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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Military / World War II
  • Language:English
  • Pages:350
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098305666
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098305659

Darling

Love Letters from WWII

by Peggy O'Toole Lamb View author's profile page

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Overview

“Darling” is the story of Frank J. Foster, a WWII First Lieutenant in Patton’s Third Army. He commands the A.A.A. (anti-aircraft artillery) battalion in defense of Patton’s Command Posts as they push the Nazis back to the Rhineland in a crushing defeat.

 

Frank wrote letters to his wife, Catherine, who kept them hidden in a tin box not found until after her death in 2013. For security reasons, Frank's communication reveals little about the war, instead more about his love and longing for home and family. Having been orphaned in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, he yearns for a family. Lying in a slit trench with bombs exploding in the distance, he fears he may not return from the war to his wife and child, leaving his son fatherless as he was. Still, he has a duty to his country and is determined to fight for freedom against the Nazis. 

 

Through research of the 546th Battalion’s Morning Reports, the Third Army After-Action Reports and Patton’s diaries, the author Peggy O’Toole Lamb discovers the truth of Frank’s sweeping campaign, liberating towns and cities across France, Belgium, and Germany, freeing the concentration camp of Ohrdruf and being one of the first to reach Hitler’s lair, the Berghof.

 

“Darling” exposes the soft side of the war, the longing for the return home, and the search for justice in an evil world.

  

 


 

Description

During WWII, Frank wrote letters to his wife, Catherine, who kept them hidden in a tin box not found until after her death in 2013. During the war, the military censored the soldiers' letters for security reasons. Therefore Frank's communication reveals little about the war, rather more about his love and longing for home and family. Frank had lived in an orphanage after his parents died in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. He yearned for a family and feared he may not return to his wife and child, leaving his son fatherless as he had been. Still, he had a duty to his country and was determined to fight for freedom against the Nazis. He had lost touch with his two brothers and sister until they resurfaced during the war, creating even a more strained relationship.

 

In 1942 Frank was conscripted into the army and soon rose to First Lieutenant in Patton's Third Army. After grueling training in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery (A.A.A.) in the Desert Training Center in Coachella, Frank shipped out to the European Theater of Operations in April 1944. He left his new wife Catherine and their newborn son John after only holding his child for an hour in the hospital.

 

The author, Peggy O'Toole Lamb, researched the classified Army Morning Reports to detail the date and location of Frank's battalion, the 546th A.A.A., throughout the war. She gathered information from Patton's writings and diary, and the Third Army's After-Action Reports to find what had happened during the battles and campaigns and cross-referenced with the dates of his letters. Frank spared Catherine, "Kitty," the gruesome details of war, instead he shared stories of camaraderie, the beautiful countryside, and his longing for her and his son. Lamb gives the details he left out. Using the letters as a guide, she looks through Frank's lens and writes as if he is telling the story, expressing his feelings of happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, and love. "Darling" captivates the reader as if the action is happening in the present time, never knowing when it will all end.


About the author

Peggy O'Toole Lamb is a nonfiction writer. "Darling" researches the words behind the letters written by her uncle to her aunt during WWII when he fought in the European Theater as a First Lieutenant in Patton's Third Army. Her first book, "Then I Won't Seem So Far Away," recreates the wanderlust of a student in 1970 in Europe from letters sent home to her mother. Lamb has an uncanny ability to dig into the past and reconstruct a true story that reads like a novel. She lives in Santa Barbara, California.



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