holes. A wreck. Got a French engineer who pulled out of station & left 300 nurses & officers & enlisted men. Continue to next town before we could get him to stop, then under protest. Train very jerky. Things continually falling down on us. Oodles of Arab children, pitiful creatures begging for candy. Supply gone almost.

[July 7, 1943]

Were told not to talk to enlisted men even in a friendly fashion with a threat of court marshal [sic]

Went thru outskirts of Algiers. Picked up rations there. Had a good breakfast for a change. Scrambled eggs, good coffee. Had a shower in Betty’s bathing suit under the spigot used to fuel engine. Felt good but am still dirty. No bed bugs greeted us this AM. Still pretty country and cooler. Got much hotter today later on. Engine broke down this afternoon. Had to wait till it went to another station. Sat on platform watching scenery & trying to keep cool. Talked to some engineers at station. Gave us some scotch. I shaved one boy who looked like an Arab with his whiskers. Did a pretty good job. Only cut him in one place. Restrictions put on some girls for talking with enlisted men. 9PM curfew for all. Had supper late tonite. 9:30. Beautiful 1/4 moon with a perfect star just below. Feel so badly over poor starved Arab children.

[July 8, 1943]

Took Allen & another boy off (Malano?) train to hospital (35th) 12:30 last nite.

Stopped for breakfast in St. Donat for bkfst. Saw a lot of fortresses & transports in air field there. Heard Paul was at couple stations us[?]. Called from —- chart. He’s there but out when I called. Saw a prison camp and an area which looked as though it has been bombed. Very disappointed I didn't get to see Paul. I cried but did no good. C'est la guerre. Can only hope to see him later on. Countryside dry & very hot. Saw a number of army camps along the way. Passed near Constantine. Had only two meals today. Got an Arab who brought this bottles of "ocno"[?] with him as brakeman. Didn’t work brakes at all. Too busy drinking. Saw a lot of banged up British tanks brought up from Tunisia. Some pretty well wrecked. (1st army) also talked to train of boys who had fought in Kasserine Pass. Some girls restricted for talking to enlisted men. So far have escaped [unclear]

[July 9, 1943]

Had breakfast in Souk Ahras. Saw two train loads of German prisoners unguarded. Also a train load detraining this AM and being taken to a prison camp. Talked to some officers stationed here. Still mountainous country. Mess much better in spite of fact we only ate 2X's [two times] yesterday. Talked to some boys from another train who had been at Kasserine gave me some German souvenirs, a bayonet ribbon. Told of some interesting experiences. Talked to some others who hadn’t spoken to an Amer[ican]. girl since he had been here. Very pathetic. Feel very sorry for these boys. They only want to talk to a white girl. Stopped in Sidi [unclear] for supper. Very short stop. Had to eat our meal on the train ∧ keep our dirty mess kits. Mateur rumored to be 35 miles away. Goodness knows when we’ll get there though.

[July 10, 1943]

Saw the German cemetery in back of Camp- about 20 Germans & 1 Italian, 3 unknowns.

Arrived in Mateur @ 4AM. Was asleep. Got up for breakfast at 7AM at station. Town practically devastated. Not much left. E.B.S HQ Hosp 6 miles outside of town. Large air field near by. Planes in air at all times. Many of them. Those who greeted us at 5AM had been out. All but 3 came back. Good record. Very much surprised at the hospital. 50 buildings of concrete. We live in tents. 1 each. Won’t be bad when we get something to put our clothes in. Greeted by the madam with a meeting. Started scrubbing in the afternoon as soon as we got finished & were supposed to work till 9 but I decided till 7 was late enough. Building very very filthy. Place built by French & taken by Germans but retaken again. 9th [unclear] moved out before we came in. expect to be ready for 500 p[atien]ts by Wed. Some work place, is full of activity, supplies coming in & etc. Went to bed dead tired.

[July 11, 1943]

Were told there were many mines in the surrounding fields. Also in the graves & fox holes around everywhere. A German wreck place to the left. A tank field. P38 field & P25's. Some of boys saw a German plane shot down just a little beyond camp. Taken prisoner, other killed. On [July 5 had a bombing at Ferryville. Could see it clearly form here. Still excitement around. The chow line is terrific. Also the wash line. Stand 1 1/2 hr. Scrubbed all day today again. Hope we soon finish up. We are restricted until we get the hosp started. Advance party did not do much of anything apparently except have a good time & see the surrounding towns. Had supper in our own mess hall tonite. Much better. Still using mess kits. We’ll get settled sometime I hope.

[July 12, 1943]

Up at 7:00AM. Have a bugler now who blows at 6AM. Scrubbed again today. Place still a mess & needs lots of work. Tried painting walls but paint is too dark green. Hands full of cuts & nicks. Very hot here today. Eating in our own mess hall, much better than before. Do not have to wait in line so long. Flies terrific. Stick like fly paper. Have to go down hill to Chamberlin’s rooms to get a shower. She’s got a luxurious ap[artmen]t! Says she would rather live in tent with girls, but oh yeah!! High ranking officers (maj[ors] & col[onels]) sleep in buildings too. The lazy hogs.

[July 13, 1943]

The same story. Scrubbing & cleaning up O.R. Still on restrictions. Loads of planes going & coming all day. Lots of activity. Mail came in but didn’t get any.

[July 14, 1943]

Served again today. Made myself a dresser with drawers out of card board boxes. Quite spiffy. Also a wardrobe out of some more cardboard. Covered my floor with card board also. The colonel won’t let us take boards or wooden boxes so we have to use paper ones or do without. Hot as the devil. Thank god don’t have to wait in the chow line 2 hrs anymore. Had dishes to eat from (enamel ones). No more mess kits. Camp was inspected by General Blessing[?] today- One star gen. One colonel, [with] him asked me to shorten his English shorts for him.

[July 15, 1943]

Served covers for O.R. all day. Only cool place is on duty. Came to my tent from 12:30-3 and nearly died. Mail came in again today. None for me. Very disappointing. Food tasted good today. Miss Frete is responsible. Takes a woman’s touch in the kitchen. Food is scarce though. Get small portions. Finished my building today. Wish restrictions were off so could go out. 10 nurses went on nites today. No p[atien]ts so far from outside Sicily.

Wish I could see Paul or even hear from him.

