Guestbook (pg5)

Your Comments & Questions

T hank you for visiting the WW2 Letters of Private Melvin W. Johnson. We'd like to know that you were here so be sure and take a couple of seconds to drop us a line below.

27 March 2009

A True Tribute

I think your website is beautiful and a true tribute to those who served before us. Vance Thompson

Vance Thompson | USA

18 November 2008

Co. E, 314th Infantry

Dear Mr. Ketchum,
My grandfather served in Co. E of the 314th Regiment during World War II. He was hospitalized after being wounded on Dec. 9, and he was reassigned to a non-combat role after that. I am trying to collect information about Company E, and I came across your site. (Very well done, by the way!) Do you have any information about Co. E or know a good place to look?
Thank you for your time.
Rob Williams

Rob Williams | USA

22 September 2008

The Memory of WW2 Never Be Lost

Thank you for putting this site together. I was moved reading the letters of Private Melvin Johnson. It is so important that the memory of WWII never be lost. J. Coker

J. Coker | USA

5 August 2008

Eugene Brightwell, Indiana

I saw a post you put on the 314th's site earlier this year about your grandfather. My 2nd cousin was also KIA, possibly in the same battle as your grandpa. Most of my cousin's records were destroyed in a fire at the archives, so all I know is that he was in the 314th Regiment, 79th Division, KIA on 19 Nov 1944. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find much information out about my cousin - I don't even know what company he was in. Your grandfather and my cousin are buried in the same cemetery in France and it appears they were both buried around the same time. Anyway, I just started looking around your site, but would you please keep me updated if you find anything else out about the battles or activies of the 79th around that time frame? I really appreciate it!! By the way, my cousin's name is Eugene Brightwell, Jr, and was from Indiana.

John Brightwell

John Brightwell | USA

12 July 2008

Filling in the Gaps

Thank you. While I can't add to the material's here ...I can say that the personal details they tell of fill in the gaps of the books and stories I have read and collected over the years and as a Historical Military Vehicle collector I treasure the first hand accounts of exactly how these Brave Men really lived and fought thru such a horror as WWII. The photo's are a very good reference as well , to see the real thing and not the Hollywood made up images so many people think of when one talks about how the war was. Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly | USA

8 July 2008

The Sacrifices of the WWII Generation

Dear Michael, I hadn't seen my story on the site and wish to convey my thanks to you for publishing it. You have done a splendid job in keeping WWII in the memories of many people. It's amazing how people forget. One of the towns nearby (I live in Lumberton, NJ,) has a total of a page and a half on the entire war! So it's sites like yours that will keep the sacrifices of the WWII generation alive.

I'm submitting a few photos I acquired when fighting with the 35th Regt, 25th Infantry Division in the Philippines. If you can't use 'em, at least you can enjoy looking at them. Hope I didn't send too many!

Keep up the fine work.
Bill Barber, ex-Technical (Platoon) Sergeant

Bill Barber ex-Technical (Platoon) Sergeant | Lumberton, NJ, USA

7 July 2008

Shed a Tear

Thank you for putting this site together. Made my father shed a tear. Great work. Thanks, John Finter

John Flinter | USA

3 June 2008


I just found your site today and was well pleased to find it. I didn't have time to read all the letters, but I will be back. I have a letter (v-mail) from my grandmother-in-law's nephew. I want to find it and add it to this site. I never knew the concept of v-mail. I thought they used the thin paper to save weight. I was glad to hear your explanation of it. I will be glad to read anything you have to say on this subject. I'm especially interested in life on the home front during the war. I'll be in touch again. Deb

Debbie Morris | Tennessee, USA

27 May 2008

Carlton Fisher, Co. I, 314th Infantry

Hello, My uncle, Carlton Fisher, was a sergeant with Company I and was listed as killed Nov. 19 after his unit attacked Fremonville. I have the action reports, which tell a lot, but I have been searching for members from his company, photos, or more details about that attack and what happened. He was born in Fairhaven, Mass., and was not married. Anything you can supply would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Carley Fisher-Israel, niece

Carley Fisher-Israel | USA

10 March 2008

Edwin C. Jackson, Co. I, 314th Infantry

Hi, I just found your web site yesterday. What a great collection of information and tribute to your grandfather. I wish I'd found it sooner. The maps and documents of the 314th, 3rd Battalion were extremely helpful. My father, Edwin C. Jackson, was the CO for I Company of the 314th. He passed away about a year after leading a very blessed life. I'm putting together a display of his medals and I've become somewhat obsessed with finding out about his time in the Army. He didn't talk about it much.

