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Historical 1945 Letter: Only Aircraft Survivor Reveals Agonizing Story From WWII

When finding old handwritten letters like this one, history often comes alive and seems much more personal regarding historical events.

Bomb drop photo from a B-17 flying fortress

Bomb drop photo from a B-17 flying fortress

My husband and I recently came into possession of a letter written to a deceased relative of ours. While we did not know the person who wrote the letter, we were captivated by the historical details of an event during World War II and its subsequent outcome.

Our relative had been in the service and was obviously a good friend of Rose who writes the letter. Our relative would never have kept it were that not the case. The handwritten script is on both sides of the 4-page story.

Marlyn was the sole and miraculous survivor of a mid-air collision between two bomber planes. We learn about his trials after being captured by the Germans. What transpires afterward in this riveting communiqué between two friends from that era is fascinating to read.

Since there is no one still alive that we can ask, we can only hope that the rest of Marlyn's days were less traumatic and that he had a good life outside of his service to our nation.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

Historical Handwritten Letter

With a date of Wednesday night, June 6, 1945, here is that letter as written. I have not corrected any spelling or punctuation errors. I did take the liberty of breaking the long narrative into some paragraphs so that it is easier to read, even if it was in the middle of a sentence.

"Dear Ann,

Marlyn has been home a week today don't know just where time has gone, he looks and feels just fine but had a plenty tough experience. It was just one of those miracles, all his crew were killed so far as anyone knows, and he was blown from the plane and saved himself.

It happened April 6th at 10:30 A.M. over Leipzig Germany, they had just dropped their bombs (6000 lbs of them) & were turning to return to England when the two bombers collided & exploded at 27,000 ft. Marlyn's flak suit wouldn't stay buckled on the shoulder so he had taken it off & the first tremble of the plane he put on his chute, it all happened in seconds.

When the planes exploded it blew off his left flying boot, tore off his left sleeve, broke his goggles unzipped his flying suit, blew off his electric gloves, & oxygen mask and the tail of the plane, of course without oxygen at that Alt. he soon lost consciousness.

In the few seconds he had, he remembers calling to the crew, feeling for his oxygen mask then telling us all goodbye only to come to at what he thinks about 10,000 ft falling in space face up, legs doubled up & arms hanging down (he says a body falls at 120 MPH.) but he managed to pull his rip cord and land safely in a german farmers hay field - the farmer & his family were planting potatoes near & came running & in 3 or 4 min. a home guard with a gun marched him 3 mi into Leipzig.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

Marlyn was using the pen but is through and going to bed now. He gets such heart broken letters from next of kin of his crew and they must all be answered. Its a tough job, the next of kin have all only rec'd "missing" & keep wondering and asking if there might be a chance that "my son my husband & my brother" might be living,

all Marlyn can say is what he was told by a German Major his was the only parachute from his plane and that they buried 12 men near a little church near Altonhoff but Marlyn didnt see their bodies so can't defenitely say, but feels they had so little chance to escape.

That waiting must be terrible, and the War Dept. cannot say they are dead until they find & identify their bodies.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

The G. Major asked Marlyn's age, name, our address & wanted information on flak, planes & etc. but Marlyn wouldn't tell him a thing so he put him in a cell alone with only a bench to lay on, no blanket & Marlyn lost his jacket so walked the floor & shook all night from shock and cold

then the next day was questioned again then that night they marched 25 mi. from 9 P.M to 6 A.M. to a larger prison where they stayed a few days, later being evacuated as the 3rd Army got closer, Marlyn said they could hear the guns getting closer, he was in four different prisons the last one our forces got so close before morning the building was hit twice so Marlyn & 2 other Air men, 2 Englishmen & one boy from South Africa decided to hide under the beds,

they'd been under the beds 3 hrs when 100 or so German guards marched 350 to 400 prisoners back but were in too much of a hurry to look good so left the six & after they'd gone, the boys went down & stayed in the basement, shells were coming thick & fast -

they kept their mouths open so the noise wouldn't hurt their ear drums & were soon released by the 3rd Army & then they got food & lots of it & the best german home in town to rest & sleep in but went to bed with their clothes on & guns in their hands as there were snipers, kept the shades pulled & didn't put on any lights.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

After being interrogated by our officials they (this was at Weimer Germany) were flown in a C 47 plane to Paris where the French Honor Guard met them they being some of the first released P.W.s - they spent 4 days & nights in and around Paris, slept in one of the best hotels with private bath,

