1944: Year of Retrenchment — A Second Start

William and Philinda had a very rocky start in 1944. Philinda had her first serious bout of what was later diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder. Understandably, Philinda's symptoms do not appear in contemporary letters, and family conversations in later years seldom touched on the events or mentioned details of treatment.

From what can be pieced together based on letters and sketchy later explanations, problems began to emerge in late 1943, apparently associated with fevers, which of course were common and expected in Lagos. It was general practice in Nigeria to hospitalize patients with fevers, so nobody was surprised when Philinda was found in the hospital a couple of times. But apparently there were unusual symptoms which caused William enough concern that he requested emergency medical leave to return to the United States.

This was granted and the two were given passage on a British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) seaplane in late February, 1944, from Lagos via Freetown, Lisbon, and Bermuda, to Baltimore. In Baltimore, they were met by Philinda's father and step-mother who accompanied them to New York.

In New York, Philinda consulted a well-respected specialist who prescribed a course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). This treatment had only been introduced in the United States in 1940 by its Italian developers, and was considered state-of-the-art. While it subsequently became controversial, ECT's effects were very positive for Philinda. She experienced almost fifteen years of relief from bipolar symptoms, as can be seen from the buoyancy of her very prolific letters from Venezuela (1944-1948) and Guatemala (1951-1954).

During a period of treatment and recovery involving two series of ECT administrations, William and Philinda spent most of March through June in Washington, D.C. William received his assignment to Caracas, Venezuela, in March, but was unable to leave the United States until he received official draft deferment status from his local Draft Board in Newark, Ohio. Once that was received in mid-June, arrangements were made for the trip to Venezuela.

That trip began in Washington on July 6, by train to Miami. There, after a few days wait, William and Philinda boarded a Pan American Airways seaplane flight from the same airport at which Philinda had worked in 1942. They arrived in the port of La Guaira, Venezuela, on July 10, 1944, to begin the next chapter of their life together.

1944 Chronology

  • At the New Year William and Philinda are in Lagos after enjoying what seems from their letters to be a happy holiday season. (Letter 1944-01-14)
  • January 7, however, Philinda enters the hospital for "flu" (Letter 1944-01-14)
  • January 14 Philinda returns home. (Letter 1944-01-31)
  • January 20 Philinda enters the hospital again. (Letter 1944-02-06)
  • about February 24 William and Philinda leave Lagos on a BOAC seaplane en route to Baltimore via Freeport, Sierra Leone; Lisbon, Portugal; and Bermuda (Telegram 1944-02-21 and Note 1944-02-24)
  • about February 27 William and Philinda arrive in Baltimore, go to New York with Philinda's father and mother-in-law. About this time Philinda begins ECT treatment
  • by March 20 Philinda has completed her first course of ECT treatments. She and William are in Washington, staying at the Raleigh Hotel, which coincidentally is managed by Curt Schiffeler, husband of William's mother-in-law's sister. William receives his next assignment: American Consulate General, Caracas, Venezuela (Letter 1944-03-27)
  • March 27 Philinda has suffered a relapse and returns to New York for further treatment (Letter 1944-03-27)
  • May 19. By the time she writes letter 1944-05-19 Philinda is clearly regaining her physical and mental strength
  • June 19 Newark, Ohio, Draft Board grants William official draft deferment (Letter 1944-06-20)
  • July 7 William and Philinda leave Washington by train heading to Miami (Letter 1944-07-12 is William's account of the trip to Caracas)
  • July 8 arrive Miami
  • July 10 William and Philinda fly by Pan American seaplane to Venezuela via Cienfuegos, Cuba; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Ciudad Trujillo, Dominican Republic; CuraƧao, Dutch West Indies; La Guaira, Venezuela, and Caracas. (Letter 1944-07-15 gives Philinda's perspective of the journey, together with her initial experiences in Caracas)

Lagos, Nigeria : 1944 Documents

Index to months in 1944 with Lagos, Nigeria documents
January February  

Lagos, Nigeria Documents of 1944-January

DateIDFromToWhere FromNotes
1944-01-02 L-277 Lillian F. "Ninnie" Rhoads to William Laurence Krieg Miami, Florida Dark blue ink on medium-thin paper.
1944-01-11 L-316 W. Madufor to William Laurence Krieg c/o No., 20, Roman Catholic Street, Lagos From W. Madufor. Neat slanted handwriting, blue ink on notepaper with fine gray ruling.
1944-01-14 L-319 William Laurence Krieg to Krieg-Campbell family American Consular Service, Lagos, Nigeria Sequence No. 1 (Last No. For 1943: 16) P.1 American Consular Service letterhead Pica type dark carbon on airmail paper P.2 initialed in black ink Carbon copy on file
1944-01-20 L-322 Laurence Montgomery Krieg to William Laurence Krieg Newark, Ohio Pica type light ribbon on thin paper. P.1 US letter size P.2 US legal size, signed in black ink
1944-01-31 L-324 William Laurence Krieg to Krieg-Campbell family Lagos, Nigeria WLK hand blue-black ink on 3x5-inch note slip. Torn in handling along lower edge.

Lagos, Nigeria Documents of 1944-February

DateIDFromToWhere FromNotes
1944-02-06 L-325 William Laurence Krieg to Krieg-Campbell family American Consular Service, Lagos, Nigeria Sequence No. 2 P.1 American Consular Service letterhead Pica type dark ribbon on airmail paper P.3 initialed in black ink followed by 5-line PS in black ink dated Feb. 8 '44.
1944-02-08 L-326 Laura Philinda Campbell Krieg to Family of Laurence M. Krieg Lagos, Nigeria 02-22 Black ink fine nib on standard weight Foreign Service note paper. One sheet folded to make small booklet. Writing on first and third faces.
1944-02-17 L-327 William Laurence Krieg to Laurence Montgomery Krieg 4 Broad Street, Lagos, Nigeria P.1 Copy of Form for Reduced Rate Plain Language Telegram, Cable and Wireless Limited. Pica type dark carbon on green-printed form. P.2 Teleprinted paper tape purple ribbon glued to Western Union telegram form. Dated "1944 FEB 18 PM 5 14"
1944-02-21 L-328 William Laurence Krieg to John Wood Campbell, Sr. 4 Broad Street, Lagos Nigeria Copy of Form for Reduced Rate Plain Language Telegram, Cable and Wireless Limited. Pica type medium carbon on green-printed form.
1944-02-22 L-329 General Bruce and "Hammy" Hamilton to William Laurence Krieg family H.Q. 82. (W.A.) Division, W.A. Forces From Gen. Bruce, CO, 82 Division (British Army) and "Hammy" Hamilton, Gen. Bruce's Aide de Camp
Black ink on cream note paper
Apparently delivered by nmessenger
1944-02-24 L-330 A. E. Grantham, Acting Governor of Nigeria to William Laurence Krieg Lagos, Nigeria Black ink on green deckle-edge note paper. From A. E. Grantham, Acting Governor of Nigeria
P. 1 letterhead in blue printing (struck out) Vale Royal, Half Way Tree, Jamaica.
Year added to date WLK printing (in parenthesis).
P.2 in WLK printing under signature "A. E. GRANTHAM, ACTING GOVERNOR"
Other Lagos, Nigeria Materials