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SOUTH CAROLINIANA LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY SOUTH CAROLINIANA SOCIETY
MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION 2002
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Harry Stoll Mustard, Jr. Papers, 10 January 1944-23 October 1945
Eighty-eight manuscripts, 10 January 1944-23 October 1945, document the military experiences of South Carolina native Harry Stoll Mustard, Jr. (1913-1963), a physician serving with the U.S. Marines, First Battalion, Twenty?first Infantry Regiment, Third Division, in the Pacific theater during World War II.

Harry S. Mustard, Jr., was born in Charleston on 10 June 1913. Although his career choice was to be a doctor, after three years of undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University, Mustard decided to try his hand at farming in 1935. Two years of frustration with cotton and the dim outlook for the immediate agricultural future spurred him to a renewed interest in medicine. He fulfilled the necessary pre-medical requirements at the University of South Carolina, graduated from the Medical School of Duke University in 1943, and interned at Union Memorial Hospital, Baltimore, Md.

After America's entry into the war, Mustard signed with the U.S. Naval Reserve. He had an affinity for the sea, having traveled considerably in his undergraduate summers, and thought his service would be aboard ship. At the completion of his internship, he was commissioned as a lieutenant junior grade in the USNR. Then as now, however, the Navy also supplied field medical officers for the Marines, and Dr. Mustard received orders to report by 10 January 1944 to the Marine Barracks at Camp Lejeune, New River, N.C., for active duty at the Naval Hospital there. His letters, most of which are addressed to his parents, begin en route from Baltimore for training at Camp Lejeune and end with the start of his journey home from the Pacific.

In his writings, Mustard expresses both his and the average Marine's opinions on a wide variety of topics and situations from 4Fs at home and combat to the frustration and boredom of waiting. Though censored, his letters describe basic training, the cross country trip to San Diego, the voyage on a troop transport ship, islands visited, landings and combat on Guam and Iwo Jima, medical duties, ailments of the troops, camp life, environmental and hygiene conditions, wildlife, and recreational activities.

Mustard saw action with infantry battalions in the Guam and Iwo Jima campaigns, and his letters tell of such experiences as fighting off a night attack on his forward aid station - - accounting for two kills and a probable, B-25s accidentally strafing and bombing his unit, exploring caves with Marine scouts, and having a Japanese artillery shell land near him. "You'll never know how lucky I feel to be in one piece," he wrote from Guam (12 September 1944). On Iwo Jima American forces again faced stiff opposition-"When one sees their elaborate system of fortifications he wonders how in the hell anyone could break them, but these boys did, esp[ecially] our division" (5 March 1945). Mustard's firsthand accounts are in stark contrast with the "tame" newsreels the public and the Marines themselves saw of their activities.

During the campaigns Mustard was assigned to several different units, promoted to a full lieutenant, and also made battalion surgeon. He was awarded a Purple Heart for a slight shrapnel wound, but felt ashamed at getting it when he thought of all those that had lost their lives. "It is possible that a quick termination of the European war may get things settled out here before my time is up but I doubt it," Mustard wrote in July 1944. "The Jap is a tough nut and the war out here is no picnic in spite of the fact that the papers probably put it on the second page. I doubt if the casualty rate in Europe is anything like Tarawa or Saipan" (17 July 1944).

Returning from the war relatively unscathed, Dr. Mustard determined to specialize in pediatrics after he was discharged. He held various positions at Vanderbilt Medical School Hospital, Duke Medical School Hospital, and the Pediatrics Department of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Early in the 1950s he established his own pediatrics practice in Longmeadow, Mass. Despite being diagnosed with a heart condition, Mustard continued his practice, preferring to work as long as possible. He died on 22 February 1963 and is buried in Springfield, Mass.


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