Carroll Daily Times Herald

Carroll, IA

06 Aug 1945




Only One in 13,000 Can't Take Atabrine - Miles One of Them

An Advanced Air base in China (IDPA) -- Courtesy to a colonel caused me no end of embarrassment with Iowans on this base. The colonel welcomed me warmly and invited me to be his guest at supper. Before we started eating he urged that for protection against malaria I take some atabrine tablets.

Last Summer in Italy I had unfortunate results from swallowing some and should have had will enough to resist the colonel's pleas but I didn't. They say one in 13,000 can't take atrabine. I now know definitely I am one of them. About 10 o'clock that evening while I was sitting in front of a bamboo hut chinning about Iowa with Major Neil Maurer, Laurens, a service supply pubic relations officer; Lieutenant Maurice McMurray, Des Moines, who had a job with the Chinese-American composite wing, and others, I became ill. Soon my condition was such they got the base hospital surgeon out of bed to attend me. He was Major Leonard A. West, Des Moines.

After diagnosis the major, the two other Iowans and another medic loaded me into a jeep. The major drove to a hospital I was rolled onto a stretcher and rushed to a bed where a English-educated Chinese nurse took charge.

Major West shot me twice with a hypodermic needle. I went to sleep and awoke in the morning with my stomach settled. The major felt my pulse and said if I felt all right I might leave. I'd rather have malaria than undergo effects of atrabine.

Major Maurer will be remembered as publisher of the Laurens Sun. He once lived in Odebolt. Mrs. Maurer is running then in his absence. Lieutenant McMurray used to work for Tom Purcell at Iowa Falls. He was with WHO for two years before he entered the army. Major West is a well known Des Moines medical practitioner. He has been in the army four years.

En route to another base, I met Second lieutenant Robert H. Douglas, Wooster, Ohio, whose father, the Rev. Curtis Douglas had accepted a Presbyterian pastorate at Fairfield, since his son donned the uniform. Iowa is now the lieutenant's home. The elder Douglas did student work at the State University of Iowa for eight years.

Arriving at the base the lieutenant who helped me reach McMurray was Joseph Otoupalik of Lincoln, Neb., a nephew of Hugo Otoupalik, the noted Iowa State college wrestling coach now in Red Cross service overseas. On duty there was Lieutenant Ryan G. Renz, Sioux City; Sgt. Harry Riebesell, Paulina; Staff Sgts. Melvin Schnoor, Davenport; and Mark Herweg, Burlington; Sgts. Harry Noblitt and Andrew Wettendorf, Readlyn; T/5 Richard Miller, Des Moines; and Pfcs. Don Curran and Richard Fahl, Cedar Rapids.

Richard Beckman, publicity director and journalism professor at Iowa state college, now with OWI came out to visit McMurray and me. Major Maurer said three others in his outfit were Staff Sgt. John Schipper, Andres; T/5 William Le Mar, Des Moines; and Pfc. Wilbert Watzenaurer, Fort Madison.

McMurray accompanied Beckman and me to Chunking.

Source: Carroll Daily Times Herald, August 6, 1945

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