[July 16, 1943]

Good news. Paul called. Had landed at P38 field but could not leave. Went out in a few hours. Circled over field & waved to me. I’m crazy about him. Wish I could see more of him. Still busy in O.R. [operating room] Never worked so hard in my life. Restrictions still on. P[atien]ts still trickling in. also sending some on by an evacuation.

[July 17, 1943]

Restrictions lifted at last. Stayed in talking to some Air Corp boys. They had to be off field by 10:30. Policed by Lt. Polingham & Miller. What a life. If only Paul could get here. Think I must be in love with him. Hear Chamberlin has a boy friend too. May make her human.

Funny to see the infusion of men the first nite off restrictions. All can have dates if they want it so, plenty of Air Corps!

[July 1, 1943]

Met some air corp boys. Went over to their club. Had "slow[?] rolls" very good. Started (?) one of the P38. A very complicated affair. Wish I could fly. Had a late pass to go to movies but didn't really need it. Miss Paul very much. Got some more p[atien]ts today. Did our first operation. I & D. Quite an event. Went to Catholic services. Missed protestant services. Heard they were given by Air Corp Chaplin[sic] & very good.

[July 19, 1943]

Still a lot to do in O.R. Worked hard getting things together. Don’t realize the detail involved till one starts. Hot as hell today also tonite & first nite has not cooled off. Had memorial services for M. Allen tonite. Chaplain Tobel[?] spoke very well. To bed early. Had some ice water.

[July 20, 1943]

Another scorching day. Heat terrific. Stayed on duty all day because tent was too hot. Going to get awfully tired in this heat. Am on call in OR tonite. Must sleep down in building [unclear]. Some more trouble. 100 Italian prisoners arrived today to work around hospital. They seem happy enough. Someone swiped my candle[?] today.

[July 21, 1943]

Missed out on dates.

[July 22, 1943]

Saw Bizerte [Tunisia] for the first time tonight. Went with a L[ieutenan]t from the Air Corps. The place is a mess of wreckage. No building left standing. Saw loads of troops down by dock waiting to go over to Sicily or Italy. Met hundreds of prisoners. Mostly Italian. Had prisoners in our mess hall for supper tonight serving. One is so cross eyed! They look healthy enough. O.R. taking shape gradually. Lots of work. Hot as hell again. Must walk up from parking lot to tents[?]. A dirty trick since we have to walk so much during day.

[July 23, 1943]

Went out with Capt. Stevenson tonight. Met him thru Miss Chamberlin. Had a wonderful time. First swim in the Mediterranean. Wasn’t very nice. Steve is from Buffalo and in the Tank destroyers. Am seeing him Sat & swimming again. Hope he shaves off his moustache[sic]. I hate them. Saw a lot of wrecked German planes in Ivory Air field in Bizerte.

Saw a horrible leg wound today. Big hunk shot out. Poor boy. Quiet death in hosp[ital]. assured. Some pretty sick boys here now.

Had two messy cases in orthopedic this AM. Shrapnel wounds, bones mashed. Saw another horrible case. Boy’s leg had a [unclear] hunk shot out of it. Heard lots of boys come in with no clothes. All turned in at supply again. Not even shoes to wear around. Some haven’t been paid[?] for long time. Have some very sick boys. Keep coming in. quite busy. OR going fairly well. Hot again. Sprinkled a little tonight. A lot of planes went out this AM (6AM). Also lots of transports landed in adjoining field with patients.

[July 24, 1943]

Went to Bizerte again with Capt Stevenson and Lt. Bukey. Had dinner. Got tight and sick. Had a nice time though. Reuters boy friend Rhinelander shot himself thru the head while cleaning his gun. Very sad. Sorry for her. Was to be married in 2 weeks.

[July 25, 1943]

Went to church this AM. Nice service. Was to have gone swimming with George but he didn’t show up. Probably has a good excuse. Hot as the devil in tent this PM. Rained for about 5 min. Very welcome.

[July 26, 1943]

On call in the OR. Worked till morning, 7:15 to 1PM then had to serve[?] from 6:15 to 10:00 on a case. Exploded men. Horrible wounds. The boys are sure getting messed up. Too bad the civilians at home can't see what the boys have gone through. Might wake them up. The food is sort of on the scarce side. Small portions & lousy. [Italian Prime Minister Benito] Mussolini was dismissed. Good news. [Pietro] Badoglio is Prime Minister. He’s favorable to terms?? Probably war with Italy is over. Still a big job to do. Maybe we’ll land in Europe yet. Hope so.

[July 27, 1943]

[unclear] A very happy day. Paul is in. Landed at the next air field. Saw him at 4 & went to Bizerte for dinner. Had fresh strawberries. Laid on the beach & talked & talked. He’s so sweet & considerate. Took his ring off because he thought I wouldn’t like. Hard to see it. The darling. I love him. Got in at 1AM. Told me about going over Sicily. He was lucky. God please don’t let him get hurt. He cried when he talked about it and the story of the prayer book. I don’t know how I can stand to not see him more often. He’s lost weight, poor boy.

[July 28, 1943]

Went to Bizerte & had steak with Capt Stevenson. Was so sleepy I practically fell asleep while talking. Very windy. Paul came up this AM. Was going to take me up but I was scrubbed and couldn’t get off. He had breakfast at our mess and slept in receiving. Wish I had known. I’m positively crazy about him. Wish he felt the same.

[July 29, 1943]

Missed Paul very much today. Very tired too. Am going to bed early. Have been trying to get my orthopedic OR set up to suit me. A scramble to get tables, etc. Still windy and rather cloudy for a change.

[July 30, 1943]

10:30 curfew lifted as of today it is now 12mn [midnight]. Much better & everyone is happier. Officers' club to be opened tomorrow nite. We’re invited but cannot take our friends. To hell with it. Nothing new. Hot this PM again. In tonight on 50%.

[July 31, 1943]

Had a date with Lt. Lodge. A nice boy. Expects to leave soon. In coast artillery. Went out between Bizerte & Mateur & sat in the field listening to radio. A beautiful night. Had fun. Fern, Mary, Terry, Betty K were along too. Had a PM today, did nothing. Hot as usual. Same routine. Wish I could see Paul. Keep thinking of him constantly.

[August 1, 1943]

Time sure flies. Nothing new. Tom Lodge came up to say good bye. Bemoans the fact he didn't meet me two weeks ago when he first came instead of the last night here. Expects to go to Sicily. Hospital busy. 1000 p[atien]ts or so. O.R. quite [sic] today. Went to church. A nice service. Had a letter from Hilda today. She's married at last. Hope she'll be happy.

