Under normal circumstances, they would have been living the lives of 'typical' college students: studying for exams, preparing for a ball game, hoping for an extra dish of ice cream at the 'Boarding Club,' or trying to build up courage to ask the woman next to them in class out on a date. Instead, they were diving for cover from German artillery barrages, or attempting to shoot down Japanese kamikaze pilots before their own ship was destroyed. The letters in this collection provide a glimpse of what these men and women experienced in World War II. For example, this report from Italy:
"I have had a few shells land around me, but no harm was done. In fact I got so brave once I had to look out just to see where they were bursting, I got the look but another whistling Joe told me to get back where I belong. Couldn't say I was scared, I guess I just stopped living for awhile. I kept thinking of room 88 in Larsen and how nice it would be to be back there. I hope that day isn't too far away." Don 'Piecrust' Strom
Marvin G. Slind, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of History at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. His specialty is modern European history, focusing primarily on Scandinavia and Germany.