Like his Rockefeller Foundation job, Dr. Sawyer's work for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
(UNRRA) required much traveling. In early 1946 he went to China to assess the post-war public health situation and the UNRRA
programs already in place. In this letter he updated Mrs. Sawyer on his progress, and mentioned the many delays in mail service
Item is handwritten.
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4 (210,193 Bytes)
1946-03-03 (March 3, 1946)
Sawyer, Wilbur A.
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Your letter of February 16 has reached me here in Shanghai, and it was fine to hear from you and learn what is going on at
On March 1, our APO rights were taken away and all mail in both directions will have to go through regular post office channels.
So this letter will go via the Chinese post, and your next one should come the same way. Address is now Dr. WA Sawyer, c/o
UNRRA, Embankment Building, 370 North Soochow Road, Shanghai, China. Any letters should be sent by air and should be very
light as the cost goes by weight and the minimum is less than by A.P.O. Incoming APO letters will be handled till the end
I finally left Honolulu on Feb 19 and reached Guam that night after two stops on
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coral islands. At mid-day of the following day we were off again for Manila. As we approached the city we rode into an "air-pocket"
or down draft. We had our belts on however and were not thrown about. The loose baggage rose a foot or two into the air
and everything loose in the tail of the plane was scattered about. We were given beds in the ATC billet.
Manila is a wreck. We were delayed in that city from Feb. 22 to Feb 25, we had little time for business as those days included
a holiday, a Saturday and a Sunday. We reached Shanghai at 2 p.m. on the 25th after a final clear view of the rice fields
of the Yangtze Valley. It has been raining ever since, however. We landed with great suddenness. Our breaks "froze"
and we promptly blew out four of the great tires of the landing gear and came to a sudden screeching stop and were met by
the "crash" cars. We were all strapped down, however, and no harm was done.
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Here in Shanghai I am in a comfortable hotel, the Park, and am sharing the room with Mr. Mooney. He was ready to leave Washington
when I was and tried to save time by going via London and Calcutta. He left Washington on Jun 21. I got off on Feb 6. We
arrived on the same plane on Feb. 25. I think I won the race!,--considering his head start.
I have been very busy here with the many errands I had accumulated and with numerous visits and interviews. I have already
been guest of honor at two dinners and there are more to come. In about three days I shall be ready to go into the field
to take a look. It will probably be a few days into April before I start for Korea, if I go there, or for home.
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Dr. Borcic has taken hold well. I enjoy getting about with him. He knows the Chinese and has their confidence.
I wish you were here to have a Chinese feast with me,--with pork in sour-sweet sauce, shark fins, etc. etc. The ordering
is done by the numbers of the items on the bill of fare,--and there are about 400 of them at the Sun Ya restaurant where I
ate this evening.
The city is a noisy, swarming place with its thousands of rickshaws, pedicabs, trucks, and pedestrians, and ordinary cars.
It is no easy matter to get about.