Roland Duane (Duke) Herrick

Librarian Lists Types of Books Enjoyed in Training Centers
Three Eau Claire Bluejackets in training at the Farragut, Idaho  Naval Station are using some of their spare time to check out books from one of the station's several libraries. They are ( left to right) Robert Witta, 625 North Barstow, Eau Claire; Henry Tracey, Route 4, Chippewa Falls; and Charles Vaccaro, 1226 Bellevue Avenue, Eau Claire. Miss Marion Langdell (right), also of Eau Claire and librarian in Camp Bennion, is recommending titles to these future men of the fighting fleet.

The following correspondence was received from Miss Marion E. Langdell, librarian at Camp Bennion, the United States Naval Station at Camp Farragut, Idaho in response to a letter from the local committee of the Victory Book Drive in which they asked her the types of books most in demand by the men in training centers. Miss Langdell, who was formerly a librarian in the Eau Claire Public Library, left here on the 23rd of November to take up her new duties in the service.

Miss Langdell writes—"In order of importance, a letter from home ranks first in a sailor's reading at this United States Navy Station. This is closely followed by his home town newspaper. Next comes the Blue jacket's Manual, a 'best seller' at Farragut.

Naturally, boys from Eau Claire, WI, who are located here, are no exception to the rule. However, they are turning to the camp libraries for other types of reading matter. As a help, the librarian at Camp Bennion tries to help the boys pick a book for reading in lieu of the letter or the home town news. 

According to Miss Langdell, the one book most asked for is the atlas. "Where did I come from, where am I now, where am I going?" An atlas or map does help to answer these queries. 

"I want to make it in school. What material do you have on radio, aviation, mathematics, pattern making, navigation, welding, engines?" are the next in routine requests.

Demand for books on anatomy, physiology, personal hygiene, and health books in general is constant.

Future cooks and bakers, who are attending the Cooks and Bakers School, have been asking for cookbooks, none of which are available in any of the station libraries. This is perhaps a point to be remembered in the Victory Book Drives now in progress over the country.

Books written in Spanish, inspirational biographies, popular accounts of the war, such as From the Land of Silent People by Robert St. John, are in constant demand.

Sailors here at Farragut are living and facing a faster-moving, more-thrilling story than can be found in print, and fiction has to be good and it has to be recent in order to be read during the precious hours of leisure.

Libraries at this station have plenty of space, and thousands of books are needed to fill that space. Miss Langdell, in outlining the needs said, if you could not give a book, remember the Bluejacket's first reading choice, that letter from home."

Some of the Eau Claire boys in training here include: Charles T. Vaccaro. 1226 Bellevue Avenue; Leonard Lubinski, 426 East Madison Street; Kenneth N. Danielson, 220 Seventh Avenue; Clarence C. McMillan, 1129 1/2 Barstow; Jack Selmer Johnson, 713 Broadway; Charles E. Waste; and Henry A. Tracey, Route 4, Chippewa Falls. Two more local boys, Duane Herrick and Dale Sherman, left on Monday for Camp Farragut.

Duane (Duke) Herrick, Seaman First Class, is now serving in the South Pacific in a Naval hospital, according to word received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Herrick, 945 First Street.

Duke was a student at State Teachers College until he enlisted in the Navy in January 1942.

News from those who are out there near the battle lines is always welcome to those of us who must stay behind, especially when they send back suggestions about ways we can be of service to those who are bearing the brunt of the burden, the men actually in combat. 

Lieutenant H. S. Fuson, Medical Corps, United States Naval Reserve, a well-known physician here who enlisted in the Navy about two years ago, has written to Nels Hanshus of Luther Hospital an interesting letter from somewhere in the South Pacific, in which he says, "Thank God for plasma and sulfanilimide. Keep the blood banks going." 

Here are extracts from his letter: 

"Several weeks have gone by since we have had any place in which we could mail a letter, but now we are again in a half-civilized part of the universe. Speaking of mail, I have not seen or heard of any mail in seven weeks. We just don't get any, but we all hope that tomorrow it will all catch up with us. 

"I have had some experiences which will never be forgotten. Two things primarily have stuck in my mind which I will never forget—one, I must say you people at home must be extraordinarily proud of these boys of ours. They have seen the real McCoy, have faced the old Nips, and can really take it. I am sure that our country has nothing to fear with its fate in their hands. We all must be very proud of them, and we must not forget that when this holocaust is over. Never in my life have I been so impressed with what our country means and represents to all of us. Secondly, a profound respect for our enemy, he is tough, tenacious, well- trained and equipped, and we are going to have to be behind the wheel in order to push this thing over. 

"At one time recently, I operated for 36 hours in a stretch, everything under the sun; cases which, at home, I would have been glad to see someone else have. Here there is no one else. I have learned a great deal. Thank God for plasma and sulfanilimide. Without them, our mortality would be 10 times as high as it is. Keep the old blood bank going. It has saved many lives and will restore our boys to us as useful citizens. 

"We all can't be in the front scenes and our families must be cared for in our absence." 

Also engaged in the work of mercy are the group of young men serving in the Hospital Corps of the Navy. A magazine published at U.S. Naval Hospital in Honolulu contains a picture of an Eau Claire boy demonstrating the Drinker type respirator known as the Iron Lung in the hospital. He is Roland Duane Herrick, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Herrick of this city, and he is better known by his nickname of Duke. He has recently been promoted to Pharmacist's Mate Third Class. 

A graduate of the Eau Claire High School, he attended State Teachers College and was also a radio announcer at station WEAU in this city, before entering the Navy on January 29, 1943. He received his basic training at Farragut, ID and was stationed for several months at the Naval Hospital in Seattle, before being transferred to Hawaii.