Includes the War in North Africa Illustration Pack - 112 photos/illustrations and 21 maps.
These are the letters Caleb Milne wrote to his mother while in the American Field Service.
In May of 1943, he, with a small group of American Field Service men, responded to a call for volunteers to help the French. These Fighting French, under General Leclerc, had joined General Montgomery's 8th Army after that epic march from Lake Chad in Central Africa to Tunisia. Early the morning of May 11th, Caleb Milne was giving aid to a wounded Legionnaire when he was struck by a mortar shell. His wounds proved fatal and he died around 4:30 that afternoon.
These letters, though very personal, are published with the thought that their message might reach beyond one mother. As Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings has said in her introduction:
“This collection of his letters seems to me of permanent value, far beyond their satisfying of our avidity for news of the working of the minds of men who are fighting, for us, our battle. They reveal a rare soul, who passes on to us his own sensitive perceptions of the beauty and glory of living; and they are written in the style of true Belles-Lettres.”
In tribute to Caleb Milne, who wrote to him on the meaning of music to a soldier, Deems Taylor, noted author and composer, said:
“This, to me, is one of the most deeply felt and profoundly moving communications that the war has yet inspired. It is one of the war's major tragedies that young men capable of such vision, self-abnegation, and compassion could not be spared to help shape the peace that, God willing, will be as nearly permanent as men of good will can make it.”