On Doctor George Lester Cushman
I never knew my grandfather, Doctor George Lester Cushman to many and Par to his family. What I knew of him came secondhand from my mother, aunts, and a few old pictures, faded by time. He died before I was born.
Reading and transcribing his World War II diaries, I got to know him on a one-to-one level, or the closest I would ever come to that. A no-nonsense Yankee with a cool temper and dry wit. A young man in love with a girl back home, Jane Farwell.
You've probably never heard of him. History remembers so little, even modern history, where the documents and photographs remain. He was a Navy doctor on the U.S.S. Tuscaloosa, forced into action by the threat of war on American soil. He flew no planes, stormed no beaches, piloted no ships. So while others did that, he cared for the injured. And wrote. Wrote about what was going on, what he couldn't say in the letters back home.
First person accounts of history are important - even more so ones that are written at the time, instead of pulled from jumbled and hazy memories. My greatest hope is that this blog serves as color, to enrich the basic outline most have of the Second World War. And it will serve in both theaters: my grandfather was at the storming of Normandy, and at the battle for Iwo Jima. Writing about what he saw.
I hope these entries mean something. I think they do.
On Format and Style
Every entry will be posted on the same date when it was written - the first will be on April 18, 2012 (68 years after the first diary entry).
On Outside Contributions
My grandfather met various people throughout his naval career. To any surviving relatives of those mentioned who read this blog, I hope you reach out, so we may enrich the tale of history with your own stories.
If there are any old photographs of this time remaining, please let me know. I would love to add some photographic "color" to the blog - his diary contains so few.