Everett Smith’s scrapbook

  Everett A. Smith at Camp MacKall, NC

During my project of  transposing my father’s scrapbook into my computer to preserve it, my research into the 11th Airborne, the Pacific War and the state of the world during that era grabbed my interest.  I amassed a nice size manuscript with bibliography.  And I do not appear to be alone in this interest.

I discovered a multitude of forums and websites dedicated to that era and people searching frantically for any information on their relatives.

In the posts to follow I will include not just the photographs, information and portions of letters (if not all) from the scrapbook, but the political aspects of the past that brought the world to such an explosive state.  I will make every attempt to only post the facts.  Should I find that I wish to make my own opinions on a matter, I will state it as so.

I sincerely hope you not only enjoy this site, but also locate information that is helpful.

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About gpcox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty."

Posted on September 5, 2012, in Introduction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. Every time I visit your blog, I wish you could pay a visit to the fascinating Australian War Memorial in Canberra. It is a beautiful memorial and, even more, it is a vast museum covering all the wars that involved Australian forces. It has lots on the Pacific. I think you’d spend days there.

    • I would very much like to visit, not only Australia, but New Zealand as well. Smitty always wanted to get back there too. I have 2 problems, money (of course) and my other half WILL NOT get on a plane.

  2. thank you for the support, it is really appreciated!
    keep up the good work on this incredible project gp – a very welcome thing in this world

    • Thank you, Frank. I feel we all benefit from knowing history – even if it hurts a little. I also am trying to make certain all veterans are remembered.

  3. Hi GP! Really nice to meet you and read the Korean War posts. You liked my “Vermont Lighthouse” post last Sept. (although I don’t know how/why you got there), and it’s taken me this long to pay attention. Humble apologies! Dad, 85, used to share stories with us when we were younger, and sadly over time, those discussions stopped – busy lives, some grandchildren… However, being the voracious reader I am, Dad turned me on to 2 books: Halberstam’s “The Coldest Winter” and Brady’s “The Scariest Place in the World”, both outstanding. But now you’ve added even more informative documentation, and I think it’s great!!! He’s blind now, so unfortunately, turning him on to your site won’t do any good. I, however, will stay in better touch. Oh, and I REALLY like that you pay tribute to those gone but not forgotten – a perfect “addendum” to each post.

    • I appreciate you getting back to me. I’m afraid I found The Coldest Winter a bit one-sided in its bias, but I had to note it since I took some facts from it. Brady is excellent, as is Weintraub’s, MacArthur’s War, and many other of my references. But, back to your father, I am very sorry he has lost his sight, but as many other veterans his age, Sheri deGrom and her VA hospital get the vets together and someone reads the blog to them. Beyond what she and I ever dreamed, that project blossomed into field trips, free dinner offers at local restaurants for the vets and much more. Cherish each moment with your father and if you locate any data on his unit, time served, etc. – feel free to bring it here to the comments.

  4. You have a great site here, and a great tribute to your dad. Thanks for dropping by the 20th Preventive Medicine Archives, and for liking the humor post. Love your work.

  5. Like your intro to how your blog began, and what you’re doing for your father is very inspiring. I love reading your posts. Thanks for sharing the true stories and informing us about that era.

  6. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.
    Blessings, God is Good!

  7. What a powerful thing to do. Good for you and good for the world.

  8. Good morning gp.

    Thank you for visiting my site and for the likes.

    A bit of information about me and mine is that my great-Uncle volunteered to take my Grandfather’s place in the draft at the start of WW2.

    My Grandfather had 2 young children at home, my father and aunt.

    My great-Uncle subsequently was killed in action in the Pacific. I’m not sure on which island, however.

    I suppose I should take the time and research it.

    I appreciate your site, and your Father’s service in the military.

    You have a wonderful website here, and it’s been a pleasure reading it.

  9. Very interesting blog you have here! What a great project. Thanks for visiting mine and the like.

  10. Hi, and thanks for liking my post on my father’s handkerchief. My grandfather and his brothers all fought in WWII as part of the Colonial British army – I’m from India – so reading your blog has been fascinating.

    • Thank you very much. After I get thru Korea, I’ll be going back to the start of WWII and then there should be more posts involved with your theatre of operations. Hopefully, it will be even more interesting to you.

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog today.As you may have noticed, I’m trying a similar exercise in blogging to honor and capture my parents’ lives before all the papers and photos turn to dust. I hope I can do them justice as you have to your father.

    • I’m sure you will. When it comes from the heart, it shows and your readers will feel it. Thanks for dropping in – and at the beginning no less, I wish more would start here.

  12. I have decided to attempt to go back to the very beginning for a better understanding. Hope I can keep track!

  13. himalayan epiphany

    great blog! I see we are engaged on a similar exercise as I am attempting to write my Dad’s memoirs including his childhood during the war in Kenya. As you say in some of your previous comments- it’s really important to capture some of this personal history which so easily gets lost but is invaluable in our wider understanding of historical events.

