This would have been my dad’s 92nd birthday, so I decided I wanted to do something different for today’s blog.  I want to share with you a scrapbook layout that I did to honor my dad.

My dad was born Ellis Carlyle Henderson on August 26, 1919.  He grew up in a large farmhouse that had been in the family for generations, on the farm that had been originally settled by one of his ancestors.

Dad was one to take extensive notes on everything.

When he died in 1991, my mom found all of his old journals that he had kept over the years.

There were notes on different trips that they took to the Thousand Islands, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine; including the trips to Ft. Dix, NJ to see my brothers when they were there for basic training in the early ‘70s.  He took the time to write down all the directions from the trips they took, each road driven and each turn taken.

There was a book with notes from the work he did for the county Highway Dept., putting in new roads, setting road signs, and plowing snow.  At the back of that book, were the notes that he took just before he died about happenings in the family.

There were also notebooks that he kept during World War II, outlining where he had been and what they had done.  It was these notebooks that gave me the idea for the layout.

According to his notes, Dad was drafted  May 9, 1941.  He went through training at various bases in the eastern part of the United States for the next two years.

Sometime during those years he was assigned to the 377 Medical Collection Co.  He was an ambulance driver.  The picture below shows him standing in front of his ambulance.  He is on the left.  I don’t know who is on the right.

On April 16, 1943 he left Staten Island on the SS Mariposa and arrived in Casablanca on April 24.

He was in Northern Africa until September 1943, when he sailed to Italy.

His journal goes on to highlight the movements through Italy and then the journey from Naples to Anzio Beachhead on D-Day.  His best friend died on that beach.

The journals then tell of the movements north through Italy; then into France, Germany and Austria in 1945.

The entry for May 8, 1945 simply says:  “We heard European War is over.”

The journal doesn’t end there, however.  It goes on to chronicle the travel through Europe to La Havre, France where he boarded a ship to come back to the US in September 1945.

He was discharged on October 6, 1945, 12:30-2:00 PM

I once asked him about his time in Europe and he tried to tell me; but the memories were too painful, and he began to cry about all the things those men had been through.

Now, the only way to know what he did, is through his journals.

To make my layout, I made copies of two of the pictures of him, and the pages from his journal.  The smaller picture in the middle of the journal pages was taken in Phalsbourg, France.

I also copied a small medical notebook and a small leather pouch that had been his.  I attached them all to the background paper and aged everything with a brown chalk.

The eyeglasses are his actual glasses from back then that I scanned and then printed onto photo paper.  The feather pen and ink bottle is an embellishment from a scrapbook kit.

I hope you enjoyed viewing this as much as I enjoyed making it.  Thanks for stopping by.

© Drusilla Mott and, 2011


9 thoughts on “DAD’S WWII JOURNALS

  1. wow that is wonderful Dru. I have been reading a similar thing lately as I found a box of letters Dad received, mostly from Mom but some from others (including Gramma O) when in the army in 1943.


  2. Thanks for sharing Dru, he was a awesome person. His bday was today and mine is tomarrow we had cake together one year. Thanks again.


    • Patti, It is a treasure. I knew about the travel notes he took, but did not know about any of the rest until Mom showed them to me. It was amazing to sit and see his neat handwriting and read his thoughts years after he died; and to learn about all those places he had been during the war.


  3. Pingback: VETERANS DAY TRIBUTE | Drusilla Mott

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