JULY 21, 1943
SEATTLE, Tuesday—This morning my daughter and her daughter came with me to the U. S. Naval Hospital, where Captain Joel T. Boone is now in command. I had seen this hospital only last spring, but the expansion has been tremendous in these last few months. I saw some of the boys that I had seen before. Three of them were Marines from Guadalcanal. Two of them told me they were ready to go back to duty and they would like to get back with my son, James.
I am glad to say that he will also be back in active duty within a week, so perhaps these boys will find themselves together again, but I hope that it will not be in the Southwest Pacific, for the climate seems to have been too much for them all down there. Perhaps, the northwest may be kinder.
It is quite remarkable to me how comfortable these temporary buildings, which are being erected to take care of the increased number of patients, can be made. They are painted white inside and have plenty of windows so they are both light and airy. The equipment in this hospital in every department is very excellent. Their x-ray machines, operating rooms, dental clinics, physiotherapy work—in fact, every technical branch which may be needed for the care of any disease, is well developed and equipped. More WAVES are going to work as hospital corpsmen and as laboratory technicians, and those they have are doing a very good job. Most of their nurses are reserve nurses, with only about a dozen of the old time service nurses.
A group of officers' wives were working for the Red Cross in the nurses' quarters, making dressings and bandages. I am sure that if so many willing hands work one full day every week, as they are now doing, they will turn out all that is needed for their own hospital.
We went through the tuberculosis wards, where there were men from the Northwest and Alaska and the southwest Pacific. The two extremes of heat and cold seem to be equally bad for anybody with any tendency to bronchial or lung trouble. Fortunately, however, most of these patients, who usually have a rather tedious recovery, seem to be on the mend. I am sure that the fact that the Navy discovers cases early, is one of the reasons for the quick improvement which so many of them seem to show.
The sulpha drugs, too, have taken away the terror which used to accompany a case of meningitis. They told me they had not lost one case. We are, of course, still studying some of the more obscure tropical diseases. I think our whole medical service will gain greatly by the variety of climates and conditions under which our armies and navies are fighting in this war.
We have just returned to Anna's office and, after a glass of milk and a sandwich, we are leaving to go to the Pacific Car and Foundry Company, where I have been asked to present the guidon to the auxiliary military police for outstanding efficiency, appearance and training. This service, guarding our war plants, is very much needed and I am glad to find it is receiving recognition.
I need not tell you that our days are busy ones, but doing things with my daughter is pleasant. Tomorrow I shall leave to return to the East.