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Volume 0429
ERB at work in his Honolulu office
ERB Wartime Letters from 
Hawaii to Daughter Joan in California
1. July 21, 1941 letter
2. September 11, 1942 letter
3. October 31, 1942 letter
4. February 5, 1945 letter

A July 21, 1941 letter from Hawaii to daughter Joan in California

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Tarzana, California
1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu  T H
July 21, 1941

Joan darling:
Well, here I am back at my office again; I've been away since June
25th and most of the time since I first went to the hospital June 5th.

In re-reading your letters that came while I was in the hospital, I
discovered that they were just like new material. Between my fever
and the dope, I had almost completely forgotten them; and I realize
that I never acknowledged them. I was glad to have the pictures of
the children. How sweet Joanne is! Mike does look a lot as Jack
did, and I can see a vague resemblance to some of my baby pictures;
but maybe that is because I want to see it. I am not casting any re-
flection on Mike. I liked one of the pictures of you better than I
did the other. You scarcely change at all, except that in maturing and I
think that you have grown even lovlier.

Am glad that Jim's father was able to visit you and see your new home.
I have never met the newspaper man he mentions, nor do I recall your
neighbor who was on a Tarzan picture. But that is not strange, as my
recaller is almost a total loss.

How many hours has Jim?    If this was any place for a white man to
live, I might suggest that he try to get a job here flying for the
Inter-Island Navigation Company. They run several planes a day to
the various islands - Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii. They
are beautiful runs, scenic beyond description.  I don't know, but I
have an idea that they may lose some of their pilots to the army or
navy. However, I'd hate to have you live here; and would never ad-
vise it. They use amphibians, as a forced landing might be in the
ocean.  They have a wonderful record of not a single fatality in all
the years that they have been operating commercial planes. You re-
call meeting Kit Carson at Somerset house, don't you?  He is vice-
president of Inter-Island.

Than you again, darling, for the numerous and nice letters you have
written me. They buck me up no end.

Lots of love to you all,


A September 11, 1942 letter from Hawaii to daughter Joan in California

1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu  T H

                                                                                            September 11  1942

Joan Darling:

Your very welcome letter of September 4 came through in six days.
I think this is the best time since the blitz. It was very wel-
come, as the last letters I receieved from Jack and Ralph were dated
August 1. I know that you are all busy and haven't much time to
write, but that in no way lessens our desire to hear form you.

It would be nice if each of you would write Hulbert, so that he
would find several letters awaiting him when he returns.  I imagine
that will be some time in October, although I am only guessing.  He
is a lucky boy to get this wonderful assignment.  I wish that I might
tell you something about it.  Chuck said that it is so important the
they had to send their best man.  He said a lot of nice things about
Hully - about his conscientiousness, ability, and intelligence.  It
was nice to hear this, coming from Chuck who knows more about Hully
and is work than anyong else. But it didn't surprise me. Not only
Chuck appreciates these things in Hully, but he tells me that both
their immediate commanding officer and the commanding general do, also.
Fortunately for Hulbert, his assignments often throw    him into immed-
iate contact with the brass hats.  And that helps.

It was cute of Mike to buy Victory stamps.  I don't know where he gets
that trait.  Certainly not from the Burroughs side.  I show his pict-
ures, as well as Joanne's and yours, with great pride.  Also Hulbert's
Jack's, and Jane's, having recently acquired a large album in which all
the snap shots I have are mounted.  Of course I never inflict it on
my visitors.  I just haul it out to show them a picture of themselves
or some friend of theirs.  It is not my fault if I have to explain that
"This is my daughter and these are my grandchildren; and here is my
other son and my daughter-in-law.  My daughter used to be a leading woman
in a stock company and my son is an artist - he illustrates all my books,
etc. etc."  Of course I have to tell them what a lovely trained voice
you have.  Chuck asked to see them.

I had a sweet letter from Joanne.  She hs probably received my reply by
this time. I am delighted that she liked the little lei. I thought it
was cute.

You ask how I am.  About once a month I go to my doctor for a sort of
check up.  I went this morning. I have been suffering from insomnia.
Can't seem to sleep more than eight to ten hours a night.  Last night
I slept only eleven hours, with the result that the dining room was
closed when I awoke. Had to go down town for breakfast.  The doctor
says he is afraid that I shall live, not being able to find anything
wrong with me.  I told him that I was worried because I felt so well.
I have no business to feel so well at my age.  I think he agreed with

An October 31, 1942 letter from Hawaii to daughter Joan in California

1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu  T H
October 31 1942

Joan Darling:

Just learned your address the other day through Hulbert. I knew you
had gone to Nogales, and that was all.  I was there 46 years ago.
Imagine the old town has changed.  Don't remember much about it.  There
wasn't much to remember.

You have probably heard all about Hulbert's exciting experiences at
Guadalcanal.  Sent copies of a Honolulu paper, recounting part of
them, to Jack.  The plane he was in was under anti-aircraft fire
from land batteries over Buka and from thirty-eight Jap warships over
Shortland harbor. It had running fights with Zeros, two of them, with
a total of about twenty-five Zeros participating.  The plane was hit
with machine guns and one shell which failed to explode, but remained
in the plane.  After they got back to Guadalcanal, they were bombed
from the air, shelled by shore batteries, and by Jap warships all the
rest of the day and all night.  The latter dropped 14" shells, among
others.  They took off the next morning while the shore battery was
shelling the field. Some experience!

