My father, Louis Joseph Moran Jr., got a pass out of high school in order to enlist. He became a repairer of radios for fighter planes, and was stationed in England. Here he is with some of his fellow soldiers. Louie is on the left.
Dad included almost 200 sketches in his journal. I had the images photographed with a process camera to get the highest possible resolution. These are the unretouched originals. What do you think? Should I clean them up for publication, or do the lines, hole punches, and handwriting make them feel authentic?
One of the things I love best about my Dad's journal is that it presents such a different view of army life. A favorite pastime for him and his colleagues was collecting dictionaries! You can see the Webster's on the shelf in the upper left.
When they visited a town, they made a beeline straight to the... museums! Not the pubs, contrary to expectation. Remember that my Dad was an ordinary guy, not even really a high school graduate. In the boring times between fixing radios, he and his fellow soldiers took correspondence courses.
My Dad recounts some painful stories in the journal. Fighter pilots were a tough breed, sometimes bordering on crazy. Many didn't make it back to base. Commanders could be admired, indifferent, or a**holes. But in the middle of the boredom and the horror, my Dad also saw and recorded the beauty.
Louie recounts many funny stories in the pages of the journals. He remained in the army through the occupation, and he and his buddy asked to drive a command car, leading a convoy into Germany. Granted permission, they realized as they climbed in that each had thought the other knew how to drive!
Over the next few weeks, I hope to type up and assemble my Dad's journals for publication. I'll continue to share snippets, if people are interested. Were you or a family member in World War II? What stories have you heard? My Dad never talked about his army years, except to share the occasional funny anecdote. Only after he died did we learn about his journals. Do you have family treasures you are thinking about publishing? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.
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Three great blogs, presented here in the grand tradition of The Blog Scratchers' Union! #TBSU