[Texas, New Guinea, Netherland East Indies, and the Philippines: 1943-1945].
Hardcover. Oblong quarto. Measuring 11.5" x 7". String-tied brown leather over stiff paper boards. Contains 240 sepia-toned or black and white silver gelatin photographs measuring between 1½” x 2” to 6” x 6”, with captions. Leather lacking from the front board with some chips and tears thus very good with near fine photographs.
A photo album compiled by Abigail Chamberlain while serving as a nurse in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Chamberlain graduated from the Dallas Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in 1943 and was first assigned to Brooke General Hospital at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. She was then reassigned to the 35th General Hospital and deployed to the Pacific Theater. Her album begins at Milne Bay New Guinea and follows the 35th General through Lae in New Guinea, Biak in the Netherland East Indies (today Indonesia), on to Leyte and Manila in the Philippines.
In addition to images showing Chamberlain and other staff members in and around the various hospital facilities, there are a number of photos that show them relaxing, dancing in grass skirts, playing with canine mascots, posing with non-commissioned officers, picnicking, swimming, boating, drinking at a service club, sightseeing, and shopping (perhaps in Australia or after their return to the United States). Chamberlain includes many excellent photos of destroyed Japanese aircraft and ships, the ruins of Manila, an Australian cemetery in New Guinea, Battery Wheeler on Corregidor (which was retaken by soldiers of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment using improvised fire bombs), and the “invasion fleet” off the coast of Lae. Additional ephemera includes two ‘captured’ Japanese post cards, a printed poem “To an Overseas Nurse,” and Chamberlain’s “Domain of Neptunus Rex” membership card.
A fine firsthand visual record from the viewpoint of a young nurse that documents the non-medical side of life in an Army General Hospital as it followed General McArthur’s leap-frogging advance across the Pacific Ocean toward Japan.