NOVEMBER 30, 1944
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Yesterday morning I received a memorandum on conditions existing among the civilian population of Yugoslavia at the present time.
I only wish that more people in this country might have a real knowledge of these conditions. It would certainly make us feel rich, at least from the material standpoint; but we might wonder whether we are rich enough in character to stand up to the same deprivations and show the strength which these mountain people have shown in the defense of their liberty. We hope the day will come soon when some relief can be brought to them.
The ladies of the cabinet lunched with me yesterday, but unfortunately a number of them were absent due to illness.
At 3 o'clock Lieut. Willis brought a number of men from the Naval hospital to visit the White House, and I was interested to see one young sailor wearing on his yellow ribbon the insignia "A," which denotes that he was in the North Atlantic convoy work before Pearl Harbor. There were also several marines who had served in the Pacific, some on Guadalcanal.
Later in the afternoon Miss Agnes Inglis came to tell me about the very unusual little school which she is carrying on, and which in a very unique way will emphasize the things which Washington has to offer to children.
In the evening William Courtney, a British war correspondent, showed us some of his films taken over the last three years while on duty with our troops in the Pacific. You may remember him for his remarkable reporting job in 1941 on the Battle of Britain. He gives a running story while the pictures are being shown, and I think everyone enjoyed hearing him. Mr. Courtney landed with the First Texas Cavalry Division in the Admiraltys in February and his pictures show the campaign at Los Negros and Manus, the landing with the 24th Infantry on Dutch New Guinea and the Hollandia campaign. At the end, he shows the convoy and the landing on Leyte in the Philippines with the First Cavalry Division.
Anyone who really wants to make a record in travel mileage should be with him, for since he was here a year ago, he has traveled 80,000 miles, crossed the Equator 13 times, flown across the Pacific seven times, and taken part in eight landings and eight campaigns!
Here in the White House, of course, we see a great many of our American war films, but this is the second of the English films I have seen, the first being the battle of El Alamein. It does not really matter, however, who takes the pictures or whether the troops are American, British, Australian, New Zealand or any other of the valiant men in our Allied services. Always the impression is the same—tense faces, determined to do the job and win eventual and complete victory.