Saturday, November 11

Veterans Day 2006

These are my father's dogtags from his days in Burma, with the Army Air Force during World War II. Because he was a Quaker he was a Conscientious Objector and could not therefore become an officer. He operated the radio in a plane flying supplies over the Hump into China. He wrote a letter home every day, on onion skin paper with his fountain pen. I have five notebooks with these letters and haven't read them all. He shipped out before I was born and came home in June of 1945, when I was 20 months old.
My mother's father, David C. Simmons, served in World War I and died not too many years after the war.
These are the people I know of in my family who served in the military.


ronin1516 said...

jane, your dad must have flown out of the airfield in Jorhat, Assam, in India. I was raised nearby, during the 1970s and remember seeing the old planes and theJeeps left over from when brave pilots and brave support troops like your dad flew over the Hump to help the Chinese, and helped fight the Japanese invasion of Burma.

Jane Hyde said...

Ronin -- Wow, thanks! My family talked so little about the past, and I'm only now beginning to look into things. As a school librarian, I 've found pictures and text in the Time-Life History of WW II and also a book about the Burma Rd. and at some point will read more. In my dad's letters, which were censored, he rarely could talk about what they were doing, and the only descriptive detail is from when they went up into the hills for R$R.

ronin1516 said...

Jane - i will look up some info at the Univ of Michigan library system - I think they have a lot of info about the American war effort in Burma, as well as about the Army Air Corps effeprs flying suppiles over the Hump. And talking about Conscientious Objectors, have you hear the story of Desmond Doss from Georgia? Here is a link:
if you google Desmond Doss, you will find a lot of info about this amazing man.
BTW, I learnt to drive in a Willys jeep in the '80s, that was left over from from the American military presence in Assam during WW-II!!!