Marlyn laughs when he tells how they looked, hadn't had their clothes off for 12 days & were so dirty, bare headed, unshaven, & Marlyn's clothes were bloody from his cut finger (his only injury) they must have felt out of place in a swanky hotel -

they were questioned in Paris & again in England - he's gone over it all so many times he hated to talk about it when he got home & was so tired after seven weeks of continual moving - he left England May 10th (on your birthday) & got home May 30th at 3 A.M. but needless to say when the phone rang at 2:30 it didn't take long to get dressed & go after him & we all stayed up then - Judy & Marlyn took a nap that day.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

Its sure swell having him home. He has 60 days & didn't even ask for it - goes to Santa Monica from here July 31st, He's changed some of course, I noticed it more at first - that life & such an experience is bound to change a fellow but he seems more like Marlyn each day.

He's nearly 6 ft & weighs 183 lbs. He was so uneasy, sober & different the first few days but now he's rested & has such fun mowing lawn, cleaning the car, riding bike & we have such a nice riding horse and saddle. All these boys enjoy that.

Beth gets into Portland 7:30 A.M the June 20th - we're all so glad shes coming, we all plan to go fishing & to the beach house.

Now if we could just hear from Beryl - its a month since we heard & the 1st Marine Div. is still fighting hard on Okinawa according to news tonight.

historical-1945-letter-only-aircraft-survivor-reveals-agonizing-story-from-wwii

Marlyn tells lots of interesting things about his trips, the countries, peoples, prisoners & the Air Corps - you'll have to have him tell you when you come out. He bought a few nice souvenoirs. Six teaspoons a fork, french perfume from that german home.

Souvenir teaspoon

Souvenir teaspoon

He rec'd a telegram from the Pilots wife Mrs (Ruth) Dominick Martino from Los Angeles yesterday asking him to call her immediately collect so he talked to her last nite.

Explained things but he could & says "I'm sorry to have to tell you Ruth that a German Major told me they buried 12 men from the two planes & she says I wouldn't believe a G. Major, I haven't given up hopes yet" -

but Marlyn said afterward to us - "Dom" didn't have a chance to get out alive with such an explosion - they talked a long time, she wanted all the details & asked if M. seen the plane after - & he did but not close the guard wouldn't let him & anyway he said he felt sick enough about it without going close, it was all in pieces - the tail came floating down not far from where Marlyn landed - he wonders how long he stayed in the tail or if he stayed in it at all - & after it all - he insists he still wants to fly.

They had a narrow escape the day before too - they started on a mission & got out over the channel & one motor started throwing oil & wabbling so they turned back - fog was so thick they couldn't see the tips of the wings - they all put on their chutes & had sent an SOS to their base & were about ready to jump into the channel when they sighted land & landed O.K. - he says after this experience he wouldn't have to stay in the Air Corps if he wanted to get out, they'd give him something else.

I says then why stay in there's safer jobs & he laughs & says "you know Mom I'll have to confess those first few nites in German prisons I about decided if I could find anyone that would marry me I'd do just that & settle down just as soon as I could but just as soon as I got out & up in a plane I changed my mind again & want to fly.

Exterior of a German Prison Camp, 1941

Exterior of a German Prison Camp, 1941

Amos & I laugh at him to think it took a german prison to give him the idea of settling down. He took a neighbor girl to the show tonight - he has two letters to answer in the morning - one from the mother of the Pilot & one from the father of the Engineer.

Mrs. Crawford wrote us three special deliveries - poor dear has given up hopes & Marlyn will visit her & Mrs. Martino.

This is all about Marlyn - hope you don't mind theres lots more we could tell but will have to wait. Judy is so happy M. is here we'll be taking some pictures. Hope you are fine & hear all good from all your folks.

Love Rose"

Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few. - September 1940

— British Prime Minister Winston Churchill

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2021:

Hi Dora,

Thanks so much! You certainly deserve your awards! We have a great group of writers here on HubPages! Congratulations to everyone who won the award mentions this year.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2021:

Hi Dora,

Thanks so much! You certainly deserve your awards! We have a great group of writers here on HubPages! Congratulations to everyone who won the award mentions this year.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 13, 2021:

Thanks again, Chitrangada. I appreciate it and feel very honored to have gotten that award from votes from fellow HubPage writers.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 13, 2021:

Peggy, I must add my CONGRATULATIONS on your Best Photographer Award. Yes, your pictures are outstanding and so is your prose. You deserve the recognition for your excellent contribution to this HP community and beyond.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 12, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

Thank you so much. I can think of others who deserve that award because of their fantastic photography. I always know that I am in for a treat when I read their travel articles which have taken me to places in Italy, Florida, Arizona, etc. Enjoy the balance of your weekend!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 11, 2021:

Came back to congratulate you Peggy.

