December 12, 1941
SAN FRANCISCO—Yesterday we left by the eight o'clock train as the rain still continued and no planes were flying. We reached San Deigo at ten-thirty, accompanied by Mr. Neustadt of the Federal Security Administration and Mrs. Shreiner, of our own OCD regional office in charge of the establishment of voluntary bureaus.
In San Diego I found during the Defense Council Meeting that they have actually accomplished a good deal. Their medical setup for disaster is very complete. They need more medical supplies, but they have a greater reserve than most places, and they have actually practiced how long it takes to cover the city and the country. They tell me in ten minutes any part of the city can be covered and in half an hour, any part of the county. They have tried setting up an emergency hospital in one of their schools with two hundred beds installed and ready for use.
They are training their air raid wardens, but they have comparatively few of them as yet. their volunteer bureau is functioning in the city with a number of outposts in schools and firehouses for registration and information.
I visited the Red Cross which is in a building in the old fair grounds. They have a great many volunteer workers and are doing a great deal of work, but I was distressed to find that they are only training thirty nurses aides every four weeks, which seems to me a very inadequate number.
We went over to Coronado to lunch with our son, John, and I was happy to find his wife sufficiently recovered from the ear which had to be lanced a week or more ago, to be downstairs while we were there. Little Haven is able to walk about now and he has learned one whole sentence: "Daddy, all gone," which he acquired when the new rules required young officers to stay at their posts from early one morning through to the next afternoon. Haven couldn't understand, of course, why his father was away so long.
We took the train back to Los Angeles and dined in the railroad station. While eating, we heard the announcement: "The United States Army has ordered a blackout along the coast from Bakersfield and back to Las Vegas." In a few minutes all the curtains were drawn and candles were brought for each table as the electric lights went out everywhere. Only in the underground passageway leading to the train shed, were the lights left lit. Everything else was done by lantern or candlelight. People moved along, however, quietly and without excitement, but our train was somewhat delayed in leaving.
Today we are in San Fransisco.