Monday, October 18, 2010

History Whispers From the Past in the Written Word

The last few weeks I have been searching diligently for something that I have misplaced. While endeavoring to find my lost item I stumbled across this little green journal. It's a Christian Log Book that belonged to a man by the name of George E. Luscomb from Weston, Tx. He served in the 329th Bomb Squadron in 1944 and used this book as his journal while on active duty during WWII.

I bought this little treasure at a garage sale several years ago. Inside he has listed several family member's birthdays.
"Papa - Aug. 2, 1884
Mother - July 2, 1885
Johnny - Feb 8, 1918
Glendora - Aug. 18, 1927
Doris - October 26, 1922
Ode (Olin) - Jan. 21, 1912
Sis - Apr. 25, 1913" and etc...

I have loved skimming through this book and reading what Private Luscomb has to say. I have felt like a voyer in this young man's life. I listen to him tell about his mission trips to places like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munster, Germany. Then, there are other missions to places like Watten and Bergerac France. I am mesmorized when I read about his nights out dancing with the pretty girls (which are seldom). I smile with him when I read that he slept in till 10:35 one morning. My mouth waters when I read the passage where he ate roast beef for lunch, I sing Hallelujah with him on Sundays when he writes about how uplifting the service was and I rejoice with him when he receives a letter from home. There's even an entry where he speaks of a General Hodges (my maiden name) coming to visit his battalion on June 30th. Private Luscomb speaks several times of quiet nights listening to the radio and of rumors that seem to surface amongst the men regularly, although I haven't discovered what they are concerning yet.
The entry for D-Day, June 6, 1944, is especially unique; pictured below.
As a handwriting analyst, I also took advantage of using my skills to find a deeper glance into the personality of this man, whom I already felt quite acquainted with. I watched as his handwriting went from an average-sized copy book style legible cursive in Jan. of 1944 to an over-sized, rushed and choppy cursive by August of the same year, then converging into a mixture of the two diverse styles by November. I could only imagine how the war had affected him beyond what I could see as a Graphologist.

I was quite excited to find this journal again and decided to take a break from my search and rescue operation for my missing item to read for a little while. I sat down and opened it up to the day's date (Oct. 6th). Here's what it said:
"T/Sgt. Price 330th BS killed by a direct hit by flak - Blood all over everything. The horrors of war!"

Of all the flipping pages I have done with this book, I had never read this passage. Instinctively, I slammed the book shut, as if I'd witnessed a horrifying murder or seen something shockingly inappropriate. I shoved the book back in its hiding spot on the shelf and stood to walk away, content to never open it again.
I was still trying to shake the chills off my spine.
But - no matter what I did, I couldn't shake the impact of that passage all day. I envisioned this young 27 year old's face twisted in a mess of anger, confusion and sorrow while he wrote, grieving for his comrad.
So, I decided that it would be un-American to walk away from that; completely sheltering and selfish to deny myself this opportunity to glimpse into the life of a soldier at war. Not just a soldier, but one caught up in the middle of the ruckus, experiencing so much day after day and somehow finding the courage and energy to write it down for me to read. I am grateful for this young man, Private Luscomb, for his sacrifice, for his diligence in keeping history alive for anyone willing to read it in his written word.


Rachel said...

What a find. Glad you shared it, and even gladder somebody who appreciates it found it.

Carissa Mason said...

Thanks, Rachel. If you want to borrow it sometime you are certainly welcome to. I'm sure your kids would find it fascinating!

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