[August 2, 1943]

Lt. Lodge didn’t get down. Stayed in, went to bed early. Got over 100 casualties in tonight in the convalescence camp. 500 p[atien]ts there now. A veritable dust hole. No facilities either.

[August 3, 1943]

Went to Air Corp party. Had Rum Collins. Good but strong as hell. Had a fairly nice time. Came home with Lt. White of Air Corp. Went with Lt. Thompson of Ordinance. A dirty trick I know. He was cute too. Don’t know why I did it. Didn’t particularly like Lt. White.

[August 4, 1943]

Had a PM. Was supposed to go up in plane with Major Busses but didn’t pan out. PM wasted. Reorganizing convalescence camp today. Has been a mess & terribly busy. As is the entire hospital. Went out with Lt. Dick Thompson of Quartermaster. Also with Lt. Bussle & Thurman. Went to Ferryville to a bar there. Met an English officer who took us to his camp & gave us Scotch cherry brandy & wine. Had fun. Bar closed at 9PM.

[August 5, 1943]

Lt. Thompson came down again tonite. Sat on blanket in rec[reation?] tent. A new moon tonight. Very pretty. Heard we had to move two in a tent. Went down to see the colonel. Said it was an Act of Congress T.B.A. Said he would try to get more tents. Didn’t really get much of anywhere as usual. Heard we didn’t have to move right away. Expecting 27 new nurses. We can use them to good advantage.

[August 6, 1943]

Went thru Sedjena [Sajanan, Tunisia?]. There had a fierce battle. Saw a lot of prisoners.

Some AM. Went swimming to Cape Serat [Cap Serrat, Tunisia]. Some ride. Saw a scorched plane on the way & decided we would like to investigate. Got lost. Went over trees & high bush. Hard going in sand. Thought sure we were lost. Finally got out. Met Betty Haines "Kurt". I was with Lt. Eugler. He got tight & almost wrecked car on way back. A very curvy mountaneous[sic] road.

Air raid. They seemed to stay suspended in air so long. The tracer bullets were beautiful. Just like a fourth of [July fireworks. Some German planes were supposedly flying over our hospital. Beacons were on all over the place. Real exciting. My first raid. Hope I never get in one. Didn’t do much damage.

[August 7, 1943]

My night in. Lt. Thompson came down. A day early for his date. We sat on my blanket down to the rec[reation?] tent & talked. Got some tables & chairs in the tent today & a few grass rugs. Much prefer my blanket though. A lot of planes around today. After last night’s raid they are probably giving the Axis more hell. Air raid early this AM. 3:30 to 5:15AM towards Bizerte & Tunis [Tunisia]. Bombs sound just like thunder. Saw flashes of light here & there. Also flares were dropped.

[August 8 , 1943]

Worked til 4:30 went swimming with Lt. Thompson. Rather cold & windy. A regular sand storm down by the beach. Ate dinner at Quartermasters mess. Had good roast beef. Acquired a white mosquito bar but Dick said I didn’t earn it, but he gave it to me. Also a can of corned beef. Have a date with him for Wed. Gave me a box of cigars for the boys in OR.

[August 9, 1943]

Busy day in O.R. Boys untrained and a trial. Hear tales of prisoners which make me burn up. Cook tells boys not enough jelly for them(?) & prisoners so prisoners get it. At least the Colonel has gotten around to fixing sewer around mess hall. Gave a box of cigars to boys. Glad to get them. Also bought my rations of cigarettes and gave them to the patients. Got two tootsie rolls today. Very windy & cool. Everything covered in dust an inch thick. Put up my new mosquito bar. Very nice. Hope I can keep it up. On call tonight.

[August 10, 1943]

Stayed in tonight & went to bed early. Tired. P[atien]ts still coming in from Sicily. Still cool today & dusty. Tent a mess.

[August 11, 1943]

Thurman was killed last night in a jeep accident. Arab cart without light was the cause. [illegible], Harry, & 3 air corp boys. Too bad. Thurman was a nice kid. Went out with her on a date other nite. Had fun. Quite a shock. Expected some restrictions but none so far.

Busy again today as usual.

Wind has stopped at last. Getting hot again.

[August 12, 1943]

Rained a little this AM.

Went to Ferryville with Lt. Thompson to officers club there. Had a few dances to piano music. He's a nice dancer. If we only had some good music to dance by. Wish Paul would come up. Miss him a lot.

Thurman buried at 2PM today in American cemetery outside of Mateur. Couldn’t go. On duty.

Cleaned my tent today. Also dresser was full of silver fish & they do bite. A few in my bed but not many. Capt Stevenson came down tonite. Wanted me to go to dinner with him. Had a lovely date. Am seeing him next PM Sat.

[August 13, 1943]

Busy in OR again. Hot & still today. Weather back to its old routine. Went out to dinner with Dick Thompson. Didn’t say anything about future date. We’ll probably try new fields. He’s welcome.

Had a terrible case in OR. Major in Air Corps. Got head wound, lost of brain tissue. (Went out later). Good thing. Had been on bombing tour over Rome.

[August 14, 1943]

Usual busy day. Hot again. Had a PM. slept most of afternoon. Went to dance with Mac Cobe to Bizerte [Tunisia]. Met an English R.A.F.[Royal Air Force]’er. Drove a Mercury taken over by English from Germans. Sure did feel nice to ride in a civilian car again. Came home with him. Wants to take us to Sicily Wed[nesday]. Don’t think I can get off. Inspection by Col. Donnelly & visiting Colonel. Have one about every other day.

[August 15, 1943]

No rest for the wicked. A very busy day in OR. 12 cases. Had first hours. Had a memorial mass for Thurman. Unable to go. Saw 5 horrible burn cases dressed in OR. Many boys. What these poor soldiers go through. Legs, arms, hand, feet. Off. All are a mess with shattered bones. But in spite of all they are swell patients & sports. Makes me want to cry to see them. 20 new nurses arrived [with] colored bandannas[?][illegible] Wait till Chamberlin gets a hold of them. Poor kids. On call. Saw [illegible] Flannigan, on her way to Sicily.

