Memorial Day – 2015

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Last Letters Home

These letters have not been changed or edited for spelling or punctuation.

Civil War – 

Lindsey Buckner

Lindsey Buckner

The letter was written by a Kentucky man named Lindsey Buckner, who was selected to be shot in retaliation for the death of a Union soldier killed by Confederate guerrillas in his home state. “My dear sister,” Buckner wrote in late October 1864, “I am under sentence of death and for what, I do not know. … It is a hard thing to be chained and shot in this way; and if it was not for the hope I have of meeting you all in Heaven, I would be miserable indeed.

John Ross Wallar

John Ross Wallar

John Ross Wallar, 15 year old drummer boy, while injured wrote: “Dear Sister father Mother and friends I received your letter But I don’t think I Ever shall see another that you write this is Friday night But I don’t think I will Live to See Morning But My Kind friends I am a Soldier of Christ I will Meet you all in Heaven My Leg Has Bin taking of above My nee I am Dying at this time so don’t Morn after Me fore I Have Bleed and died fore My Country May God Help you all to pray fore Me I want you all to Meet Me in Heaven…My would Dresser is writing this Letter fore Me when you get this Letter write to Alexander Nelan fore I wont Live till Morning so good by My friends May God be with you all good by God Bless My poor Soul.”

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World War I –

Sgt. David Ker

Sgt. David Ker

Sgt. David Ker wrote his mother the day before the Saint-Mihiel attack in France: “Should I go under, therefore, I want you to know that I went without any terror of death, and that my chief worry is the grief my death will bring to those dear to me.
Since having found myself and Mary, there has been much to make life sweet and glorious, but death, while distasteful, is in no way terrible.
I feel wonderfully strong to do my share well,and, for my sake, you must try to drown your sorrow in the pride and satisfaction, the knowledge that I died well in so clean a cause, as is ours, should bring you. Remember how proud I have always been of your superb pluck, keep Elizabeth’s future in mind, and don’t permit my death to bow your head.
“My personal belongings will all be sent to you. Your good taste will tell you which to send to Mary.
“May God bless and keep you, dear heart, and be kind to little Elizabeth, and those others I love so well.
“David
“The end.”

***

World War II – 

Lt. Tommie Kennedy

Lt. Tommie Kennedy

Lt. Tommie Kennedy, after Corregidor, spent 3 years as a POW.  While aboard a Japanese prison ship, he wrote on the back of 2 photos which traveled from prisoner to prisoner until smuggled out in the heel of a boot and sent to his parents in late 1945.  He wrote: “Momie & Dad:  It is hard to check out this way with out a fighting chance but we can’t live forever.  I’m not afraid to die, I just hate the thought of not seeing you again.  Buy Turkey Ranch with my money and just think of me often while your there.  Make liberberal donations to both sisters.  See that Gary has a new car his first year hi-school.  I am sending Walts medals to his mother.  He gave them to me Set 42 last time I saw him & Bud.  They went to Japan.  I guess you can tell Patty that fate just didn’t want us to be together.  Hold a nice service for me in Bksfield & put head stone in new cematary.  Take care of my nieces & nephews don’t let them want anything as I want even warmth or water now.  Loving& waiting for you in the world beon.  Your son, Lt. Tommie Kennedy

***

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 These and other stories can found in “War Letters” by, Andrew Carroll.  If you have any letters you wish to share, including Iraq and Afghanistan, send them to Mr. Carroll @ P.O. Box 53250, Washington DC 20009 or visit http://www.WarLetters.us

Click on images to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes – 

William Ash – Dallas, TX; RC Air Force, WWII, 411 Squadron, ETO, POW

Michael Gillooley – Hudson, FL; US Navy (Ret.), 1st radioman to become a Craftsman

Lawrence Green – Suffield,ct; US Army, Korea, SVC/187th RCTMediumPic634249020853470000

Walter Gumula – Stuart, FL; US Navy, WWII, ETO, frogman (UDT)

Marl Hanna – Portland OR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 457th Artillery/11th A/B Division

Richard Lent – New Paltz, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 navigator

Taylor Marks – Independence, OR; US Army, Iraq, 2nd Btn/162nd Inf/Oregon National Guard

Charles Persson – Fanwood, NJ; US Navy, WWII

Delbert Savage – WA; US Army, WWII, Tech 5

Arthur Stickney – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, Vietnam, helicopter mechanic

Wardell Turner – Nanticoke, MD; US Army, Afghanistan, Sgt.

Earl Werner –  Mondovi, WI; US Army, Iraq, Sgt. 41 SpecTroops BTN/41st Inf Brigade Combat Team, Bronze Star

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Personal Note – i275258902_89590

Smitty, my father

Smitty, my father

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Note of interest – Walter Gumula, who recently passed away and is mentioned in the Farewell Salutes has his story told by Pacific Paratrooper in Intermission Story # 21 on 11 June 2014

And, William Ash’s story can be located on Pierre Lagacé’s site HERE!

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 25, 2015, in Current News, First-hand Accounts, Korean War, Letters home, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 149 Comments.

  1. Strong enough to raise a lump in this old man’s throat.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No more poignant words than these.

    Like

  3. These are very sad and very moving. Sometimes history forgets the human side of war. Maybe what we all should be reading is the letter of a 15 year old as he lies dying, rather than a story about who won what battle when.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so happy to have found this spot. Thank-you to all of you. Reading over the letters I noted the strength, love and concern for others and they were themselves under such terrible conditions and situations. We really have no idea how much was sacrificed. An army brat here and damned proud of it. Both parents in the Army. My father is 80 years of age, served in Vietnam and still won’t speak of it. I hold onto his tags. I love him and my mother(honorable discharge). I love all of you for fighting the good fight for all of us. All is said and done.

    Like

    • Thank you dropping in and sharing your story. Although it is a shame that your father will not talk or write down his experiences, it is understandable. I too am from a military family – Father, Smitty, Army, WWII/ uncle, USMC, Korea, Vietnam, and Cuban Crisi/ cousin navy, Korea/ son, first Gulf War/ aunt, civilian employee USMC – so I do understand it and do so many others who comment and read here. Any story you know of from family or neighbors, and friends is always welcome here, Ginger.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Impossible to press “like” because the letters are too terrible and sad, even while the love, bravery and acceptance of the authors shines through. We shouldn’t live this way. No one has to suffer or die. We need to stop war.

    Like

    • So very true, Gigi. Hopefully there will be some who read these posts, learn their history and remember – then will do their best to help stop it. But look at the streets in our country – protests, bottles thrown, fires started, bombs made to blow up the Super Bowl – I don’t think very many learn.

      Like

  6. This post brought tears to my eyes and yet warmed my heart for the sacrifice soldiers make for our freedom! Thank you for creating a space here that honors our heroes! Have a blessed weekend coming up…and thank you again! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate you sharing your feelings towards both the post and our troops. I can only do my best to report what these brave forces have already done to keep us enjoying the freedoms we have [and some people abuse].

      Like

      • You provide us with information, and reminders! All of our children should have to read your blog as a course in school. I don’t think they are taught this, and I think it would be so valuable in shaping their views and ideals. I just want you to know that I really appreciate what you show us! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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