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Volume 6820
Wartime Journals of Correspondent Edgar Rice Burroughs :: December 1942-April 1943
or Buck Burroughs Rides Again

Written April 1943 ~ Copyright ERB, Inc.
Shared by Danton Burroughs from his Burroughs Family Archive
Transcribed and Illustrated for ERBzine by Bill Hillman

Australia: January 8 and 9
January 8: Up at 4:15. A most unchristian hour. Ham and I took a taxi to Mascot Field. Many Marine transport planes were coming in -- about twenty of them. They had taken off from Tontouta because a hurricane was headed for New Caledonia. Pilots told us that all the transport planes had been evacuated and the fighter planes staked down. We couldn't take off for Tontouta, of course; so we took a taxi back to Usher's. Fortunately, our rooms were still available.

After breakfast, Mr. Curtis of RKO phoned for an appointment and came over. He wanted me to do another recording to be used when Sol Lesser's next Tarzan picture is released in Australia. He offered me 20 pounds. He phoned me later that his boss had decided not to have the recording made. He assured me that the 20 pounds had not influence him. I should have been glad to do it for nothing if it would had helped Sol's picture.

Having failed to draw out my balance of 35/5 pounds from the bank, I went over and made application to change it into US currency and take it out of the country.

Ham and I had lunch after a session with Taves of UP. Later we went over to Lt. Schramm's room in the Australia Hotel for a few minutes. Met Marine Corps pilots Lts. B.D. Bramhall of Beaver Falls, N.Y., and Doyal Branson of Murfreesboro, Tenn., in Schramms.

Ham was taking someone to dinner and invited me to go along, but I declined. I ate alone, and just as my oysters were served Lt. Schramm and an Air Force captain called on me. I asked them to have dinner with me, but they had another date. They did have highballs and we visited a few minutes. I went to bed immediately after dinner, and read. I mention this to record the fact that I led a quiet, domestic life in Sydney.

After breakfast on the 9th (December 9), I phoned Mr. Phillips, Foreign Exchange Dept., Bank of Australasia; and was told that my request to take $118.50 US currency out of the country had been approved. This meant that I had finally succeeded in getting all of our impounded funds out of Australia. I went to the bank and got the money. They figured the exchange at the rate of $3.26 plus per pound. Our Army there figures it at $3.228. Why the difference, I do not know.

Took a tram to the ferry landing and caught the 11:15 ferry for Taronga Zoo Park. It took about 12 minutes to make the crossing. Sydney being built largely around the huge harbour, ferries are the quickest and most convenient forms of transportation to and from many places. So there are innumerable ferries of all sizes moving in all directions. The service is excellent, many of the lines operating on a fifteen minute schedule.

Taronga Park Zoo is a beautiful spot situated on bluffs overlooking the harbour. I took a tram to the top and walked down. There are the animals that one usually sees in large municipal zoos, but I went especially to see koala bears. Saw five of them, most of which were asleep in the eucalyptus trees. One little bow-legged rascal was doing the polar bear routine back and forth at the foot of the wall that surrounds their arena. The trip was quite expensive . . .  4d ferry fare, 3d admission to the zoo, 4d return ferry, or about 15c US money.

Got back to the hotel about 1: P.M. Ham and I lunched together. At 4:30 Lt. Schramm phoned to say that we were scheduled to leave the hotel at 5:30 the next morning. The hurricane had gone elsewhere. Ham and I went to the cocktail lounge around five, and Terry came a little later. We went to Romano's for dinner. After ordering, we went into Romano's oyster bar and each had a dozen oysters on the half shell.

Rare Edgar Rice Burroughs WWII Photos
Col. David Taylor shares eight photos of ERB as a WWII correspondent
from the National Archives in Washington, DC.


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