[August 16, 1943]

Dead tired today. OR [operating room] is getting worse & worse. Col[onel] is taking some help out. The dope. All he can do is inspect them. Where is he. Am out tonite but have no date. Dick was up last night trying to get another date. Capt[ain] Stevenson came to chief nurses office today to see if I could go Sat[urday]. Looks as if I won’t get to go Wed[nesday] to Sicily.

[August 17, 1943]

Usual busy day. Toni Hardy came down tonight. We went to the Bob Hope show. It was pretty good. Bob looked very tacky in his suit. Acted tired. One of the p[atien]ts remarked when Frances Langford comes on the stage "My nurse is prettier than she." Toni had the Mercury sedan. Made definite plans to go to Palermo [Sicily] tomorrow. I’m so excited I can hardly wait. Watched another air raid from the parking lot. Quite spectacular. I didn’t think I’ll sleep tonite. Too much excitement.

[August 18, 1943]

What a red letter day. Actually got to Sicily. Left Bizerte airport at 11AM. Rode up from here in the "Purple Hornet" a rattletrap jeep. Nearly got hit by French making left hand turn [without] signalling. Going up was thrilling. Went in a C47. Big transport. Cliff Carter, Marty & Toni went. Beautiful flying above the clouds. Mediterranean much bluer in Sicily than here. The fields were all laid out in symmetrical design. Had lunch at the English air field mess. Got there at 11:30AM. Saw a P38 crack up. Not much left, but just escaped. Went through Palermo. Stopped in a bar for wine which they mixed with orangeade. It was delicious. The woman was so glad to see us. The carts and harness of the natives are all painted with various designs & pictures, scenes from Romeo & Juliet & such. Children yell at you but don't have any idea what they are saying. The town itself was beautiful. Many trees & boulevards. Not much damage done by raids. Saw a hotel high up on a cliff. Must have been beautiful up there. The beach was nice. Warm & blue. As blue as it could be. Undressed and dressed in a deserted home across the street. Left the Palermo air field at 4PM & got to Bizerte at 5:30. Saw Jean Ackerman in the waiting room at the airport. Was dead tired. Ate at Monty's[?] mess. Came home at 10. Saw the worst air raid yet at 12. More noisy. Killed 20 English last nite. Hit P.O. toniite. Ammunition dump.

[August 19 & 20, 1943]

Yesterday’s trip is still got me keyed up. I had the most wonderful time. Toni is nice but so young (20). Had a small air raid later tonite or I should early morn. Went to bed early, very disappointed that I didn’t get to see Paul yesterday. If only to talk to him. I’m crazy about that guy. Wish he felt the same.

Went to a private English dance with Toni. Got Reuter for [unreadable] Carter. Toni had the roadster & it caused quite a lot of comment. No wonder in this land of G.I. trucks & jeeps & etc. Had a fairly nice time. Toni got stuck once. Got in a courtyard & couldn’t get out. Had to be lifted out by some G.I.s.

[August 21, 1943]

Busy in O.R. Am on call tonite. Am going to bed early. It’s hot as hell today. Must be a sirocco. Notice went up that we could get a few days leave to go to Cairo (Maybe). We’ll have to work on Toni. Wrote & told Paul. Wish I could go with him. Would be heavenly to spend two whole days with him: “Stage door canteen” on tonite might go to the show instead of to bed. Fell asleep during the movie. Was dead.

[August 22, 1943]

Nothing new. Hot as usual & busy.

[August 23, 1943]

Was on call tonite by [illegible]. Usual busy day.

[August 24 , 1943]

Paul was in today. Came up to O.R. Was I glad to see him. I think I must be in love with that guy. Went to Bizerte. Paul had a quart of Old Grandad Bourbon. Tasted very good. I think Paul drinks too much. Never shows it though. Can’t figure him out. Is he or isn’t he afraid to go out on missions. From his talk he has me puzzled. It was heaven to be with him. Went down to the beach & laid on the blanket. Swell listening to the surf. Got home 10 min late. Nothing has been said about it. Got me an egg sandwich at the Café. Tasted good. Paul leaves in AM.

[August 25, 1943]

Had a hectic day in ord [operating room][?]. That room is so far away from supplies. It exhausts me. Have been in a terrible mood all day. Miss Paul so much I could cry. Got electric lights in our tents today. Sure makes a difference. Missed seeing Paul go out. He must have gone early.  

[August 26-29, 1943]

Must have been a most


few days

Poor diary

Arlene Reuter broke her arm. Poor kid.

[August 30, 1943]

Usual day. Loads of planes around.

[August 31, 1943]

Windy & dusty. Nothing new. Stayed in tonight again. Have been to bed early every night. Am doing gen[eral] surgery now. Marie is in ort[hopedic?]. Bech[?] was very nice to work for.

[September 1, 1943]

Dust, dust every where. Had an organization party tonight. Didn’t go. Was a nice party I hear. Am thru with 3 AM gen parties myself. Heard the Col. got a dresser off one the WACs [?] and gave to his g.f. What a mess he is!!

[September 2, 1943]

Very windy & dusty still. Tent is a mess. Useless to fix it up. Am getting used to dirt I guess. Am in again tonite. Haven’t had a date for a week. Makes me too lonesome for Paul.

[September 3, 1943]

Hot today, for a change dust has stopped blowing for a while. On call tonight.

[September 4, 1943]

Usual day. Had a date with Bob Nelson from Air Corp. a nice boy. Went to club and drank & sat & talked. His first date since here. Says he didn’t see any cute girls to go out with. Was pleased (he said) with his blind date. A lot of Transports came in tonight. Paratroopers too.

[September 5, 1943]

Had a pleasant surprise. Paul came in tonight. Went to the air corps dance with him. He’s wonderful. Wish I wasn’t so crazy about him! Believe he is still married though he says he’s divorced. Is going to take me up tomorrow if I can get morning hours. I’ll get them or die in the attempt. Evacuating p[atien]ts. [Unreadable] is low. Long days are being given.

[September 6, 1943]

Saw an exciting raid tonight. Was down on the field with Bob Nelson when it started. [Unreadable] flares were dropped, seemingly near the field but actually about 8-10 miles away. Several bombs exploded in the same direction. Number of planes overhead. Saw one crash into other side of us by the field. A lot of transports & paratroopers in the field tonite preparatory to going out. Wonder if Paul is there too. Went up today with Paul (C47) flew over Tunis & around vicinity for 1hr 40min. Very nice but bumpy. Felt somewhat ill. Paul was supposed to go out at 130pm today. Hope he is back soon. With all the transport traffic he probably will be. Has been moved to Castelvetrano in Sicily.

