2nd Lt Jack Lundberg Lead navigator, US air force, from Woods Cross, Utah
Dear Mom, Pop and family,
Now that I am actually here I see that the chances of my returning to all of you are quite slim, therefore I want to write this letter now while I am yet able.
I want you to know how much I love each of you. You mean everything to me and it is the realisation of your love that gives me the courage to continue. Mom and Pop – we have caused you innumerable hardships and sacrifices – sacrifices which you both made readily and gladly that we might get more from life.
I have always determined to show my appreciation to you by enabling you both to have more of the pleasures of life – but this war has prevented my doing so for the past three years. If you receive this letter I shall be unable to fulfil my desires, for I have requested that this letter be forwarded only in the event I do not return.
You have had many times more your share of illness and deaths in the family – still you have continued to exemplify what true parents should. I am sorry to add to your grief – but at all times realise that my thoughts are of you constantly and that I feel that in some small way I am helping to bring this wasteful war to a conclusion.
We of the United States have something to fight for – never more fully have I realised that. There just is no other country with comparable wealth, advancement or standard of living. The USA is worth a sacrifice!
Remember always that I love you each most fervently and I am proud of you. Consider, Mary, my wife, as having taken my place in the family circle and watch over each other.
Love to my family
· Lundberg was killed in action two-and-a-half weeks after D-day, aged 25.
Published in The Guardian,
May 27, 2004