30 July, 2012

30 July 1945


438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
30 July, 1945

My dearest and only Sweetheart –

Before I go any farther – let me tell you that you are my heart alone and I love you as I’ve never loved anyone before, darling. And if that isn’t clear, dear – it means that I think of you night and day and my thoughts and plans concern only you!

You asked me in a recent letter from Portland about the Bronze Star. I’ll send you the citation, sweetheart. The actual ceremony is tomorrow – and a whole raft of us in the battalion are getting them. I’ll probably send the Medal to my mother, dear – if you don’t mind. I think that’s the customary thing to do. She’ll give it to us later – O.K.?

Rumors, rumors – but no facts yet. Things are popping all around us and outfits are being cut up, broken up, replaced etc. We’ll get it too – and I think – soon – but for the present – nix.

But how did I change the subject? Darling I love you and you me – and after all – that’s what matters most. Love to the folks.

And all my everlasting love,


about Starving Men in Minnesota

Samuel Legg, Conscientious Objector
lost 35 pounds in 5 months

The following article, titled "Men Starve in Minnesota", was published in LIFE magazine, Volume 19, Number 5, published on 30 July, 1945.
In a 40-room laboratory housed in the football stadium at the University of Minnesota, 34 young men are being systematically starved. They are conscientious objectors from all over the U.S. who volunteered as "guinea pigs" in a scientific study of starvation. Its immediate object is to find out the best way to rehabilitate the hunger-wasted millions of Europe.

Last February the men were launched on a frugal diet of two meals a day consisting mainly of bread, potatoes and turnips, which approximates the protein-deficient food rations of Europe. Average daily value of the meals is 1,600 calories as compared with the 3,300 calories required by these men prior to the diet. Moreover, the volunteers must do work every day which requires the expenditure of 3,300 calories. Result is that they have lost about 22% of their weight, their average pulse rate has dropped to 35, their hearts have shrunk and their blood volume is down 10%.

Dr. Ancel Keys, Project Director,
measures chest of James Plaugher, volunteer

Mentally the men feel a general lethargy, having little interest in conversation or sex. They complain of feeling "old." They report an inability to keep warm, average body temperature being 95.8 degrees F.

Coordination efficiency was also tested

The single most consuming thought uppermost in their minds, day and night, is food. They love to plan meals, spend hours with lavishly illustrated cookbooks and have guilty nightmares in which they dream of feasting on huge meals.

Never allowed to leave the laboratory alone, men use a "buddy" system when they go to town in search of gum, which helps them forget hunger. On one excursion one of the men passed a bakery which wafted delicious odors of cakes and pies out to the street through its exhaust fan. Unable to withstand these rich temptations, he rushed in, bought a dozen doughnuts, and handed them out to kinds in the street. They ate them gratefully as he watched with obvious relish.

Now in the diet's sixth and last month, the volunteers soon will be given a three-month rehabilitation diet. They will be divided into four groups and each group will be given different supplementary foods to determine which foods have the best effect in restoring wasted flesh and energy. Many of the men wish to go to stricken areas to add their firsthand knowledge to the problem. So far, legal and diplomatic obstacles have thwarted previous attempts to get abroad.

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