  14. Out of context but I’d like to share my personal experience with you.
    I spent 2 months, recording interviews with my relatives on a dicta phone.
    Summed up eventually -
    It will take tracing your ancestors to figure what makes you, YOU. We’ve inherited not just physical features but also unique characteristics. Importantly, we are living our ancestor’s unfulfilled desires, not to be misconstrued as personal ambitions born out of our imagination. To derive : I am not a rebel or outcast in the family as labeled. No one is

  15. Wow, what a cool project you have here! Family history is important to me to so glad you are preserving it for others as well as your own family. Thank you!

    • Thank you. As a young woman, you have the perfect opportunity to begin collecting data for the future. Ask your family members questions, you might be surprised at the answers.

  16. Great blog! I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. No obligation. :) http://marnycopal.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/good-day-sunshine/

    • I sincerely thank you and hope you will not be offended when I refuse. I consider this site a tribute to the troops and do not feel they belong here. I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings and you will continue to read.

  17. fantastic idea, brilliant. I am going to sit back and enjoy this site when i have a beer in my hand and my feet up- well done in bringing the stories to life. will follow.

  18. Hi! I have been quietly, but thoroughly, enjoying your blog. So, to share your blog with people who visit my blog, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. I hope you can accept. Either way, you can read about it at http://tkmorin.wordpress.com/awards/ Thanks for keeping us entertained, at the very least! :)

    • I really do want to thank you for the kind thought and comments, but I regretfully decline. I feel the awards are basically chain letters, I do not think they belong in a non-fiction blog. I sincerely hope you will not take offense and will continue to read this site. I only truly go off track on holidays and even then it is about the troops, not me.

  19. Thanks for ‘liking’ my posts! :) You have such an informative blog going on.. Very interesting!

  20. This is absolutely brilliant! I’ve read a couple of entries and I’m already in love with your blog. I look forward to reading more.

    - H

    P.S. Thank you for stopping by and liking my work. It really meant a lot. Do come back to know what happens with R.W.

  21. wow this site is wonderful and full of information and history! I was a WWII history nut in middle school I’m glad you liked my post. I’ll keep coming back here for sure!

    • I’m very happy you like the site – and dad said no one would ever be interested in his letters, etc. You have a lot of fun interests, so I’ll be back at your site as well.

  22. Thanks for stopping by and liking my William Tell post. You have an interesting blog. My father who just passed last year at 92 was in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific. He did Morse code. I don’t know much about his service, but I know that he was on Tonga and Fiji. An interesting time when the world went mad.

    • Thank you for stopping back. I am sorry for your loss,around here we give a farewell salute. It is a shame you don’t know more of his service, I have very little info on Fiji and Tonga (just did some quick research for a reader).

  23. Greetings! I’ve been studying World War 2 most of my life (about 45 years now), and though I have spent more time on the European Theatre, I am always looking for more information on the Pacific Theatre.
    Thank you VERY much for stopping by on my recent post about “Lady Be Good”. I’ll work my way through your old posts, but I’ll ask here as a shortcut – have you any information on the Aleutians campaign? I do plan on doing at least one post this year about the retaking of the islands of Attu and Kiska, and perhaps another about the 11th Air Force. Any information you could pass along would be VERY deeply appreciated.
    Thanks again for stopping by!

    • Hey, thanks for stopping in. Yes, Once I finish with with what I compiled in the original manuscript – I’ll be starting from the beginning and most certainly Alaska will have at least one post. Hope you enjoy your visits.

  24. Thanks a lot for passing bye and liking my post and congratulations on having this fabulous idea for a blog!

  25. Thank you for stopping by my blog (The Writer’s Stuff)! I appreciate the support! I’ll be continuing the journals up through May 1945 over the next couple weeks, and see if I can find other related family memoirs to post after that. So keep your eye on the blog!
    This blog is a great concept; so many men who lived through the horrors of the wars didn’t really talk much about them, and with that generation’s passing many wonderful stories are being lost; “gather them while we can” is what I say!

  26. Thank you for opening my eyes. It is indeed wonderful, how this “blog” world works.A chance “like” out of the blue from you – a stranger, with a clear and strong voice – and suddenly I’m immersed in compelling history I might otherwise have overlooked. :)I thought you might appreciate this….

    http://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-leningrad-symphony/

  27. I too am the family historian and the idea of your blog is outstanding. What a wonder tribute to a life well lived, but more importantly what a wonderful preservation of history. You do him and especially those who have served proud! Marlene

  28. Thanks for the like of one of my posts.You have a wonderful site here and I wish you well and think that you are honoring your dad in a wonderful way!

  29. This is so cool! You’re telling your father’s story – fantastic!

  30. Wow, what an incredible site. I’m impressed and want to learn more. It’s important you are doing this to preserve your father’s experiences in WWII, I wish you luck and happiness even closure. WW II generation and others chose not to speak of their experiences. It was mistaken that talking was viewed as being wrong. I disagree. Healing comes from sharing, I tried to keep quiet, but it proved unhealthy.

    Thanks for checking out my blog. It’s my way to communicate with my only son. He’s not aware of my writing, but I hope one day he will understand.