[September 7, 1943]

On call again tonite. Heard this evening Italy had surrendered. Hope its true. Heard they cornered two or four German troopers in a farm house today[?]. Some excitement. We have [unreadable] guard around tent area.

Paratroopers landed from enemy planes & rumor they were around B17 field. Bob sent back to tent for gun.

[September 8, 1943]

News verified that Italy has surrendered. Maybe we’ll move on soon. Hope so. Italian prisoners very happy. Say “no more prisoners[?]” A very short war in Italy!! Am on call tonite. Worked. Arab shot by M.P. Probably thought he was a German paratrooper. Cleaned up my tent. For how long. Had a letter from Virginia sent Aug 7. Hot today. Buzz gave me a start. Said she saw my boyfriend at A.C. dance. Was [unreadable] & she thought he was a good dancer. Thought she meant Paul when she really meant Bob Nelson. My heart would have been broken if he had come in without telling me & gone to the dance.

[September 9, 1943]

Got a grass rug for my tent. Feel a lot cleaner now. Dirt floors are a mess. Also a mirror for a change. Not very big but good enough. Hot today.

[September 10, 1943]

Had a day off. Went to the air field when I saw a lot of transports come in and tried to find Paul but it was the 313th. Got a ride to Trapani, Sicily. Quite nice but not as exciting as Palermo. Had lunch at the air port mess hall. Unloaded plane while eating and didn’t give us any time. Pilots were Lt. Casey & Shoenfeld. Glad to have us. Gets boring for them. Passed within 20 min of Paul’s base. Sweet boy. Wish I could be near him always. Met Maj Turk. Test pilot at P40 field. Went to officers club & had a few drinks. To see him Sunday. He’s too G.I. to suit me.

[September 11, 1943]

Another hot day. Had inspection all day!! A fizzle when it came off only a Capt inspecting. Place looked lovey. Should. On call. Painted my deluxe dressing table (2 cigarette boxes joined together for a table. Have 3 shelves in each. Got a new rug on my floor. Place looks more like home now. Cleaner to say the least.

[September 12, 1943]

Had a PM today. Hot as hell. Have a date tonight with Maj Turk of the Air. Not too enthusiastic about it. Tried to sleep this PM with a wet shirt on me. Kept me cool, but no sleep. The Major didn’t to show up for the date. Went to Algiers and didn’t get back.

[September 13, 1943]

Nothing new. Time passes on. Am hibernating.

[September 16, 1943]

Had a PM today. Went to a dance with coast artillery. Had a fairly nice time. Lost my sun glasses. A big loss around here. The ride to Tunis was terrific in a weapons carrier. Sent[?] with no fat on my bones I was very uncomfortable.  

[September 17, 1943]

Hot as usual. On call.

[September 18, 1943]

Same old routine. Have a washing machine down in the building for us. Will be put up on the hill. Very gruesome case in OR today, died 20 minutes after, before anything could be done. Hit by flak over Rome during a raid. Pilot said he lost his gunner day before. Made a crash landing over at P40 field.

[September 19, 1943]

Afternoon off and nothing to do. Getting very bored staying in. Wish I could see Paul more often. Men don’t seem to be coming around so often. Continues to be hot.

[September 20, 1943]

Unexciting day. Hot as usual.

[September 21, 1943]

Muriel Berry & Lt. Weinberg were married tonight at 5PM. Had the officers club decorated to resemble an arch in a church. Jewish wedding. Had a lovely wedding cake. Had a jeep all trimmed up with crepe paper & tin cans with sign “just married.” Colonel drove them around camp after ceremony. Weinberg had to get out of hospital to get married. Has been sick. Hot day.

[September 22, 1943]

Went to Tunis with Lt. Zohl on my PM. Saw the ruins of Carthage. A beautiful view of the Mediterranean from the hill. Never have seen it so blue. Had a good supper in a private home of a Frenchman. Family next door called me in. Wanted to talk to an American girl. Had the worst dust storm ever. Also a sirocco. Had to stay near air fields for the dust to settle. Hot home 10:30pm. Saw the cathedral on the hill. Really beautiful workmanship inside.

[September 23, 1943]

Changed call with Helen. Stayed in and went to bed early. Moved to pyramidal tents. Everything a mess. Had prisoners help. Didn’t take long. No place to hang my clothes!! Wonder when they will get floors in. No lights yet.

[September 24, 1943]

Quiet day. Trying to get straightened out. Tent quite porous can see day light in a number of places. No lights yet.

[September 25, 1943]

On call. Froze to death last nite. A sample of the months to come. Give me the dust & sun & heat any day to the mud & cold. Got our lights today.

[September 26, 1943]

On call. Wrote some letters. Raining today around 5:30pm. Guess we are in for a long siege. Dread the coming months. The officers club is now open to our friends any night. Will need it if the rain continues. Saw some transports come in. Thought Paul might be among them but no luck. Would love to see him. Wonder if he is missing me or even thinking of me!! Had a gossip session with Badger & Andy. McCabe, some other unknown catholic girl under fire.

[September 27, 1943]

Rain continues. Cold & dreary. Tent cold. Hate to spend any time there. Did a perforated ulcer today. Some major surgery for a change. Mud getting worse. Am supposed to go swimming tomorrow. Doubt very much if I will with this weather.

Had a new minister today. Lt. Chaplen. Very very amusing.

[September 28, 1943]

Got some of my new G.I. O.D.’s. Very nice. Rain coat sure came in handy. Got 9 seersuckers with 3 jackets. Bag. Scarf & ties. 1 blouse & 3 shirts. Raining still in spurts. Sun out for 3 minutes this afternoon & clouds lovely & some blue sky. Muddy as the devil & slippery. Mud refused to come off. Tent a mess. Hate to think of what we’ll do or how we’ll live with 4-5 months of this. Engineers building us a new latrine badly needed. In another wash room. Oh for floors & duck boards to walk on.

[September 29, 1943]

Went out last nite with Lt Zohl. Don’t like him. Wrote above too soon. Didn’t come because of rain. Just as well. To bed early. Rain continues.

[September 30, 1943]

Trying to fix up tent area. Got clothes racks but too short for most of us. Got an extension to my light and a large bulb helps a lot. A nice day. Hope it stays so tomorrow.

