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Volume 6830

Wartime Journals of Correspondent Edgar Rice Burroughs
or Buck Burroughs Rides Again

Written April 1943 ~ Copyright ERB, Inc.
Transcribed for ERBzine by Bill Hillman


Jan 23: More Autographs ~ Hospital Medicine ~ Interview Casualties
Bravery of the "Pill Rollers" ~ Heroic Stories of the Wounded
. . .  was another PT Boat officer, Lt. Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. USNR, of New York City. They are not related, and spell their names differently. The other Bulkely is from San Antonio, Texas. Had a long talk with them. Have certainly met a lot of interesting people since I left Oahu. My three autograph books contain the autographs of most of them.

Jan. 23.  Went to 27th Hospital again today. Capt. Shapiro gave me 100 sulfadiazine tablets. In Honolulu, I have paid as high as $20 for that number, though they have since dropped to 10 cents apiece. Correspondents are entitled to the same medical services as an officer. Infact, have all the privileges of an officer. According to an order signed by the Secretary of War in January 1942, these privileges specifically included transportation. It is a little difficult to under stand on what authority an admiral countermands the orders of the Secretary of War.

While at the hospital, a major doctor game me permission to interview casualties. He even let me examine the records of admission, showing the causes of disability. Malaria topped everything else. I picked out several shrapnel and bullet wound cases and talked with them.

Tales of courage, of loyalty, of miracles. Tales of the cunning, the ruthlessness, the fanaticism of the Japs. These I heard that day from men recently wounded by gunfire or shrapnel on the jungle front, as I sat beside their hospital beds.

When they found that I was a correspondent, I was soon surrounded. Men with bandaged arms, or legs, or chests gathered about me, all talking a once, eager to tell me their experiences. Dominant was the pride of each in his particular outfit. But without exception they gave the "Pill Rollers" credit for the highest courage and indefatigable performance of duty under fire.

Pill Rollers is the soldier's name for the men of the Medical Corps. Some of those bandaged boys waxed almost inarticulate in attempting to express their admiration and gratitude for the officers and men of the M.C. Under the fire of Jap snipers and machine gunners, where the wounded receive first aid; in dressing station and Base Hospital gallant men minister to gallant men.

One man told me of seeing a seventeen year old soldier lying in the open under Jap fire with a ghastly abdominal wound. Entirely unarmed and defenseless, a man of the Medical Corps crawled to him to administer first aid and attempt to bring him out. He was shot. Unhesitatingly, another followed. He, too, was shot.

A 2nd lieutenant, on the edge of whose bed I was sitting, had received a present from Hirohito on January 12th, his twenty-fourth birthday. It was a bullet that had passed entirely through his body, missing his heart by half an inch. He was a handsome, clean-cut fellow with a most engaging smile. After being wounded, he had lain on his back under the hot, equatorial sun for four hours before they found him around noon. The litter bearers carried him up and down one hill after another until dark before they got him in. He was Champ Jones of Davisville (?), So. Car.

When the Japs cut off a patrol, they take the arms and ammunition from the bodies of our men and use them against us. A single bullet from one of our own rifles in the hands of a Jap inflicted three wounds on a twenty-two year old enlisted man with whom I talked. It hit him in the right hand, chest, and shoulder. A sniper got him from a Jap foxhole, but after he was hit he got the sniper -- his third. Then a Marine crawled. . .

 Veteran’s Testimony – Lena R. Gelott 48th Station Hospital
World War 2 Casualties and Caring for the Wounded
Pacific Theatre WWII Military Hospitals
WWII US Medical Research


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