    Finally, the picture of your father at Camp Mackall reminds me of my time spent training there. Good memories.
    PrepareTCO

  31. “In my day, students were taught the history that was printed in their textbooks. Today – technology and open acrchive material enable anyone to search for both sides to any story”

    Today ‘history’ is no longer printed in their textbooks and good luck locating ‘the other side’ in your query. The most lucrative search engine is also the most government friendly.

    • Japanese archives can be found as well, it just takes persistence. Also, if you continue reading, my father had an open mind about the enemy and taught me to always look for both sides of the story.

  32. Thanks so much for liking little Tip!

  33. GP~ I know you’re busy witu the war and all~ however, Mom would like to know how you are coming along with your Liebster Award to-do list….
    Keep up the fab writing!
    Kassie aka “Mom”

  34. It is a fascinating intriguing and tragic part of our world history. I look forward to reading more of this personal story of your relatives.. Am a modern history buff and this period of history has always grabbed my attention. Well done!

  35. I referred your stories to another WWII researcher; his uncle Billy was in the 11th A/B as well.

  36. Do you know this blog?

    http://p47koji.wordpress.com/2012/05/

    I am starting to read it.

  37. Last comment for now…

    One of my blogs.

    http://no23squadron.wordpress.com/about/

    You don’t have to read all 105 posts.

  38. A reblogué ceci sur Lest We Forget and commented:
    Sharing knowledge

    • It’s amazing how many people feel – oh, who wants to hear my story – I wish we had more from the men themselves, but if we can’t at least us children and, grandchildren, etc. can do our best to piece the stories together.

      • I got interested in history and aviation when I was 10 years old back in 1958. I was coming home from school when I stopped at a men’s store. The owner had model airplanes in display. B-17s and all.

        I got hooked!

        I later became a history teacher.

        I only taught for two years out of 34. When I retired I decided to write the story of my wife’s uncle. In a family reunion he said little about him. When we talked about his brother Jean who was injured on D-Day, he dropped this…

        I was aboard HCMS Athabaskan…

        I knew nothing about that ship!

        So I starting writing about it on a blog: Souvenirs de guerre. It was in French. I made an English version because so many people were writing me about their fathers who were sailors on the Athabaskan. They did not speak French. So I wrote Lest We Forget to pay homage to their fathers.

        The rest is history!

        You can now understand more why I am avidly reading your blog.

  39. My father never went to war since he was too young. But I found someone who went to war. My wife’s uncIe.

    I started writing about his ordeal on this blog.

    First post…

    http://athabaskang07.wordpress.com/2009/08/27/lest-we-forget/

    It never stopped since then, and more blogs evolved from it through people who wrote me and shared their experience of war as veterans or relatives of veterans.

    Thanks for sharing knowledge.

  40. Hey thanks for the like on my blog, you have a great blog here.

  41. Stories like Smitty’s need to be told so that the truth is out there for others to know. How can we improve civilization and learn from the past if the account we have been given is not a correct one? The youth today is not as fragile nor innocent as it was back then, they can handle the truth. Maybe it will give them pause to look at their life differently and see the value of life itself or even view their own family more clearly…put things into proper perspective so to speak.

    • You’re quite right. Many people do not even know that the Army was in the Pacific, only the Marines. The schools are not really up to par in their history corricullum.

      • WE do have a role in each telling our version of “history” but every story is told with that person’s individual bias, so we can never be certain it is the “whole truth” But if we approach information gathering and pleasure reading with this precaution and knowledge, we should be able to sift through to the truth a bit better.

        • I agree. Sometimes it is difficult to keep the bias out, but I figure my opinion only counts in events I participated in and that is not the Pacific War. I try to maintain a reporter’s outlook.

  42. This is a great way to remember your father and his war service.

  43. Thanks for stopping at my blog.

  44. Thank you liking my 2012 Veterans’ Day post. What a wonderful project you have begun! History books give great information, but the personal histories of those who lived through the war need to be preserved.

  45. Outstanding job, it’s important. Just recently my wife has asked me to document my stories from the Cold War era and Afghanistan. I wasn’t to sure about the project but after reading some of your posts I realize the importance. I’m glad to see that you refer to your father as being cool, maybe my stories will help my children understand who I really am. Thanks.

    • Yes, ALL the stories are important. I was hesitant at first too – someone asked me “Who cares about some stranger?” -but as you can see, a lot of people care. My mistake was waiting so long to do it!! Get your story out there. The kids? Well… sometimes they have to grow up before they know us.

  46. What a work of dedication and love you have undertaken. I look forward to following your father’s story.

  47. Wanted to thank you for the ‘like’ on my post yesterday, but also after checking out your blog site, want to tell you it’s very cool.

  48. Thank you for remembering me.

  1. Pingback: Adoption papers | Our Ancestors

  2. Pingback: Who Remembers? | Lest We Forget

  3. Pingback: Souvenirs de guerre | Souvenirs de guerre

  4. Pingback: Why Veterans Seldom Talk About the War? | Lest We Forget

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