This engaging collection of letters, “a conversation between two brothers,” forms a unique record and memoir of World War II. It covers the period from November 1942 to February 1945 and provides us a window into life both on the Home front and the less well known China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of the war. Writer and graphic designer, Amy L. Johnson, granddaughter and great-niece of the letters’ authors, has created a beautiful volume by interweaving personal photographs and bits of history, with the actual correspondence between William (Willie) Raubinger, circulation manager of the Saginaw News, and his younger brother, Fred Raubinger, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces, who flew over 120 combat missions in the CBI Theater. The letters largely speak to the ordinary and mundane of daily life—whether as a civilian or as a combat pilot. And this is their strength, for the drama of battle forms only a part of every war. Daily life goes on: checks are cashed, employees are hired, dinners are shared and eaten, gloves and other items of clothing are bought, and so on. These letters also give us a glimpse of the skill, bravado, and risks that defined those who flew combat missions. The ending to the correspondence brings home, in a powerful way, the tragic irony that was a part of not just World War II, but every war, before and since. Amy Johnson has given us a treasure, Letters, Lost Then Found, that enriches our understanding of the war years and of the importance of family connections.
LETTERS lost then found by author Amy Johnson
Barbara Rylko-Bauer, author of A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps: My Mother’s Memories of Imprisonment, Immigration, and a Life Remade
This engaging collection of letters, “a conversation between two brothers,” forms a unique record and memoir of World War II.