Floyd Hughes Davis graduated from high school in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in the spring of 1943, at the height of World War II. Rather than go to college to study journalism, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force.
Mail was the biggest morale factor to a GI overseas, but equally important were the letters sent home by Victory Mail. Floyd Hughes wrote letters to his parents with news of the young women in his life, pleas for money, and accounts of his military training. Nearing completion of gunnery school, he wrote to Floyd and Mimi Davis with detailed descriptions of gunnery firing, bring home the reality that their teen-aged son would soon be a gunner on a combat-ready crew of a B-17. The Davis's anxieties were heightened when he began flying combat missions in Germany in early 1945.
While Floyd Hughes's parents were apprehensive about the outcome of the war and their son fighting so far away from home, so, too, was his only sister, Dorothy Davis Stuck. During the preparation of this memoir, Dorothy relived this period of family separation and national pride as she related the story of her yournger brother to her good friend, the journalist Nan Snow, who now shares with us the letters Floyd Hughes wrote to his parents while serving in the armed forces. The letters are, at onece, funny, poignant, tender, entertaining, and sometimes angry. Yet behind the writer's light touch lies the stark reality of a young mana boy, reallytraining for war.