For the Love of A Soldier


Freedom lies in being bold.
~Robert Frost

March 7, 1943:. We had fresh meat today, in the form of hamburgers, with beans, and everyone was more than satisfied. New shacks are going up all over the field, with materials from packing crates and scrap lumber of all kinds being used. We heard over the radio today, of the news of the big Jap convoy being destroyed in the Pacific, Go to it Boys!

June 9, 1943: There seems to be an epidemic among the forces in North Africa of dysentery, commonly known as the “G.Is” in army slang. They seem to have originated from these wild African flies. Again today, we had two missions to the island of Pantelleria, with the strict orders not to drop their bombs if a white cross is spotted, as they are expecting a surrender.

Last December, on the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I was thinking about the waning numbers of WWII veterans. There are so few of them still alive. On the 75th anniversary in 2016 there will be virtually none still with us.

My father served in the European Theater, 320th Bomber Group, 441st Bomber Squadron during WWII. He enlisted in July 1943 and was honorably discharged on September 28, 1945. I don't remember him talking about the war at all. Not one story. Nothing. He passed away in August 1996 taking along his war memories. I am proud of him.

As a tribute to him and all who serve our country so valiantly, I decided to do something to help. The 320th Bomb Group's website said they needed volunteers to transcribe war diaries before the originals and microfilm copies are ravaged by time. I immediately sent an email to volunteer, and a few weeks later diaries of the 443rd Squadron arrived.

May 12, 1943: They now have a Red Cross hut here on the field, which offers some means of relaxation for the men. Lt. Chesire, of the 444th, returned today after being adrift for some time. Six German prisoners were captured by our group today, after they had escaped from a prison camp. To most of us, it was our first glimpse of Germany’s “Supermen”.

For every soldier who has served or is serving our country, thank you from the bottom of my heart.


justabeachkat :


What a wonderful thing to volunteer to do! It sounds like something I would enjoy too. Send me some info if you can.

I know your Dad would be very proud of you too.

Vader's Mom :

Wow! I bet it was fun to read what all had been written. I used to love hearing my granddaddy talk about his memories. (Of course, I got the tame verison of them, but it was fun all the same.)

Susan :

That is so neat, Jill! Is this YOUR Dad? Or your Grandfather? I have two Uncles who were in WWII and both are now gone. It's so important to remember the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.

Blessings to you.

:-) Susan

Stephanie :

That is so awesome that you're transcribing for them. I bet it is very interesting (and sad) to read them. On our roadtrip this weekend we went to my nephew's graduation. One of the student's father was on his third tour in Iraq. The school had him attend the graduation live via satellite. When his face appeared on the Jumbotron the entire arena was on its feet clapping. It was very emotional.

So often we don't treat our servicemen and servicewomen with that kind of respect. We forget the sacrifices that they make every day to serve our country.

Jillian, Inc :

Hi Everyone. Thanks for your comments.

Kathy- if you go to the 320th Bomb Group site that I noted on my blog, there is a section about the diaries and volunteering. It's been so interesting.

Susan- Yes, this is my father.

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