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Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.

Take-off from Washington,   pp. 8-9 PDF (485.7 KB)

Page 8

Take-off from Washington
We arrived in Washington at 1:30, had luncheon at the Carlton
Hotel, and started on our round of official visits. At the Army
Transport Command we received our orders and instructions to
check in for briefing. Immediately we ran into No. 1 difficulty-
we had not received our final typhoid inoculation. It was promptly
administered, much to Johnnie Hanes' sorrow.
I told the Lieutenant-who formerly worked for our company-
to tell the medical officer maybe I could stand better an inoculation
of ice-water rather than that sickening typhoid puncture. Don't
know what I received, but I did not feel it.
Another difficulty was that we had no French visa-the French
Embassy told us that they could not give us one for 72 hours.
A little official pressure was applied and our conducting officer
took our passports to the French Embassy. That evening our
passports were given back to us, properly stamped.
The Lieutenant gave us advices about our trip, and we pur-
chased insurance ($10,000 maximum). Then the Lieutenant said
he was very much embarrassed, but was required to ask for 50c
to cover our meals while enroute to Paris. I told him this was
rather exorbitant, that I had never before spent a half-dollar to get
from America to France!
After clearing all official papers we returned to the Pentagon
Building-miles and miles of floor space-it would take a week to
orient oneself and ascertain how to get from one office to another.
Saturday, July 21
8 a.m. breakfast. Arrived at the airport at 10 a.m. There we
were shown a very delightful motion picture on "ditching"; the
film shows, if the plane is forced down over water, how to handle
yourself on the collapsible life rafts, adjust your Mae West life-
belt, etc.
Our plane was on the field-a Douglas C-54, what the Army
calls a "plush-seat" job. They have two types of planes for over-

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