One of the things I've done is pulled together a chronology of his military service. It is very similar to the timeline on your web site. I have gotten information from several sources. I noticed your timeline is much more complete than the information I gleaned from the 3rd Battalion documents. I'd greatly appreciate knowing where you got the information to do yours.

My Dad had some pictures during his training with the 42nd Infantry Division and a few of his time in Europe. I will go through them to see if there might be any you could use. If I find some, how do I get them to you and in what format would you like them? Thanks in advance for your help and thanks for maintaining such a great web site to honor those who served our country. Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson | Pinckney, MI, USA

11 February 2008

Fred Balester, First Scout Company, FIrst Marine Division

I often hear of how the Marines at Guadacanal "took no prisoners." My Dad, Fred Balester, tells it differently in his memoirs. He served with the First Marine Division, First Scout Co. Here is an excerpt:

"I was leading a line company one day; we were moving along at a good pace when the man just behind me said there was a Jap lying in some bushes alongside the trail. Sure enough, there was a Japanese soldier lying there with his eyes wide open but apparently unable to move. The company sergeant came up to me just then and said, 'Shoot him.' I replied that I did not shoot helpless men, not even Japs. If he wanted him killed he could shoot him himself. He then ordered one of his men to shoot the Jap, but he, too, refused. The upshot of it was that no one wanted to kill a sick and helpless man, so they had to make a stretcher and carry him back to camp. Carrying a man on a stretcher seven or eight miles over a rough jungle trail is hard work, and there was some talk of dropping him in one of the rivers, but they got him back to camp. I guess he was too far gone to save because I heard that he died a few days later of acute starvation."

Valerie Balester | Texas, USA

3 September 2007

We Can Still Learn From Them

I was extremely touched by the letters of your grandparents. I found this web site while trying to find out about my uncle who died on 13 June 1944 in Normandy, France. He was in the British Army and died at the young age of 21 years. Unfortunately, I never knew my uncle like you never knew your grandfather. That generation certainly were very tough but incredibly decent and nice at the same time. We can still learn from them. This is a very special website and I congratulate you.

Stewart Macaulay

Stewart Macaulay | Johannesburg, South Africa

22 March 2006

8th Infantry Division Neighbors

Dear Michael, I took the liberty to e-mail you personally. Perhaps I have made contact with you before. I am a new member of the "WWII site" and caught your recent post. May I say, the web site devoted to your grandfather is, without a doubt, the best web site of its kind I have seen so far. The way it is layed out, with history, photos, letters (shown in original form) etc is awesome. And I have visited hundreds of similar web pages.

I found this site some months ago while researching the U.S. VIII Corps which the 79th Division was attached during July 1944. My father's division, the 8th Infantry Division, was next to the 79th in front of La Haye du Puits. If I recall, the 314th Infantry liberated the town. Interestingly, my father's regiment, the 13th Infantry, did not enter combat until 9 July 1944, however, the 3rd Battalion, 13th Inf., saw its first day of combat one day earlier, when they were given the mission to sweep La Haye du Puits for snipers and resistance that were by-passed when the 314th Inf., passed through. So it seems, your grandfather, and my dad were close neighbors for that short period.

Again, excellent job on the site. It is a fitting tribute to a World War II infantryman, and your grandfather.

Sincerely, Greg Canellis

Greg Canellis | USA

4 March 2006

The Soldier Who Did Not Make It Back

Dear Michael,

I was deeply touched by Melvin Johnson's letters to his wife for two reasons. For one thing, like my father, he was born in 1914 and served in World War II. For another, his letters started with 'Dearest', the same term of endearment used by my father when he wrote letters to my mother during the war. Unlike my father, Melvin lived only to the age of thirty but his letters tell us much about his years in the army.

Sixty years later, tears come to my eyes when I think about this soldier who did not make it back. Thanks for setting up such a user-friendly site for easy surfing.

Nitin K. Shankar

Nitin K. Shankar | Ecublens, Switzerland | nitin (at) vtx (dot) ch

21 February 2006

Thank You. God Bless.

Great-Great Website. Thank You-God Bless.
Jim Hennessey
WW2-Vet-Co.E-345th-Regt-87th (Golden Acorn) Inf. Div.

Jim Hennessey | Bayonne, NJ USA | ND-JimHennessey (at) webtv (dot) net

21 February 2006

A Tribute to these Young Brave Men

Good Site, where I have recovered friends of mine, M.Chard and this old fellow Gilbert Stevenot. A tribute to these young brave men, Americans, English, Canadian and more. Others from all countries in the World. Thanks to all of them. We never forget.
Stan Bellens - Belgium

Stan Bellens | Li├Ęge, Belgium | toby99(at)