Many congratulations for winning the Hubbie award. So well deserved.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 11, 2021:

Hi Denise,

I am sure a talented writer could envision writing a book about this incident and what came before and after it. I am glad you liked reading this letter. Thanks for your comment, and congrats on getting that hubber award for your article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 11, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

I am glad that your grandparents survived those turbulent days and got a fresh start. You must be proud of them!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 11, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

I am glad that your grandparents survived those turbulent days and got a fresh start. You must be proud of them!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 11, 2021:

Hi Peggy!

Came back to congratulate you for the Hubbie award.

My heartiest Congratulations on winning the Hubbie award, which is so well deserved. Enjoy the weekend, with celebrations.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 10, 2021:

What an incredible legacy. It was a miracle he survived at all. I'm so happy you shared this with us. Thanks. If you wanted you could write a whole novel based on this one letter and one incident.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 10, 2021:

Hi Linda,

It was a great discovery when we first came across this letter written in 1945. It portrays a fascinating story from that era! I appreciate your comment.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 10, 2021:

Thanks Peggy for your very kind words. Yes it would have been a great memento for the family. Sad though it got lost. During independence and partition, the country was in turmoil and my grand parents had to face a lot of hardships. They were lucky to survive it all and relocate down south and start afresh.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 09, 2021:

Hi Heidi,

You are correct in thinking that our electronic trails will educate people about our current thoughts, and what we were like in current times, far into the future.. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 08, 2021:

Hi MG,

So glad you liked reading this WWII story. Marlyn was fortunate to survive that experience. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 08, 2021:

Hi MG,

So glad you liked reading this WWII story. Marlyn was fortunate to survive that experience. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is a shame that you cannot find your grandfather's medal or certificate issued by Queen Victoria. It would have been a nice memento for your family of your grandfather's service in WWII. Thanks for reading this historical letter and making a comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is a shame that you could not locate your grandfather's certificate or medal from Queen Victoria after his service in WWII. It would have been a nice family memento to keep and cherish. Thanks for reading this historical letter from that time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is a shame that you could not locate your grandfather's certificate or medal from Queen Victoria after his service in WWII. It would have been a nice family memento to keep and cherish. Thanks for reading this historical letter from that time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is a shame that you could not locate your grandfather's certificate or medal from Queen Victoria after his service in WWII. It would have been a nice family memento to keep and cherish. Thanks for reading this historical letter from that time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Vidya,

It is a shame that you could not locate your grandfather's certificate or medal from Queen Victoria after his service in WWII. It would have been a nice family memento to keep and cherish. Thanks for reading this historical letter from that time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Manatita,

If the person is famous and is the subject of old historical letters, then perhaps they are worth some money. I think that a WWII museum might be happy to have this one.

I have donated an original letter and photo of a WWI airplane to one in Texas that related to WW1. They saw what I had written here on HubPages and contacted me. They asked for a copy. After consulting with my living relatives at the time, I donated the originals.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 07, 2021:

Hi Manatita,

If the person is famous and is the subject of old historical letters, then perhaps they are worth some money. I think that a WWII museum might be happy to have this one.

I have donated an original letter and photo of a WWI airplane to one in Texas that related to WW1. They saw what I had written here on HubPages and contacted me. They asked for a copy. After consulting with my living relatives at the time, I donated the originals.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 06, 2021:

What an amazing and moving historical record. You are very lucky to possess it. Thank you for sharing the letter, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2021:

Hi Audrey,

There were many sacrifices that people made back in that time. I am happy to see that this sole letter is getting the response it deserves. As you wrote, "Marlyn's letter is both heart-breaking and heroic." I hope he had a good life after his wartime experiences. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2021:

Hi Audrey,

There were many sacrifices that people made back in that time. I am happy to see that this sole letter is getting the response it deserves. As you wrote, "Marlyn's letter is both heart-breaking and heroic." I hope he had a good life after his wartime experiences. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2021:

Hi Bill,

There are not many people left from "the Greatest Generation" these days. My dad was a paratrooper in WWII, and fortunately, came back home. Thanks for reading this letter from that era, and leaving your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2021:

Hi Bill,

There are not many people left from "the Greatest Generation" these days. My dad was a paratrooper in WWII, and fortunately, came back home. Thanks for reading this letter from that era, and leaving your comment.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 06, 2021:

Wow, what a story! But I'm sure it's one that was not an isolated incident in that era.

