Tuesday, 27 July 1943
Not much news today. We are still getting things straightened out. I went into town on “business” – I got my laundry and an Australian battle jacket. My other field jacket wasn’t in the laundry so now I’ll have to look that up. I got a little chill today, and feel a little sick to my stomach.
Sunday, 1 August 1943
I had bad chills and fever Thursday, and a temperature of 101.4. I had no chills on Saturday, but a pretty bad cough, though. Saw It Ain’t Hay in Brisbane Friday with Warrant Officer Joe Jerale and 2nd Lieutenant Dawson. I went to sick call Saturday and had my nose drilled out with an argyol swab and it nearly killed me. I feel a little better today. Tomorrow I should know whether or not I’ll have to go to the hospital. I have pains in my right and left abdomen. I wonder if it’s my spleen!
[When I read this passage to Dad, he said, “It was probably malaria, but they never used that word.”]
Friday, 20 August 1943
Things have been going along pretty good lately. I was in the 172nd Station Hospital August 3-11 for malaria. They have a nice building that used to be a school, red brick and fairly modern. The mail has been pretty good lately and the weather is getting warmer. I was officer of the day on the 16th, and patrol officer on the 18th. I see two or three shows a week out here at camp, and I go to Brisbane occasionally to see one.
The camp looks nice now. All the tents have stoves and floors and many of them have sides. We are waiting now for electric lights which should be in soon. My jeep is on the dead line – both universals in the front were nearly dry and the bushing were worn. The garage area is looking good, and the battalion motor pool is finished. We are pretty busy all of the time, unloading trains and bloats and hauling troops.
Friday, 27 August 1943. Mary Fletcher.
Tuesday evening we and the officer of the Third Battalion, part of the 48th quartermaster regiment – a colored quartermaster battalion truck company that we live with – had a party dance at Gales Country Club, which is on the road toward Ipswitch. It was a pretty swell party with a good army dance band, and there was plenty to drink. I’ve never had so good a time over here. Mary Fletcher was with me. She is very nice and we got along together nicely on the dance floor.
[I must have glanced up at Dad when I read this passage because he took his pipe out of his mouth and shrugged. “Mary Fletcher knew Grandpa Emerson [Dad’s father-in-law] and a lot of the people he knew, so I figured, what the hell, no one can object to this because she knows everybody. She was an Army nurse.]
It was really wonderful, and I guess I got pretty tight. I didn’t get sick, but I don’t remember much after the party broke up at midnight. My driver was there, waiting for me with the jeep, and he took us (her) home. I remember part of the ride in, but it is pretty hazy. I can’t even recall taking Mary to the door, but the driver says I did. I scraped my head while standing up in a concrete shelter in the dark. I lost my balance and fell into it.
Captains Forman and Priddy and Lieutenants Schmidt and Carter went to Rockhampton to help set up a rehabilitation camp under the 67th Army. Sounds like a good deal. I may have to go there if I get malaria again.
I was officer of the day on Wednesday and I had to send Lieutenant Dawson into the city to get some men who were picked up by the MPs. Rumor has it that we are going back to the 32nd around September 1. Everyone dislikes the idea and some of the men are goofing off.
Last night Mary and I saw Arabian Nights and it was very good. There were five of us in the party. I stopped at the Shingle Inn for a bite to eat after the show and then I took Mary up to the Yale Apartments and went to camp.
I have been feeling lousy since Tuesday and have been sick to my stomach most of the time. I’m not sure just what the cause is. It may be the drinking Tuesday night, or maybe it is a result of a nervous reaction to the thought of going back to the division after this swell deal. If this has to break up, I hope to get malaria again and maybe get out of the division.
That’s a bad attitude but that’s the way I feel.
I have to take the pass convoy in tonight.