12 September 2013
1600. Here we are again -- briefed and sealed for another invasion. This time we will hit the coast of Southern France in the vicinity of Cannes -- just west of the French Riviera. Another large-scale operation for which we will supply the firepower. The TUSCALOOSA will find itself in a hot spot again -- promises to be a bit like Cherbourg (and that is none to our liking). D-Day apparently is Tuesday, 15 August. More dope as it is received. Have been working all day on directives for casualties, fatalities, decontamination, etc. Will have a meeting with the boys tonight. Have had one hemorrhoidal thrombactomy every day for the last four days -- quite an epidemic.
Posted by E. Belanger at 09:28
07 September 2013
Another hiatus in our narrative -- this time of considerable proportions. For one thing the medical department has been really busy these past few days -- although I must confess to a few liberties. (Swimming at Mondello). Hitting the high spots, we have:
8/9 - All hell broke loose in the sick bay this evening. Two enteritis cases with high temperatures, one boy with a red-hot belly and a low WBC (Brooking), two drunks, one with a lacerated wrist (belligerent) and the other with a rum-belly (hysterical). Finally turned in about 0100.
8/10 - Attended a medical conference today (1000-1200) aboard the BROOKLYN -- about 30 M.O.’s present, including Mike Dean (Tufts Med ’43, who is on the KENDRICK). I discoursed for a few moments on dysentery -- with that exception it was an excellent meeting. Met Mike at 1400 this afternoon -- went out to Mondello for a terrific game of touch football from which some crawled away -- a good swim, and an evening of rather sustained drinking. First time I had let down the bars since 3 July in Bangor. Had a hell of a good time all around.
8/11 - Routine day -- busy all day long (which makes the day somewhat more than routine.) Mike came over for dinner and the movie tonight. Turned in by 2400.
8/12 - Another busy day -- with a nightmare in the Sick Bay to finish off with. The usual two enteritis cases (most of which are Shigella dysentery, I think -- but as I have no cultures I can’t prove it.) with high temperatures requiring IV’s. About 2100 one of the marines returning from liberty fell off the prow onto the mole -- doing a one and a half -- landing squarely on his head. Rather a frisky evening patching him up -- X-rays, B.P., etc. A damn lucky and a damn tough marine. No fracture, rapid recovery. In bed by 0100.
Posted by E. Belanger at 07:31
06 September 2013
05 September 2013
1110. Battle problem this morning. Abandon ship drill planned for this PM. Will arrive in Palermo about 1600. Heard more talk ashore yesterday concerning invasion. Promises to be even more extensive than Normandy. No straight dope as yet -- but it will be reported as it comes in.
Posted by E. Belanger at 09:00
04 September 2013
2200. Arrived at Naples at around 0800 this AM -- in by the Isle of Capri into Naples harbor with the overshadowing Mt. Vesuvius. The volcano is not active at present, although one can see wisps of steam rising from the crater. This afternoon went ashore in search of some DDT powder and penicillin. Strangely enough, although Naples was the city where they did the phenomenal early anti-typhus work with DDT, there is none available in the city today. Did pick up six ampules of penicillin at the U.S.N. Dispensary. Spent about an hour wandering about the city and having a beer or two, then returned to the ship. Underway at 2000 -- bound for Palermo.
Posted by E. Belanger at 07:35
03 September 2013
2200. Routine AM. Spent a very pleasant afternoon yesterday at Mondello beach -- swimming and sunning. Returned in time for chow and the movie. We have had the movie out on the quarterdeck these past few nights. Very beautiful out under the moon and stars, and such an improvement over the hades-like wardroom. Leaving for Naples late this evening to pick up the Admiral.
Posted by E. Belanger at 19:55
02 September 2013
1145. Routine PM. Feel much better this AM. Left the trundle only once last night -- quite the normal chap once more. Jane’s pictures arrived last night -- now we are really getting somewhere. Quite good -- especially the half-profile -- but a long way from the real McCoy. Planning a swim and some sun this PM, - look like a death’s head at present. Lost about 14 pounds during my mortal illness -- skinny as a damn fence post. Hard to gain it back in this weather.
Posted by E. Belanger at 08:07
01 September 2013
Considerable of a hiatus in our story here. In the meantime Don and I paid one more visit to Mondello Beach (7/22) and visited again with the Brancaleone family. This time our conversation was a bit more adequate and we spent a very pleasant pair of hours in their garden. On Sunday, 7/23, we put out for drill, and Sunday PM I took to my bed with the creeping crud. Diarrhea and abdominal cramps with temp of 101-102° all day Monday. N and V with temp of 104° added Tuesday. Tuesday evening during a second IV I had a pyrogenic reaction with shaking chills, temp up to 108° axillary (109° p.o.) and coma. They brought me back with ice packs and ice enemas, but I was pretty woozy all the next day. Up and around yesterday and today -- still only about 50% present. Dysentery epidemic abating.
Posted by E. Belanger at 12:52