July 9, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

July 9, 1942
Thursday

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

       Thanks for the swell weekend last Sat. and Sun. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I know I did.

       Monday I had a couple of lectures to give and was kept moderately occupied during the day making preparations for the next two days.

       Tuesday and yesterday we spent out in the field, running simulated patients through our hospital again, however the 1st Medics couldn’t join us, so we had to run our own men through as patients and consequently ran only a total of 100 men through the period we worked. We didn’t run into the night at all this time.

       Our new system for the Receiving Section works so smoothly that we were through in no time with each group of patients that they sent us. Of course, when we actually have ill patients we will be taking more time, examining them, etc. in that Section.

       For a change, we had good meals out in the field. In fact, they were better meals than many that we have at the barracks. We were in bed early on Tuesday night, all being asleep before 10 P.M. We found one big trouble, however, and that was that the site picked for us to pitch our tents was nothing but a beautiful poison-oak area. If no one in our outfit comes down with poison-oak we are going to be a muchly surprised outfit. You couldn’t step 2 feet without crushing some poor, not-so-defenseless, poison-oak plant.

       Yesterday we returned about 2 P.M. and then proceeded to Del Monte for our amphibious training.

       Latest dope is that we will be desert rats for about 6 weeks in August and September. Just a lovely time of year for that stuff.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
July 14


Amphibious training at Del Monte Hotel?




July 14, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

July 14, 1942

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

      Just a short line to thank all for the good birthday wishes, check, and all. It was swell to have Bobsy here with Sal and Dave at Del Monte.

       Yesterday was kept busy as platoon leader again and trying to help Frank Gerbode for a while at the warehouse. This P.M. we have another overnight bivouac. Thursday we have a long hike, all day.

       We understand that two weeks ago we were scheduled to go to the Aleutians, but somebody’s mind got changed so I guess the desert is still the place for the autumn.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
August 5



David Eisenbach and Sally Kahn Eisenbach (Renê’s uncle and aunt) with René at the Del Monte Hotel



July 21, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

At Ft. Ord in Monterey, René was close to home, so he wrote fewer letters than he will starting in August.

Instead of a letter today, enjoy some photos of him from 1915-1918…


Alma with René, born July 12, 1915




Four Generations: Grandmother Lillian, Great-Grandmother Bertha, René and Alma (left to right)






René and sister, Marie-Louise laughing it up at Lake Tahoe.


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Watch for my next letter
August 5

August 5, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

August 5, 1942

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

      First of all, thanks, Mom, for coming down here. It was swell to have you here, though in a way it is often just better to be able to leave without having to say good-bye.

       It is all very confusing, however, since rations for the train are ordered to be delivered before the weekend. Rumors are rampant and they change in character every few minutes. One thing is certain, however, New York it is!

       This is given us as o.k. to pass on to relatives now, so the place is no longer a secret, though the time naturally is. However, still stick to the original plan about the desert until we’ve definitely gone — it may be okay to tell the truth while we are en route though with our family it might be better to wait until you hear from New York.

     Incidentally, 7 days are figured for the trip. I will wire as soon as possible after arrival and then probably phone if we get to go into the City itself.

     Last night I was at Del Monte with Lois as Dr. Seeburt was treating us to dinner. He, as you probably know, has had 3 coronaries and now can only walk short distances and do very little work – no medicine. It seems that when he had his last and worst coronary Lois took care of him at St. Francis and since then they have been good friends, as he attributes his recovery to her.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
August 7


Lois McFarland and René.



August 7, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

August 7, 1942

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

       We got our second Typhus shot. Cohn, Halter and I gave them all to the whole outfit. Then had some more jiu-jitsu instruction.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
August 8


Roy Cohn, MD




Bert Halter, MD



August 8, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

August 8, 1942

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

       Lois and I walked on the beach quite a way to get some much needed exercise. Since we’ve known we were moving, the principal exercise has been packing — then finding something else that was needed, therefore requiring a short walk to the Post Exchange.

       Saturday night six of us went up to Santa Cruz where we danced at the Hotel. We hadn’t realized there was so much difference between a good band and the 15th Infantry Band. Also rode the merry-go-round in preparation for Sunday.

       The six of us were Capt. Lynn of the infantry (who is Assistant Supply Officer for the Post), Gert Brazil (a French Hospital and County nurse), Bob Treadwell, Charlotte Bambino (County Nurse), Lois and I – all in Gert’s car.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
August 9

August 9, 1942 – 75 years ago in a WW2 M.A.S.H. Unit

August 9, 1942

Ft. Ord, California

Dear Folksies,

       Though somewhat sleepy, all but Bob managed to get up and be horseback riding at 10 A.M. Capt. Lynn had arranged for the horses and we had Dottie Collins (another nurse – from Montana), Jack Ellis and Lloyd Van Tassel join us. The latter two were interns at the County until July 1st and are now with the first Medical Regiment. We had a swell 2-hour ride as the horses were fine and mine was especially lively.

       After lunch the six of us who went to Santa Cruz yesterday, went to Del Monte where most of the unit had gone. There we saw the Aquacade put on by Helen Crelenkovich and her troupe from San Francisco and the Fairmont. Her diving was marvelous and the rest of the show was very good.

       Trying to find a new place at which to eat dinner, I suddenly remembered the Highland Inn. We went there and had a good dinner with a fine view. Stayed there for a little after dinner and then home pretty early.

                    Loads of love,

rene-transparent.

Watch for my next letter
August 10





Helen Crelenkovich’s Aquacade at Del Monte Hotel