May 8, 1943 (Saturday)

Nouméa, New Caledonia

Talking with Allegrini this morning we mutually arrived at a stinking conclusion regarding the staffs in this area. I’d like to get somebody like Westbrook Pegler hot on these bits of information Allegrini and I have run across. The gist of the matter lies in the amazing statement of three independently thinking persons here; to wit: “The staffs don’t want the war to end; they’re having too much fun.” (!) Those words in almost identical form were spoken to me by Diana Brodie (of the New Zealand pre-WAACs), by Dr. Lafe Ludwig (assigned to USMC), and by one of the hospital gate entries, with whom I was conversing the other evening. When three people from three different stratas arrive at the same conclusion, there must be something to it.

A nurse here at the hospital, a Miss McLaughlin, daughter of a Salinas California judge, told Doc Allegrini that the nurses have all come to the conclusion that they were brought into this area solely to be the dates of the old buzzards on the staffs. The staffs call the hospital for a certain number of dates and the nurses are forced, under threat of losing all liberty, to attend the never-ending round of drunken brawls. The older the staff officers are, the more disgusting they are in their attitude toward these young girls. Diana has stated that the identical situation exists with them. Even Admiral Halsey has his pet nurse (Red Cross) and since she has been in this hospital with “cat” fever he has visited her, with flowers. No wonder we’re not winning the war with these incompetent old bastards in charge of everything; their thoughts are always on the next brawl, and their work fuddled by a semi-permanent hangover.

Went swimming in the afternoon with Diane, Mavis, and Carl, despite intermittent rain. Later went to an excellent dinner at the Pacific Club. Return to Camp Barnes, for lack of anything else to do, and saw a stinking movie. Kicked myself when I later learned we missed seeing “Casablanca” here at the hospital.

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