"So the censor won't do any cutting." Letters and Diaries from World War II
Klain, Emily A.
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There are many sources from those who survived the Second World War. Out of those that deal with men fighting in the Pacific theater of operations, there are several that were written at the time. While memoirs and the recollections of the past can be very helpful there are a couple of problems. Since they are written years later the events are not as clear, the details and feelings only vaguely remembered. In some instances, the remembrances are colored by hindsight, whether omitting aspects that show the author in a negative light or exaggerating the flaws of the enemy. For this study, the focus will be on sources actually produced at the time. Letters and diaries show more clearly what the author was really feeling and experiencing, as well as giving clues to how much they would share.on topics depending on the intended audience. The primary sources that will be the area of concentration are the letters that Jim and his younger brother Bill Putnam wrote beginning in November 1941 and continuing through to the fall of 1945. These letters were sent to their family, primarily their parents but also to their three sisters, who were at home in Albany, Oregon. Jim's letters began after his birthday in mid-November 1941 and end with his discharge from the navy in October 1945. Generally he wrote at least once a week, though there were periods of prolonged silence when he ~as unable to write due to being in combat. Bill's letters begin in 1943 when he enlists in the army and also are fairly regular until his subsequent discharge at the conclusion of the war.