I am impatiently awaiting to be sent down there "somewhere". My corr-
espondent's credentials finally came through from the War Department,
and I am now fully accredited as a United Press correspondent. The UP
bureau chief here has received cabled instructions from New York to
send me out. He is only waiting for a spot to send me and a place on
a plane.  If my lifetime experience runs true to form, the war will be
over when I arrive.  I always get to a fire after it is out.

Have been outfitting for the past week or so. There were many things
to get.  Fortunately, the correspondent's uniform is the same as an
army officers.  Same as I wore as a NMTCer.  So I have plenty. Phil
Bird, who was recently promoted to captain, has been very helpful. I
am sure that he would give me his shirt if I asked for it.

October 31, 1942

Things are dull here.  I shall be glad to get away. Playing bridge or
poker in a hot, stuffy, blacked out room filled with cigarette smoke
no longer charms me.  Had it not been for Cadmun or the Phoenicians,
I should be bored stiff.

Just talked with the UP bureau chief on the phone.  He wants me to go
out with him Monday to see Chuck Shelton and Hully, to decide the best
place to send me.  It looks as though I might shove off at last.  Per-
haps I can bring you back a Jap as a memento.

All my life I have wanted to be a war correspondent -- to really see
things first hand and write about them.  After all, I am a profession-
al writer; not a professional soldier.

If you have the time, write me. It will be nice to have a few letters
awaiting me when I come back.  Am enclosing a small check, with which
please get yourself and the children some little Christmas remembrance
from me.  I send it now, as it might be too late after I return.  I
simply can't find anything here.

Lots of  love,

A February 5, 1945 letter from Hawaii to daughter Joan in California
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Tarzana, California
1298 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu 42  Hawaii
February 5 1945
Joan darling:
After four days of cold rain and high winds, I finally got off
late Friday afternoon, arriving here about 4:30 A.M. (Honolulu
time) Saturday, after bucking a 48 mile an hour head wind for
14 hrs and 14 min.

A lieutenent met me at the train in S.F. with a staff car and
drove me to the airport, where I was treated wonderfully. In-
structions were given that if there was not a one bed room in
the Visiting Officers' Quarters, I was to have a two bed room
alone; so I had privacy.  The Visiting Officers' Mess was ex-
cellent. Everything was lovely but the weather, which, of
course you read about in the papers.

Friday morning I was process, getting another medical examination
and vaccination.  A very nice captain rushed me through and then
took me to the Officers' Club for luncheon, or rather, dinner.
He came back for me later and took me to the plane. He also got
me into compartment B, where I had the lower berth.

After eating four sandwiches, a hard boiled egg, fruit salad, po-
tato salad, cake crackers, soup, olives, and candy, I took two
nembutols and a . . . INCOMPLETE: EXCERPTS:
. . . a couple of good looking flight nurses came up and sat on the
edge of my bunk . . . Mildred Rathbone came along and
asked me to her apartment for highballs . . .
After dinner at the hotel, Henry Mahn asked me to come to
his quarters and play Whiskey Poker . . . served cherry brandy . . .
went out to call on Floye . . . They had bourbon . . .
back to the hotel for the Willey's Cocktail party. They had Scotch . . .

bed right after dinner and read Esquire until I feel asleep.

This evening, I am going with Mary Pflueger to Kit Carson's for
cocktails and dinner.  Tomorrow noon, I am going with Floye to
Lum Young's farewell luncheon to his son, who has been inducted.
Lum serves the most wonderful Chinese food you ever tasted.
Have been invited to another party for tomorrow evening, but I declined.
Enough is enough.

While I was at the Visiting Officers' Quarters I have mentioned,
I was sitting on the edge of my cot looking at the floor, when a
guy stopped at my door and asked what was the matter with me. I
said, "Nothing." He said, "You look blue,"  I replied that I was
not blue, I was only waiting. He said, "Come down to my room and
wait. I have a bottle of Spanish brandy."  I had never seen him
before, and couldn't tell his rank, as he wore only a pair of under-
shorts.  But I went along with him. He turned out to be a full
colonel in the Medical Corps, on his way  home to Camden, N.J., on
leave from the jungles.

On a table in his room was a full bottle of Green River Bourbon,
pre-war, that he was taking home to his wife.  After we had dis-
patched most of the Spanish Brandy, he gave me a carton of
Camels and the bottle of Green River.  Such are old friends in war time.

I keep thinking of the wonderful times I had back there with all
of you. They are very pleasant memories.

Am writing Dorothy to thank her and George for their many kindness-
es to me.  I shall tell her that I have written you all the horrible
details of my life since I left and rather than  write it all
over again I am asking you to let her read this letter, if she cares
to. Same for Jack and Jane.

All my love to all of you.

[SIG] Papa
Is your Phone State 45666?

ERBzine 0214: Lost Letters I
ERBzine 0440: Lost Letters II
ERBzine 0441: Lost Letters III
ERBzine 0429: Lost Letters IV
ERBzine 0402
The McWhorter Louisville Collection

Volume 0429

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