[October 1, 1943]

Went to Tunis [Tunisia] with Andy. Didn’t buy anything. Most of shops closed. Ate at Chapin Fin[?]. $5 for a lousy meal. What gipps the French are. Wish we could get even with them somehow. Hitched hiked up. Got a ride out of hosp area with Arab which went all the way to Tunis. Had to call up air field for Bill to come after us. Didn’t do so well getting a ride back. Talking to 2 transport fliers. One was kidding me. Said he took Paul back to states with jaundice (to allergies[?]). Had me believing him for a while. Oh Paul, wish I could see you. Got home just at 12. Saw Gracie Fields at an English show. Very good nice day for a change.

[October 2, 1943]

On call. Saw Nellie Perdue(?) today. Was so happy to hear from her. Is up near Bizerte [Tunisia] (where 56th Evac was) must get up to see Rosalie & Beanie. Have been here since 4th. Scrubbed on one of their nurses today. Ectopic. Had a lot of things to talk to over with Nellie. Must see them again soon. Had a dance at club. Didn’t go. Usual story. Tried to fix my new seersuckers & broke a needle.

[October 3, 1943]

Went to church. Lt. Chapler quite good. Not as amusing as last Sunday. More serious. Rained a little today. Cold tonite. Saw “Saboteur” at the movies. Open air. Box rather hard. Many boys there in spite of discomforts. They sure appreciate the movies. Stay thru rain too. Had afternoon off. Straightened up my tent a little. Beautiful clouds today. Wish I could paint them.

[October 4, 1943]

Clear day. Prisoners fixing my new uniforms. Doing a swell job.

[October 5, 1943]

Off. No rain today. On call. Went to movies. Saw northwest mounted show. Old as hills. Many breaks. Speaker system lousy. Lots of stars out. Very uncomfortable sitting. A box. Invariably end up with a cramped neck when I attend movies here.

[October 6, 1943]

Rained most of day. Very muddy. Got a new tent over latrine. At least we’ll have a dry seat. Marion is painting her furniture. Tent a mess with mud tracked all over. Water running in at some places. Most gorgeous rainbows (2) tonite between showers. Lovely sunset & cloud formation. Africa sure can be beautiful at times. Mateur was lightened up by sun. Building looked very white & really beautiful nestled there by mountain. Went to [May Bucks party. Had fun. On orthopedic service.

[October 7, 1943]

Rained some today. Clouds very pretty. Tent floors are being put in slowly. Very windy. Everything is beginning to sprout and grass is getting greener. Very pretty. Vivian has a baby. Was very surprised. Makes me jealous. Haven’t heard from Paul.  

[October 8, 1943]


[October 9, 1943]

usual day

[October 10, 1943]

Went to church. Had a PM. Nothing to do as usual. Supposed to go to dinner with Capt but didn’t call to make it definite.

[October 11, 1943]

Moved to big tent to have floors laid. Will be a help. Got mattresses today from tent city. Will feel swell. Hope we get pillows too. Rained as usual. Many pretty flowers like crocuses are popping up everywhere. Grass is green too. Very pretty after dry parched stuff we saw on arriving here.

[October 12, 1943]

Usual day. Beautiful around sunset. Mouse ran over Marie's face while she was asleep. Got a letter from Virginia Ralph has passed his air cadet exam am glad. He wants to take am [unreadable] lesson on flying. Wait till he gets in a [unreadable] and he won't be flying for a while. Poor Ralph. Hope he makes it okay.

[October 13, 1943]

Still in big tent. Very cold & nasty day. Raining as usual. Still haven’t gone for uniforms Chamberleck[?]took. Had a PM. Slept all afternoon. Did nothing in evening. Getting very irritable because haven’t been out lately. Put up my mosquito bar to keep away mice & spiders.

[October 14, 1943]

Rained most of day. Moved back into tent. Floor mat quite dry. But much nicer. Place is a mess. Cold tonight. Am on call. Finished a good book. South Moon Under [a novel written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings]. Italy has declared war on Germany. Saw by news today.

[October 16, 1943]

Purple flowers like crocuses are popping up everywhere since the rain. Grass is greener and Africa really is looking 100% nicer than before. Must be nice in the spring.

[October 17, 1943]

Quite busy in O.R. for Sunday. Went to church and down to club for coffee after. Betty Klein wants me to go on a date with her. Some pilot. Haven’t been out in so long. Guess I will go. Randolph will take my call.

[October 18, 1943]

Had a nice date last nite with Al Wm Fechter. Transport pilot. A very nice boy. Evening was too short. Had steak supper & came on down to our club after. He has a nice line. Says I’m the kind of a girl that makes a fellow want to stay in N. Africa!! Can I believe him? He’s from N.Y. “the Bronx”. Went to bed early.

[October 19, 1943]

Clear today. Got two more rugs for tent. Looks much nicer now with floor covered. Took a bath out in wash house. Doubt if I got clean from the goose pimples. Went to movies, had seen the show back at Rucker. Had hamburgers for supper tonite. Tasted good. Al was supposed to come in tonight but must not have made it. Didn’t show up. Hear there is to be a training program.

[October 20, 1943]

The boys got in. But Al wasn’t with them. His route was changed to Casablanca. Very disappointed. Jack brought a boy by name of Charles Randall. Good looking but not my type. Too [unreadable] to suit me. Went to the club & drank wine. Danced.

[October 21, 1943]

Had dinner at 62nd Sig[nal] Corp company. Got sick on two gin & pineapple juice drinks. Was very sick. Feel ashamed of myself. They must have been potent. Still continues nice weather. Got tent fixed up.

[October 22, 1943]

Randy here tonight again. Plane wasn’t there so had to stay over. Is going to bring me shoes & perfume. I hope. A nice enough boy but I would like to see Al. went to club again.

[October 23, 1943]

On call tonight. Relieved for Helen. Got 3 letters from Johnnie in span of few days. & one from Virginia saying Ralph was supposed to go as a cadet on the 18. Can’t realize he is old enough. Seems just a baby to me.

[October 24, 1943]

Andy & I had the day off so decided to climb Jebel ech Chambi[?] the mountain across the field. Reached the top (one of them had lunch there and followed the ridge over to the very end & on down saw very little to remind one of war. Few American C rations. Coins & match covers. And a few empty cartridges. No German evidence at all. Was disappointed. Dug up a cyclanas[?] & St. John’s stalk. Both very pretty. Would like to spend more time there someday.

