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Dearest Dolly: Love Letters from the Pacific 1945-1946

Barnard, Buddy

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ISBN 10: 1420892088 / ISBN 13: 9781420892086
Published by AuthorHouse
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Central Kentucky Book Supply, LLC (Nicholasville, KY, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dearest Dolly: Love Letters from the Pacific...

Publisher: AuthorHouse


Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


Review by Russ Lockwood ( This collection of "love letters" was taken from a journal radioman Buddy Barnard kept from August 21, 1945 to March 25, 1946, covering the end of the war and his occupation duty in Japan. Although the entries contain enough "I love you" feelings for his wife, Dolly, they also contain observations about Army life -- some funny, others tragic. They have all been transcribed and cover the first 46 pages of the book. I'm not a fan of the script font used, even though it evokes a memory of the handwritten entries, but you do become used to it. A typo or two slipped though, for example, "horseshows" instead of "horseshoes" (unless Buddy really did have a frequent partner in horseshows, but I doubt that). I especially liked the line about not letting "Buddy jr." (who had not been conceived yet) read his journals. His son, Greg, was the one who put the book together. Pages 49-67 contain photographs of Buddy and some of the GIs he discusses in the journal, a couple pictures of Dolly, and images of post-war Japan. Pages 71-131 are copies of letters sent to Buddy and Dolly by fellow GIs from Japan. They are not transcribed and as such the reduced size script is sometimes difficult to read. These also contain tidbits of Army life., a self-publishing outfit, is where you can buy the book. It is also available in hardcover ($13.70). A journal such as this is an extremely personal, first-person account of the stirrings of post-war duty. It's also perfect for the self-publishing route. You'll learn quite a bit of slang circa 1945, something about what radio operators do, and a bit of peacetime transition. If you're looking for such an angle on Army life, Dearest Dolly will delight.

About the Author:

Buddy Barnard kept a journal of love letters to his wife, Dolly, from both the Phillipines and Japan during W.W. II. In 1943, he had picked out Dolly from a group of girls at a high school dance in Pleasant Hill, Missouri. Buddy and Dolly were married April 22, 1944. Just as many other young men, Buddy joined the Army after having been married for only two months. He fought on fourteen different islands and spent several months in "occupied" Japan before returning to the States in 1946. Since it was impossible to keep a diary in the swamps and jungles of those islands, Buddy Barnard began a journal fifteen days before the bombing of Hiroshima. These love letters to his young wife, Dolly, are also reflections of combat life as a soldier as well as observations of the Japanese people and their culture.Buddy also asked his fellow G.I.s to write their own letter to Dolly. These "doughboy ditties" are written "to Dolly, the typical American sweetheart." Another form of love and respect also appears in the letters. These G.I.s who had faced death together, wrote their feelings for one another in their letters. Most would never see each other again.

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