Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sentimental Sunday - 02/14/10

I went to my local Archive Room to look through some microfilm that I had ordered.  I was looking for an article that my mom had in her scrapbook.  I was trying to find the date that it was published in the Windsor Gazette (Windsor, Shelby, Illinois).  I found what I was looking for and a whole lot more.  The newspaper published a letter that my Uncle Wayne FERGUSON had written on 28 February 1944.  He was killed on 10 March 1944, and the letter was published on 16 March 1944.  He was already dead when they published the letter.  I sat there in the library just crying my eyes out and even as I write this I keep getting pretty choked up.  The next article I found was his obituary and it was published in the Windsor Gazette on 13 April 1944.  In that article it states that the family had been notified by telegram THAT day that Wayne died in action in the Southwest Pacific war area.  I guess it just got to me that they didn't even know he was dead yet and the letter he wrote was published after his death.  Here is what he wrote:

                                          "From Wayne Ferguson
                                                                    Southwest  Pacific
                                                                     February 28, 1944

Dear Editor,
     I've got a little time tonight so I thought I would drop you a few lines I see several of the boys in the service write to you.
     There isn't a whole lot to write about because you can't write just anything you please.  Still we have to write something to keep the mail rolling in.  I think the most important thing over here besides chow call is mail call.  I think about all the boys overseas will agree with me.
     I have been getting pretty fair mail service on my letters but not so good on the Gazettes.  I got the November 25 and December 2 issues day before yesterday.  They were the first I had received since the first week of December.  They are usually about that far behind over here on the newspapers.  We have a long time that we don't get any at all and then a whole lot comes in at once.  I don't think I've missed more than one issue since I've been over here.
     Well, I've been over here for twenty-five months now.  I just wonder how many boys from around Windsor have been over that long?  I've done a little traveling in the last two years: Australia, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, Fiji, and now this place.  Just another island in the combat zone.  A few air raids but none for more than two weeks now.
     I guess that will be all for this time as it is about time to go to bed.
                                                            Your friend
                                                      Wayne Ferguson"



  1. Wow - that is staggering. I would have been crying too! Heck, I'm teary eyed now and don't even know your family! I have a lot of things from when my grandfather was in WWII Pacific Coast Theater. He was in the Phillipines a lot where it was heavy combat. I'm happy that you found so much information, but sorry it had to hurt! Great post!

  2. That is a wonderful find, heart-rending as it is, and these stories are always so. Even when it makes us cry, this is why we do genealogy.