APRIL 8, 1943
SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday—After a cafeteria lunch at the Kaiser shipyards on Monday, in which I was proudly told no rationed food was used, Miss Thompson and I went off with Mayor Riley of Portland, and Mrs. David Honeyman. We visited the Red Cross blood donors station, the Red Cross workrooms, the induction center— which is one of the most complete set-ups of its kind in the country—and, finally, a servicemen's club where I cut a large and beautifully decorated cake.
We were at the airport a little ahead of time for our plane and I had a chance to talk to a young friend who had been going around with us all day, but to whom I had barely had a chance to say five words. He is in the Army and now happens to be stationed in the recruiting station in Portland.
When we reached San Francisco, my son, John, and his wife were at the airport and drove us to the hotel. They stayed and talked for a while and my friend Miss Mayris Chaney came in also, so I felt my San Francisco visit began well.
Admiral Woods called for me yesterday morning at 10:00 o'clock, just as I was finishing a half hour's press conference. We started off promptly for Oak Knoll Hospital in Oakland. This naval hospital was only begun last year and, since I was there in the autumn, it has already doubled in size.
I wonder if many people realize how many boys are coming home from this war and facing cheerfully the loss of arms or legs, or other physical handicaps. I saw boys suffering from concussion, burns and innumerable other ailments. As I went through each ward I thought what wonderful spirit young America has. There is one boy who is going around making speeches to help sell bonds. He has lost both arms and one leg. The other day he was fitted to a new leg, and as he walked into the ward a cheer went up from every one of the other boys, which shows that indomitable courage wins respect.
I lunched with the doctors' mess and they told me we had exactly the same lunch which the boys were having. It was extremely good, but I certainly ate more than I ordinarily eat. So it is just as well that I don't walk through so many hospital wards every morning.
After lunch, we visited the Treasure Island Hospital, which has likewise grown by leaps and bounds. I used to think it was a shame not to take time enough to go through every ward in these hospitals. I realize now that that is out of the question, because it would take many days really to go through all the wards and to stop and speak to each man. We ended by going to tea with Vice Admiral J. W. Greenslade, and then I spent the evening with my sons and daughter-in-law and saw the newest grandchild in the family for the first time.