Tuesday Feb 15, 1944
Tales of desperation on the Home Front and the Battle Front dominate the front page of today’s Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “I want my baby back,” begs Mrs. Elinore Stefanski. The 21-year old was arrested for abandoning her infant daughter on the steps of a local Red Cross center. With her husband deployed abroad, she had to go work every day but could still barely support the family. Another poignant story, Mrs. Catherine Gardner has learned that her 20-year old son, a survivor of Guadalcanal, is dead. She treasures his last letter home in which he quoted Joyce Kilmer’s poem, “A Soldier’s Prayer.” (Kilmer, born in 1886, was killed by a sniper’s bullet in 1918.) Throughout the country there are many more desperate and grieving women trying to keep their families together without their husbands or fathers or brothers. A final story, this one from the front lines: The blinded radio operator of a stricken bomber begged the top turret gunner, “Throw me out…I’m hit badly and no use to you.” The turret gunner refused and brought Sgt. Forrest L. Volker safely back to base. This is the stuff of real life during war even if it won’t make the history books.