August 23, 1942 (Sunday)

Navy Hospital, Pearl Harbor

Am leaving my second diary and my cruise box, stored in the New BOQ, Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

The God-damnedest things happen to me! Here I was, all set to leave for two or three months duties in the Solomons Island area, all pack, pay accounts and medical records closed out, and in command of the four planes ordered to duty down there (plus three more later). I had the best and newest airplane and my crew wanted to go mainly because I did, saying we didn’t want to go with anyone else (this may be partially “bushwah,” but it sounds nice and I do know for sure that Pojonus and Bergstrasser really meant it). Well, anyway, yesterday I noticed that I had a slight gut ache, which persisted till I woke this morning and definitely located in region of my appendix! Went down to the Doc at the dispensary and he gave me a blood count, which showed the white corpuscles count as very high, upon which he grounded me and told me to get ready to go to the hospital over in the Navy Yard in an hour. The squadron damn near passed out when I told them.

Arrived at the hospital a little past 3 p.m. after a very dramatic stretcher ride over from the island. The doctors (Pugh and Jensen) decided to operate immediately. It began with rathter comically by my being shaved very thoroughly in the pubic region — most unpleasant, especially as it was a dry shave.

Was shot full of morphine and also received a spinal anesthetic. Was fully conscious and comparatively alert during the operation which was most interesting. Was shown my appendix after its removal — rather an unattractive hunk of meat.

Spent the night under morphine.

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