In Their Own Words

“All in all I would like to be appreciated as a man” Recently Virginia Tech and the National Endowment for the Humanities launched a project to transcribe the handwritten comments of a thousands of soldiers who responded to a survey during and in the aftermath of World War II. The results were published in 1950 under the title The American Soldier, a four volume series by … Continue reading In Their Own Words

Like Minds — A WWII Reading List

By now I imagine and, having done my part, fervently hope, everyone knows 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. If not, there’s one more opportunity to catch up on the events, the issues, and the ordinary and extraordinary people who lived through the war years. On August 30, the New York Times devoted its Book Review to books … Continue reading Like Minds — A WWII Reading List

The Last Airman to Die in WWII

From a even a quick glance at Anthony J. Marchione’s photo, the man’s youth is evident. He was a handsome young man, too, slightly built, all of five foot six and 125 pounds. He’d celebrated his twentieth birthday in Okinawa on August 12, 1945, an American airman in the prime of his life. Three days later, the Japanese surrendered. Six days later he was dead. … Continue reading The Last Airman to Die in WWII

The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

Georgia Men Among the Crew of the Ill-fated USS Indianapolis in 1945 Seventy-five years ago, only minutes past midnight on July 30, 1945, the Imperial Japanese submarine I-58 launched two torpedoes in the dark waters of the south Pacific. They sped toward the USS Indianapolis striking her in the bow and at midship. The story of what transpired following the attack is well known to navy veterans and WWII historians and … Continue reading The USS Indianapolis + 75 Years

The Three-War Survivor’s League

Just over one thousand men. That’s how many veterans the Veterans Administration estimates still remain of the 72,000 who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, according to an article by the Panama Herald in May 2019. One of the three-war-veterans was one-hundred-year-old US Air Force Col. Charles McGee (pictured above) who helped toss the coin for the 54th Super Bowl (and 100th NFL season) in … Continue reading The Three-War Survivor’s League

The King and the War

Despite a desire to serve their country in any capacity they could, at the start of the Second World War the military was reluctant to allow blacks to enlist. If they did enlist local draft boards often passed blacks over in favor of white recruits, resulting in fewer than 4,000 black troops and a mere dozen black officers in the ranks in late 1941. Eventually, … Continue reading The King and the War

WWII on Main Street

75 years after the war ended my hometown unveiled a memorial to World War II veterans, and veterans of all wars. On the anniversary of D-Day a crowd (yes, a crowd) in relatively tiny Cumming, Georgia braved the near-winter breezes and just a sprinkling of sun to view the ceremony outside city hall on 100 Main Street. Perhaps fittingly, for today’s generation, the sculpture recognized … Continue reading WWII on Main Street

Research for Authors

Sometimes an author’s research takes her to a place she’d rather not go. Still to ensure a book, a story, an article, or a blog post rings true, authors must delve deep behind the scenes, no matter how squeamish the subject matter. As what I call a natural born researcher, I love to dig for the little details that bring a scene to life. For … Continue reading Research for Authors

On Veterans Day: Keepsakes

Historians have traced the origin of dog tags to ancient times. Roman Legionnaires wore a lead emblem bearing their name on a rope they tied around their necks. The Chinese used them in the mid 1800s and the Prussians in the Franco Prussian War in the 1870s. But in America, Civil War soldiers resorted to writing their names on scraps of paper they carried in … Continue reading On Veterans Day: Keepsakes