Buddy Barnard kept a journal of love letters to his wife, Dolly, from both the Phillipines and Japan during W.W. II. In 1943, he had picked out Dolly from a group of girls at a high school dance in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Buddy and Dolly were married April 22, 1944. Just as many other young men, Buddy joined the Army after having been married for only two months. He fought on fourteen different islands and spent several months in "occupied" Japan before returning to the States in 1946. Since it was impossible to keep a diary in the swamps and jungles of those islands, Buddy Barnard began a journal fifteen days before the bombing of Hiroshima. These love letters to his young wife, Dolly, are also reflections of combat life as a soldier as well as observations of the Japanese people and their culture. Buddy also asked his fellow G.I.s to write their own letter to Dolly. These "doughboy ditties" are written "to Dolly, the typical American sweetheart." Another form of love and respect also appears in the letters. These G.I.s who had faced death together, wrote their feelings for one another in their letters. Most would never see each other again.
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Published October 21, 2005
Literature & Fiction.