Entering a War Zone

Touring the South Pacific

"...safely behind the front line."

"Guadalcanal looks very different from when the Marines landed. By holding on through the desperate first months, till we could get supplies and the Army came in and relieved them, they assured us of ultimate domination in the Pacific. Today there are miles of roads and the men have floors in their tents in expectation of the rainy season.

The hospitals are well equipped and fairly comfortable, especially where they are in buildings. Everywhere you see screens for movies, which are shown after dark. The Red Cross is functioning well and I hope they soon will be allowed to add some women to the staff. Miss Ryan and I were the first women, except the nurses, who fly back and forth in ambulance planes, and who have been on the island since it was taken from the Japanese. It shortly will be considered safely behind the front line."

Editor's Note: Roosevelt's successful goodwill tour of Great Britain in 1942 prompted Franklin Delano Roosevelt's suggestion of a South Pacific tour in 1943. This tour focused on visiting the home front stationed in Australia and New Zealand, and the soldiers stationed in remote locations. Eleanor was particularly interested in touring the active war zone of Guadalcanal, where the Allied forces and Japan recently fought a major battle.