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Volume 6842

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

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


Feb 7/8: Viti Levu Island Hills, Jungles, Encampments and Native Villages
NZ Corvette HMS Viti ~ Grand Pacific
. . . realized. No drinks were served on Sundays. Ramey, being a naval officer, has been pretty much all over the world, visiting many ports. But he had explained to me that he had always studioulsy avoided sight-seeing. It amounted to a phobia. Knowing him, I assume that after locating the nearest good bar in a strange port, he felt no urge to see any of the rest of the country. So I suggested that we hire a taxi and see some of the back country. I don't know whether he enjoyed the trip or not, but I did.

The East Indian who drove us made a thirty mile loop through hills, jungle, past Army encampments and native villages. The jungle, like all jungles that I have seen, was a disappointment. They would have been a disappointment to Tarzan, also. We saw a young girl getting a bath by the road side. She was no child, and she was entirely naked. Several natives were bathing her as she stood smiling as we passed with a few feet of her. I was highly incensed. It was shocking, the speed with which our driver drove past.

Back on the Shaw, I got into a bridge game with lieutenants Croft, Shoor, and Hollings worth. Our game was interrupted when a couple of officers brought four girl guests aboard; but we resumed after supper when they had left.

Feb. 8. The Menominee had left that morning, and about 9:45 she radioed that she had sighted a periscope ten miles south of Suva; so we were ordered out to look for the sub. We were accompanied by the McKean and the New Zealand HMS Viti. A New Zealand plane, a Hudson, joined the search. We went out about twenty miles, but got no sub contacts.

We returned to our anchorage at about 4:00 PM, and Capt. Biggs and I went ashore and to the Grand Pacific, where we were confronted by a new liquor regulation; Whiskey served between five and six PM only on account of shortage. I think the shortage of whiskey was directly due to the presence of two United States destroyers in port. So we each had a rum Collins to while away the time until five, after which we each had four Scotch highballs. I don't know whether I have mentioned the fact or not, but our British cousins do not use the term Scotch. They say whiskey which, to them, can mean only Scotch whiskey. They would not dignify Bourbon or Rye by the sacred name of whiskey. I rather agree with them.

As we were preparing to leave for the ship, one of our enlisted men came and announced that there were several of our sailors around by the bar, who had delegated him to invite us to come and have a drink with them. I was curious to see what Biggs would do about it. He is an Annapolis man, and I wondered if he would drink with enlisted men. He did hesitate a moment, but finally accepted. So we went around on the side verandah where enlisted men are served. They were not allowed in the main lounge.

Some dozen men were gathered around a table on which were at least forty gin rickies which they had orded so that the closing hour of six would not catch them unprepared. The Captain and I said that we were sorry, but we had been drinbking Scotch and didn't want to mix. We though that that would end the matter. But no. They sent a man to get Scotch for us. He came back with six! And I think they were double Scotches at that.

Some of the boys were aleady a little high, and kept proposing toasts to the Captain. He and I finally finished our three highballs apiece and left for the dock. We had by this time consumed seven highballs and. . .

Viti Levu Island
Fiji Postcards
Suva Postcards
Hudson Anti-Submarine Aircraft
HMS Viti


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