Hospital Visitors

This week’s post was written up by our co-author, Edward Rogers.

It was customary for members of a flight crew, especially the pilot, to look in on their comrades if they had been injured or were sick in the hospital. Being part of the same crew formed strong bonds of friendship. 90th Bomb Squadron pilot 1/Lt. Lynn Schmidt visited his turret gunner, Sgt. James A. Carter, at the hospital in Cairns, Australia on June 10th. Carter had been wounded in the legs during a strafing attack on their B-25 #41-12496, DER SCHPY, by Japanese Zero fighters at Seven Mile airdrome on May 9, 1942.

Schmidt summarized the visit in his diary, “Flew to Cairns to see Sgt. Carter.  He was doing fine – in nice clean hospital with pretty nurses, good clean town et. cet. – loaned him my last five pounds – took him books, clothes, mail and the like.”

Two days later Carter wrote a letter of thanks to Schmidt.

“Your visit the other day would have been worth the writing of a dozen letters.  I was never so glad to see anyone in all my life.  Maybe I didn’t act it but I was really pleased to see you fellows.  I deeply appreciate your coming up and bringing the things.  The letters, to me, were worth their weight in radium, because as I believe you know they were the first letters I’ve rec’d.  It took me ‘til late in the night to read them all.

I hope this letter finds you all in the best of health.  I’m still improving.  The cast comes off in five more days but I know I won’t be able to walk on the foot for another week after that.

Will sign off for now so the nurses can mail this.  The best of luck to you on your missions.  Take care of yourself, the crew, and “Der Schpy”.  Give my regards to the others, please”

Very sincerely yours,
Jimmie Carter

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