April 24, 1942

I’m on duty in the operating room and we are kept busy with the casualties from the bombing and shelling. We do not use linen but rubber sheets on the table. Since there is not adequate equipment or space here in the tunnel it is extremely difficult to have the essential linens laundered for operating; much less the linens for the whole hospital. Space is at a premium. With the enemy bombing and shelling continually, to go outside to hang out the laundry is a needless risk of life. According to my informant, we are about five hundred feet underneath the surface in some places, but when we get a direct hit with a heavy bomb, even at this depth we feel the concussion. At these times bottles and small articles fall from the shelves. My hands tremble when I’m giving anesthetics; evidently I’m fore frightened than I realize. I am not alone in this for even the hands of the calmest doctors tremble; they treat this lightly and if wisecracks were guns and ammunition, we would lick the Japs in
nothing flat. Ann Mealer’s face is a beautiful pink in a bombing; yet she is apparently calm and certainly proficient.

The large blowers in the ventilators have to be shut off when we get direct hits because the blowers circulate the dust caused from the bombs. We use fans continually, for the air is offensive at best; it is hot as the proverbial hinges of hell, when the fans are shut off.

With an acute shortage of medicine and supplies, trying to care for the sick and wounded is most disheartening. When will help arrive?

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