I sat over my hatful of letters for an hour and a half–reading every word and thinking of the memories evoked by every phrase, chuckling, then laughing aloud. There is nothing like it for pure pleasure and to realize just how much I love my family.
– Philip E. Wood, Jr., 24 February 1944.
The discovery of Phil Wood’s letters was the catalyst that led to years of research into the history of 1/24.
When a missive from their boy in the Marines arrived, the Dear Girls – mother Margaretta and sister Gretchen – would stop everything to read the sheets of notepaper or V-Mail with Phil’s distinctive scrawl. Letters would be saved, bundled, and transported to family events, where the extended clan would gather around and hear a family member’s views on the War. And when the awful Western Union telegram arrived, it brought with it a hurt that would never be mended.