From the Washington Post today, a story of World War II diaries of friendship, suffering, death now preserved at the Library of Congress.
In September 1944, after two years of suffering in POW camps in the Philippines, U.S. Army Lt. George Washington Pearcy was being transferred to one of Japan’s “hell ships,” bound for captivity in the enemy’s home islands.
Before he left, he entrusted his diary to a fellow prisoner who was staying behind. Pearcy had written the diary on the backs of tin-can labels and other scraps of paper, and he wanted to make sure it survived him.
He gave it to Lt. Robert F. Augur, a friend who had lost a leg in the fighting at Corregidor in 1942 and who kept a small journal of his own.
Pearcy, 29, was killed a few weeks later when the prison ship Arisan Maru was torpedoed by an American submarine. Augur, 34, […]