Memorial Day is coming and I thought possibly you would be interested in this story.
It's not a typical World War II story of dangerous missions or some narrow escape. It's a story that expresses deep emotion during a time of turmoil and strife in a young man's life.
I'm sure any serviceman who has shipped out to war felt as I did that day.
I was with my bomber crew on the Ile De France, a troop ship, converted luxury liner, leaving from Boston harbor for England. It was a very cold, gray winter day with snow flurries as we stood on the deck looking back at the shoreline as the ship pulled out of port.
Although there were hundreds of us on deck watching our homeland slowly fading away no one said a word. There was dead silence except for the sound of the ship slicing through the water.
That was when the realization of what was happening truly hit me. I realized that in a few months I could be one of those casualties we often heard about. I was overwhelmed with the thought that I might never see my country or my fiance and family again.
Prior to this I was too busy, too excited or too young and naive to give it serious thought. For the first time in my 20 years of life I felt the possibility of mortality. We all grew up fast in those war years.
While my emotions were overtaking me I wrote the following words, which for some reason made me feel better. I mailed it, in a letter to my fiance, to whom I have been married for 68 years this July. She still has the original.