[October 25, 1943]

The rains started again today. It began while I was at the movies tonite. Am quite stiff & sore after yesterdays climb. Marion & I had a time fixing our tent secure with the rain pouring in. Stopped around 10pm. Had drill today for ½ hour. Why I don’t know. E.B.S. order. Damn silliness at this stage of the game.

[October 30, 1943]

A pleasant surprise. Paul came in. Unexpected. Was so glad to see him. I’m so crazy about him. He was in to see Col. Glucksman about his jaw. Very painful. Didn’t get much satisfaction. Operation advised. Poor darling. Hope it gets O.K. Went to beer party over at service group with Paul. Enjoyed myself. Then came to our Halloween party later (11pm). Beanie was down but missed her.

[October 31, 1943]

Had coffee with Paul in club this AM. He’s going to Tunis [Tunisia] this AM to catch a ride back. Is going to get me pants for a skirt. He suggested it. The sweet thing. Rode down to the gate with him. Hated to see him go. Wants me to get a leave & come up. Went to Bizerte [Tunisia] with Betty Klein & found PX closed. Saw Beanie. The same old gal. Hates her unit. All the same I guess. Rosalie & Nellie were out. Lovely sunset. Africa certainly does have beautiful skies. Miss my darling very much.

[November 1, 1943]

Had a date with boy from helen[?]. Air field. Not too bad but wouldn’t go out of my way to meet him again. Am very tired tonite too. Miss Paul very much. Love him more every time I see him. New moon tonight. Beautiful.

[November 2, 1943]

Ask for a 1 day leave. Betty Klein & I. Paul wants me to spend it with him. Would be fun. Went to see the “Constant Nymph” with Charles Boyer. Didn’t care much for it. Paul sent the pants down with Lt. Zonbach. Size 10 long. Plenty of material for a skirt.

[November 3, 1943]

On call tonght. O.R. very slow these days. Very boring.

[November 4, 1943]

Got my request for a leave back. Oran[?] out of EBS [expeditionary bomber squadron?]. Unable to go. Will rewrite it. Living in hopes. P40 boys [Curtiss P-40 Warhawk] moved out today to Tunis for further training. Will be lonesome without them.  

[November 5, 1943]

Have gotten a 7 day leave beginning the 12th. Can hardly wait. It will be heaven to spend a whole week with Paul. I’m afraid I won’t want to come back. Evacuated a lot of patients today. Maybe we’ll move after all. G.D. went to Oran today. Raining again. Tent cold. Marian still sick. Busted up my pink skirt. Expect to sew tonight. Most beautiful sunrise this AM.

[November 12, 1943]

Left this AM @ 6AM for Tunis [Tunisia]. Got in touch with Lt. Rayburn there who took us to Italy with him. With promise to drop us off at Castelvetrano [Italy] on way back. Uneventful trip over. Very nice. Landed at Peuragliau [Palagonia(?)] [Italy] air field. Had lunch at G.I. mess. Fresh mashed potatoes, very good. Got some apples. Left field at 2PM. Got past Isle of Capri & Mt. Vesuvius and was turned back by spitfire. Air raid on convoy in harbor. Flew back over Naples & Mt. Vesuvius. Beautiful and awesome to see. Belching smoke got a snap of it. Isle of Capri small. But nice place for romance. Naples didn’t look to badly bombed from air but It was deceiving. Only 2 ships working in harbor. Saw snow capped mountains. Stayed over nite in town. Saw Jean Acherman.

[November 13, 1943]

Had steak at GI restaurant for 10¢. Very good. Stayed in evening at club and saw Lt. Nelson & Herrigan from 325. Had been transferred from 317th. Went on 2-3 missions a day. Had had raid on field in morning, expected one at nite but none came. Took off next morning at 9. Very bumpy trip over to Castelvetrano [Italy]. Called Paul as soon as I got in. Was good to see him. Had mess at his place & went to Mazara [del Vallo] [Italy] to find a hotel. Prop. had been in Bronx for yrs. Got a fairly nice room. [Illegible] also a room at Castelvetrano at G.I. Hotel. Spent nite with Paul at Mazara [del Vallo]. I love that guy no doubt about it. He’s wonderful. Spent evening at club. General Clark (not Mark) came in for a bite a little later. Got tight they say. Boys had wonderful time. So did I.

[November 14, 1943]

Got up around 7. Missed church. Went to Mazarra [del Vallo](?) [Italy] in afternoon & took pictures. Had coffee in club. Which is nice. With fire place & bar & easy chairs. All kinds of liquor. Paul got tight last nite. Nice tight & sober. Had dinner at Hotel. Not too good. Saw most beautiful church in town. Simple gorgeous ceiling. Solid (?) altar. 600 yrs old.

[November 15, 1943]

Went to Palermo. Shopped around. Didn’t buy anything. Lots of shops “off limit” due to high prices. Had lunch in town at G.I. mess. Went sight seeing in afternoon. Paul got transportation. Met Capt. Falkner & “Doc” Maloney at field. Went home earlier than expected. Weather bad. Bumpy trip over. Betty was sick in town & on plane.

[November 16, 1943]

Could have gone to Naples [Italy] but Betty didn’t feel well. & I didn’t want to go without Paul. Wish I could spend my life with him.

[November 17, 1943]

Another wonderful day with Paul. Can’t see enough of him.

[November 18, 1943]

Our last nite at club. Betty got tight so did Paul. He wasn’t going to drink at all but he was lucky for a change with the dice. How I’ll hate to leave him tomorrow.

The poor darling had a hangover. Got tight last night. We stayed in Mazara [del Vallo] [Italy]. A nice time.

[November 19, 1943]

Last day of a most wonderful leave. Will hate to leave Paul. Left field at 9. Got in Tunis at 11:30. Paul drew the trip thank goodness. Doc came over for liquor for enlisted men’s club opening Sat. Is staying till Monday. Paul left us in Bizerte [Tunisia] air field where we got a ride home in command car. Ate lunch in Tunis with Paul. Learned no nurses are supposed to be in Tunis till after 23rd or on a road to Tunis. Something’s in the air. Got back home at 5PM. Cried when I left Paul. Forgot my flying suit and he had to give it to me, after we had started & come back. I sure hated to leave him.

