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Date: February 14th 1943


FEBRUARY 14, 1943;

Dear Bernice:

Well here I am-who would have thunk it? Left New York February 8th, and now am away, way out on the briny deep. If you have any wonderings in your mind as to my being seasick, don't ask me. I had thought the end had come, and I was ready. Right now, I am patiently waiting for my supper, and feeling in the pink.

This being Sunday, we had several services on deck. We (nurses) attended them all, Catholic and Protestant. It really was quite impressive, as well as very sad. I kept looking at those boys, and thinking what they had to go through. I was in the choir. Am going tonight to the seven p.m. service-that is a communion service.

The most comforting thing about this trip is to look out and see our wonderful escort. Uncle Sam has the goods. We are split up on different boats. As we see them plough along, we know which ships have some of our nurses on, but not all. However we can't see them to distinguish each (nurse, I mean). We have fun in our cabins, but the blackouts rather cramp our style in the evening. A crowd, or I should say several crowds, gather on deck to sing in the evenings. Have two girls who play the uke.

Am afraid we are going to have some grimy looking underclothes when we arrive at our destination. We conserve our fresh water for drinking purposes, etc. Take our baths in warm, salt water (those we take). Sleep in tier bunks. Our meals are wonderful. Eat at eight-thirty and five-thirty. Two meals, but we don't miss the in-between. They pass ice cream around at noon, and we are given some form of fruit at night to take to our cabins. We eat with the officers. Have three seatings. I'm on the second one. Regular dining room service. Waiters, menus and all. Couldn't take it the first few days-the look of someone else's plate sent me flying. Music, organ, banjos, ukes-the musicians having been solicited from the enlisted men. There is a great deal of talent among them.

Of course we have our hospital on board, or as it is called, on ship. Sick bay. We have to take turns morning and afternoon. Close quarters and limited utensils, but not bad nevertheless.

Forgot to say when we left camp we marched about a mile to the station. It was all very thrilling-band playing, and all the soldiers marching with us. The packs on our backs were not quite so thrilling. Ever going again, would sure take a lot less in my suitcase and pack. We thought we had to carry our cases, but so far have had it done.

Having a birthday at sea, but oh, what a corner I'm turning. Don't like it. Can't seem to find Nell's address. The first time you write, I wish you would send it to me. Maggie would like to know I've gone.

Oh yes, we have boat drill at unexpected times. When the signal is given, we sure scram. We are all assigned to certain places on deck, and certain lifeboats. I can assure you the crew of my boat who goes with us are very seaworthy-looking, at least.

I guess I've covered the trip in a roundabout way so far, so will say goodbye. It will probably be quite a while before you get this, but will be the quickest for some time.

Give my love to everyone, and don't worry, everything is OK.

Love, Frank