I was watching an educational course on ancient history. We know the "official" stories from the works that have survived. But what about the regular people? What were their stories? Luckily, through archaeology, we can get a glimpse of their lives and thoughts. It's interesting that they weren't all that different than us. And, in relation to the story in the letter you shared, I wonder what people will learn about us and our stories from our social media and emails of today? What will future people think of our stories?

Thank you so much for sharing this! Have a relaxing Labor Day!

MG Singh emge from Singapore on September 06, 2021:

This is a wonderful article and article with great elan and ferver. Having been associated with aviation I enjoyed reading this article very much. People can understand the agony the crew must've gone through.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Nell Rose,

It is great that you have old letters from your uncle Ron who was in bomber command during that war. As you wrote, "they were all heroes" fighting for freedom. Thanks for scrolling down to find the comment box and entering your comment.

VIDYA D SAGAR on September 05, 2021:

Thank you for sharing this fascinating letter Peggy. Thia is a true glimse into history. It gives a first hand account of the trauma and suffering our soldiers have to endure during war. Meeting the parents and relatives of his comrades later must have been very tough for him. My grandfather also participated in world war II. But we could not retrieve either the medal or the certificate issued by Queen Victoria at the time. It would have been nice to have and cherish it, would have been an inspiration to the future generations. Have agreat day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

So many times letters like this one are discarded and lost over time. If some of them still exist in your family, try to locate them. You might discover some equally interesting history that should be preserved. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Brenda,

So many times letters like this one are discarded and lost over time. If some of them still exist in your family, try to locate them. You might discover some equally interesting history that should be preserved. Thanks for your comment.

manatita44 from london on September 05, 2021:

A remarkable story and quite a treasured possession. Don't these letters sell for thousands at auctions? You guys are lucky, Peggy. Don't tell too many. Peace!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Greg,

Your friend who obviously survived being on Okinawa must have had some stories to tell. I agree with you that men and women who defend our country deserve great honor. Thanks for your comment.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on September 05, 2021:

Marlyn's letter is both heart-breaking and heroic. This is the real thing and I can't imagine myself being in his position. Thank you for sharing this letter. We all need to be reminded of the sacrifices made during this terrible war.

Well done, Peggy.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Nithya,

He was surely put through the wringer, so-to-speak. I am glad to know that you enjoyed reading this historical letter. Those who fight to protect freedoms are to be lauded. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Rosina,

Yes, Marlyn certainly did experience many things after those bomber airplanes collided. It is a miracle of sorts that he survived to tell the story. I hope he was able to live out the rest of his days in peace sprinkled with many happy days as well. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Rosina,

Yes, Marlyn certainly did experience many things after those bomber airplanes collided. It is a miracle of sorts that he survived to tell the story. I hope he was able to live out the rest of his days in peace sprinkled with many happy days as well. Thanks for your comment.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 05, 2021:

What a great find, Peggy. The quote from Winston Churchill really is so true. I remember reading a book by Tom Brokaw, “Letters From the Greatest Generation” that really brings home the suffering and sacrifice that these men and women made. What a miracle for Marlyn to survive a mid-air collision and to make it home, simply amazing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

Thanks for reading the letter and leaving your comment. It really does bring a piece of history to life! Wishing you a beautiful day and night to come. I enjoyed your stars article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi Misbah,

Thanks for reading the letter and leaving your comment. It really does bring a piece of history to life! Wishing you a beautiful day and night to come. I enjoyed your stars article.

Nell Rose from England on September 05, 2021:

Hi Peggy, I had to scroll down to find a comment box as usual, but yeah found it! lol! I really loved this. We have old letters from my uncle Ron who was in bomber command and I totally understand the feelings that it brings. They were all heroes, great hub!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi John,

We also hope that Marlyn had a good life after his war service ended. It is amazing that he survived that mid-air collision when all the rest of the people died.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 05, 2021:

Peggy

This letter is a fascinating find.

It is sad to hear all those details, but it's an accurate account of his ordeal.

I'm sure my grandmother had letters from when my grandfather was in World War 11 but I don't know who would have them now.

I might ask around.