[November 20, 1943]

Back to the old grind. Chamberlin had a fit because we didn’t report to her on arrival back. Silly childish notice on board. “hold handkerchief over nose & mouth when coughing.” Such stuff for adults!! Went to bed at 730. Dead tired. Need a rest from leave. Miss Paul more than I can say. Have never loved anyone as much. Even Johnnie. And I thought I had it bad for him! Barb wire fence has been built around area. Some stuff. & nurses will not climb thru them.

[November 21, 1943]

Went to church. Good sermon. Seems Chamberlin went to Colonel & said the minister wasn’t dignified enough. Was told by Chaplain that as long as he was Chaplain he would preach as he saw fit. Good for him. Everyone likes him. Went to bed early. Saw cadet girl at movies. There’s a rumor that [Franklin D.] Roosevelt is in Tunis. May be true.

[November 22, 1943]

Got a letter from Virginia. Gil is dead. Quite a shock. Will miss him very much. A shame he wasted his last years as he did. Could have made a lot of himself if he had tried. At last I know he wasn’t being kicked around. I wonder if he has met mom in the hereafter? Almost 12 yrs since she has died. Time flies.

[November 23, 1943]

Ginny’s birthday today. Wish I could be home to help her celebrate. Rained again today. very cold. Got triple typhoid shots tonight. Saw “Sundown” at movies. Rumors flying around. Some of them silly. All pts [patients] to be evacuated by end of w[wee]k. Food rations being shipped Dec 12. Going back to states. Being paid in American money.

[November 24, 1943]

Saw an inspiring sight this AM. About 100-150 [Boeing B-17] flying fortresses went over camp towards Italy or France. God take care of the boys & bring them all back. I hope they bomb hell out of Berlin [Germany]. Probably headed that way. A beautiful rainbow this AM. Sun shining now, but cold & windy.

[November 25, 1943]

Had a delicious thanksgiving dinner of turkey & usual assessories[sic].

[December 12, 1943]

Was supposed to go to Hill 609 [Tunisia] but had signed up for square dance and thought I would be too tired. Sorry to have missed the trip. Very interesting they say. [May be able to go some other time.

[December 13, 1943]

Had only fair time at dance. Very disappointing. No one knew how to square dance!! Could have been fun. Miss Paul dreadfully.

[December 14, 1943]

Laturi(?) said she saw Paul in Tunis [Tunisia] Sun[day]. at Red Cross club writing letters. How I miss him. Wished he missed me as much. What fools we women are!!

[December 16, 1943]

Had a day off. Tried to get a plane ride somewhere but going the wrong way for us. Rather cloudy too. Spent most of day in Tunis [Tunisia]. Had good fish at Tunisian Palace. First since I have been over here.

[December 18, 1943]

Raining today off & on. Dull as the dirt around here. All outfits practically have moved and have had no mail for so long. Hope nothing is wrong at home but it’s probably due to the mail itself getting over. Very poor service.

[December 19, 1943]

Fairly nice day. Went to movies & saw “Quiet Please.” Decorated windows in O.R. Water colors. Showed scenes of xmas [Christmas]. Nothing quite nice. Andy did most of painting. Pretty good at it.  

[December 20, 1943]

Sun is trying to stay out.

[December 24, 1943]

Sang xmas [Christmas] carols around the wards. Made myself hoarse. Went to church and communion then to mid night mass. Everyone in fine (alcoholic) spirits, p[atien]ts included. Some pretty tight in church.

[December 25, 1943]

A very nice day. Seems more like spring than xmas [Christmas]. Sun out nice and warm. Had a nice xmas dinner of turkey and pumpkin pie. Also new fresh potatoes. Delicious. P[atien]ts get a ration of whiskey and some wine after dinner. They had a nice xams. Red Cross did a swell job. Went to a xmas party at club with Lt. from Replacement Center. Only a fair time. Have Paul on my mind. No one else will do.

[December 31, 1943]

On call. Went to club. Met Lt. Deap. A good dancer but that is all I can say for him. Came home at 11PM & to bed. Severe wind & rain storm.

[January 1, 1944]

Joined Army June 1, 1942.

Went to Sheppard Field. Miss Easley. They were very nice. Had a nice time there

Had turkey for dinner – calmer today than last nite.

[January 10, 1944]

Wonderful news. Andy’s and my orders came thru [sic] for a transfer to the 8th Evac[uation Hospital]. Very happy. Spent the afternoon packing & cleaning the post. Some job. Bed roll so big & heavy I can hardly lift it. Packing reminds me of days back at [Fort] Rucker [Alabama]. 8th Evac is supposed to be at Caserta [Italy].

[January 11, 1944]

Up at 4:15 am. Got to field by 7:30am plane ride over very nice. Weather fine. Got at Naples [Italy] US port @ 11:30 went on to Foggia [Italy]. Stayed at station waiting for Rogers & boys to come for me. Stayed at air field in Bill Ladd’s tent. Had Cognac and talked. Boys are very nice. Bill showed us his D.F.C. field medal. Sent a note to Paul by the boys who helped us over to Italy.

[January 12, 1944]  

Unable to go back with boys who brought us over. Overloaded. Flew back with an Italian transport plane. Quite an experience. Weather bad got a few scares but landed safely on land. Called Vow(?) seemed nice. Stayed at his place overnite.

[January 13, 1944]  

Still in Naples [Italy]. Went downtown this PM. Shopping at P.X. [Post Exchange] didn’t buy anything. Looked at cameras.

[January 14, 1944]  

Reported to surgeons office. Sent to staging area. Sent back again. Stayed at Parco hotel over nite. Wonderful view of Mt. Ves[uvius]., Bay of Naples, & Isle of Capri. Lava flowing over sides. Visible at night. Had a hot tub bath. Wonderful. First since I left states. Went to Allied Officers Club. Had fun dancing & talking with boys after.

[January 15, 1944]  

Left Naples for 8th Evac[uation Hospital] @ 10am. Reached here at 12. Everyone seems very nice & friendly. Miss Berry too. Appears to be very understanding person. Have a stove in our tent.

[January 16, 1944]  

Can hear the guns booming and see the flashes. Don’t mind them at all as I thought I would.

[January 22, 1944]  

Being an M[e]D[ic](?). No time to sit for a minute.

[January 23, 1944]  

Am going on duty in O.R. tomorrow. Wish I could stay there. Busy today on ward. Some sick boys. Heart hurts for them. Lost one today.