The secrets and service of a World War II family, 76 years after Pearl Harbor

MESA, Ariz. – The storage unit’s corrugated metallic door slid upward, revealing one hundred sq. ft of principally empty area. Not very promising, thought Joe Alosi, a businessman who bid on models, sight unseen, when tenants stopped paying the lease. A number of plastic bins sat in the midst of the ground, and mud billowed as Alosi peeled off the primary lid.

Inside, tightly packed, have been rows of envelopes. Alosi opened one, after which one other, after which one other. The Marine Corps veteran felt a slight chill.

The principally handwritten letters, on tissue-skinny paper, dated to World Conflict II and have been penned principally by the members of a single household – the Eydes of Rockford, Illinois. Three brothers have been within the army: one within the Marine Corps, one within the Military and one within the Military Air Forces.

There have been a whole lot of letters, stretching over 4 years of conflict and past. They captured the horrors of fight, provided heat reminiscences of childhood and exchanges about all the things from the film “Casablanca” to the brothers’ beloved Chicago Cubs. The brothers additionally used racist and pejorative language, together with of their descriptions of Japanese and German forces.

Again at his kitchen desk, Alosi, joined by his spouse and youngsters, continued to pore over the correspondence. They took turns studying the letters aloud.

Alosi questioned how such an intimate and gripping assortment had ended up in a storage locker, whether or not any of the brothers had youngsters, and if there was anybody left who would care to see them.

“I’ve seen a number of occasions the best way individuals depart issues, you understand?” Alosi stated. “And once they depart them in a sure means, it is like they do not plan on coming again.”

What remained was the story contained within the letters.

“We’ve got been referred to as out on air raid alarms the previous few days, however you understand as a lot about what was occurring as I do, the radio is the one dope we get in addition to you about them Japs and Nasty Germans. Bastards are what they’re, raiding with out warnings, sneaking up at night time and such incorrect strategies of a clear struggle.” – Frank Eyde, in a letter residence, Dec. 10, 1941.

Lorentz Eyde and Margaret Larsen individually got here to america from Norway and married in Rockford in 1908. He was a cabinetmaker, she a homemaker, they usually settled in a small three-bed room residence on tree-lined Fremont Road.

Frank, the eldest youngster, graduated from Rockford Central Excessive Faculty in 1933, the identical yr that Adolf Hitler turned German chancellor. Frank had a…

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