Thanks for sharing this one.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Good morning Chitrangada,

I agree with you that reading a personal account such as this is different than reading about WWII in history books. I am glad you enjoyed reading this old letter. A museum might be the best place to preserve it.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 05, 2021:

Peggy - this piece moved me to tears. As others have said, there’s no way to comprehend what war does to a person, how it moves and affects them forever. I once met and friended a man who was on Okinawa during the times mentioned in the letter. Meeting people like that, knowing them in person, gives even more meaning to and appreciation for the sacrifices these great folks made for all of us. I’m so glad you shared this letter with us. It’s like getting to know another person of that generation, really. Thank you so much.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 05, 2021:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

That must have been the way it was back in that era. He felt duty-bound to respond to those relatives of the men who died. I would like to think that he helped bring some closure to those families who were grieving. We will never know the outcome of his life. Hopefully, after his service ended, he had a good life. It sounds like he was a good guy.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 05, 2021:

Thank you for sharing this amazing historical letter. What an ordeal he had to face and to come out fighting fit and wanting to fly again! Thanks to such brave soldiers who fight for our freedom with great courage putting their own lives at risk. Coming out of such a traumatic experience and having to answer so many letters about what had happened on that fateful day must have been heart wrenching. Thank you for sharing this wonderful piece of history.

Rosina S Khan on September 05, 2021:

An amazing letter containing an interesting piece of history. The only aircraft survivor from WWII had a great story to tell. His sorrows and hopes were indeed fascinating. Thanks a lot, Peggy, for sharing.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on September 05, 2021:

Peggy, this was so interesting. This letter is an excellent find. It certainly brings history to life. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Take care and stay safe.

Blessings always!!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on September 04, 2021:

Thank you for sharing this, Peggy. It was so interesting to read such a letter. Marlyn was so fortunate to survive and I hope his life after this letter was written was a good one.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2021:

Hi Lora,

You nailed it on the head with your comment, Lora. What people who volunteer to be in service to our country endure for the sake of freedom is often not understood by the vast majority of people who do not take up that mantle of service. This letter gives a glimpse of what one person endured during that time. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2021:

Hi Liza,

I hope that this has inspired you to learn more about your husband's grandfather who served in WWII while he is still alive and able to tell you stories. My dad served as a paratrooper during that war but is now gone. So any questions I might have had cannot be answered. Letters like this are a part of history, but stories from those who are still alive are precious. Thanks for your comment.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 04, 2021:

What a wonderful find, Peggy!

I really appreciate you for sharing this historical letter with the readers. It is indeed a treasure, and should be preserved. We have read everything about the WW 2, in the history books, but to read it from those, who witnessed it, is truly enlightening.

Thank you for sharing.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 04, 2021:

This is really quite amazing. It must have created so much pressure to have been questioned by so many relatives of those who died. He was already dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of war, almost dying, being captured, etc.

Lora Hollings on September 04, 2021:

An amazing story Peggy about such a brave member of our air force who was so willing to put his life on the line for the freedom that we enjoy today and that we often take for granted. You really wonder how many can ever really go back to a normal life after what they experience. Many do commit suicide or are never able to recover from the emotional and psychological wounds of war.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2021:

Hi Bill,

It is a wonder that so many people return from war and lead so-called "normal" lives. Of course, as we now know, many commit suicide each year. So sad! Thanks for reading this old letter and calling it "profound." We found it so!

Liza from USA on September 04, 2021:

The story of the letter you and your husband own is fascinating, Peggy. I love everything that has an emotional narrative and history, such as a letter. Oh, and not to mention that the letter that you've shared was written by hand. Classic! I didn't own anything like it. Probably my husband's grandparents have. His grandfather served during World War II. Next time, when I visit them, I should ask.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2021:

Hi Dora,

I agree that reading this letter makes history come alive. What an ordeal he suffered and had to keep reliving by communicating with his dead comrades relatives. It was good that he was able to do that, however sad it would have been to keep reliving the incident. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2021:

Hi Pamela,

Those heart-wrenching letters he felt obligated to write, and also meeting with his fallen comrades parents must have been so hard. We found this old letter to be fascinating. Hopefully, Marlyn went on to have a good life. We will never know for sure.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 04, 2021:

None of us have a frame of reference to truly understand the effects that war have on human beings. It's amazing anyone who has been in combat comes out of it sane. Thank you for sharing this letter. Profound is the word that comes to mind.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 04, 2021:

This is a great find. Surely makes history come alive, as you say. You own an interesting piece of history. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 04, 2021:

This letter is a terrific find for your family. Having an account of a WWII man who was a prisoner of war for a time is great. This was sure an interesting letter for you to find. Thanks for sharing this interesting information.

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