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War Letters

As I mentioned in the last newsletter the museum has received all of the letters sent home by William H. Busby, one of our three local men killed in World War I. These letters were kept by his family all these years and were recently donated to the Historical Society by Clyde Busby, Ted Russell and John Russell. These letters could easily be put in book form and sold nationwide like some of the other commentaries and books being offered today, i.e. Tom Brokow’s The Greatest Generation, Saving Private Ryan and others.

William H. Busby

I wanted to share with you a couple of William H. Busby’s letters. William enlisted May 1, 1917, and this is the third letter he wrote home from training camp at Port Royal, South Carolina, dated May 12, 1917. He was with the 7th Co. C of the U.S. Marine Corp. This letter is very sad to read when you know he was killed 18 months later on November 1, 1918, ten days before the war ended. All letters in this column will be copied exactly as written. I have put some paragraphs and punctuation in to make for easier reading.

   Letter of May 12, 1917

Following is a postcard message from William dated September 17, 1917 mailed from Philadelphia, addressed to Mr. Lon. P. Busby, R.R. 2, Catlin, Illinois.

   Postcard of September 17, 1917

This next letter is William’s first after arriving in France and was addressed to Mr. Lon. P. Busby, Catlin, Illinois, U.S.A. It is just interesting to read. It has been censored, by marking parts out with a dark pen.

   Letter of October 9, 1917

Busby headstone

There are about thirty-eight letters between the one above and this next one which was written by William, probably his last one written due to the date of 28 October 1918. It was addressed to his mother, Mrs. Lon. P. Busby, and someone has written on the envelope "Received Nov. 29-18", which was 28 days after his death.

 

   Letter of October 28, 1918

*NOTE: A Christmas card mailed to Wm. H. Busby, from his sister Pearl and postmarked Catlin mailed Nov. 13, 1918 was returned marked.

DECEASED verified by
STATISTICAL DIVISION H.A.E.F.

WORLD WAR II LETTER

Recently the Catlin Lions Club donated its collection of letters written home to Ray Huffman, editor of the Lions Tale, a newsletter sent twice a month to all local servicemen during World War II. All of these letters and many copies of the Lions Tale had been stored all these years. THANKS LIONS!!!!

Rose Krusich

After the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 and our declaration of war against terrorism we are more intrigued than ever reading the World War II letters. Some are very apropos to current events. For instance the following letter written by Rose Krusich back in 1943! She was writing to Ray Huffman. I thought you would appreciate her descriptions of desert life. For those not knowing about the Krusich family see the February 1995 Newsletter. Briefly, Mr. and Mrs. Anton Krusich, both born in Yugoslavia, saw their four youngest children, Pete, Joe, Louie and Rose, and their son-in-law, Paul Ogden, all fight in the war. Mr. Krusich came to America in 1903 and was granted citizenship soon after. Their mother came in 1906 and also became a citizen in short order.

Rose was born October 12, 1919 and married Brigadier General Donald Booth. She died April 21, 1999 and is buried next to her husband at Arlington National Cemetery. Rose graduated from St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 1942. She was an Army nurse in World War II.

Here is one of Rose’s letters.

   Letter of August 6, 1943

Lt. Rose Krusich

Mr. Huffman wrote in the 45th issue of The Catlin Lions Tale, dated 31 August 1945: Lt. Rose Krusich, who has been stationed in a hospital in Iran for the past 30 months, is home on a 30 day leave. This comely nurse has been entirely around the word, making the trip home from Iran by plane in 4 1/2 days. She tells many interesting things about Iran. All women must be veiled and all wives are marked on the forehead to show their marital status. Children between the ages of five and eleven are employed to do the rug weaving -- They are given little or no education in the poorer classes -- The people do not eat regular meals, just a few bites when they become hungry. The water supply runs in ditches along the street, first on one side one day and the other side the next. The belief there is that water turning over cleanses itself. The natives even do their laundry in these ditches. Rose had the privilege of being escorted through the Shah’s Palace by an attache of the U.S. Embassy there. During public events, open only to the upper classes, the Shah would appear and it was at one of these that she was able to see him. Lt. Krusich made many trips while abroad visiting the Holy Land, Damascus and Lebanon. She was in Teheran when Roosevelt was there and appreciated the chance to see him. She also visited Bombay, India, and Melbourne, Australia. While on a trip to Italy she saw many things of interest in Naples and Rome. Lt. Krusich will report to Miami, Florida, at the end of her leave.

 



Catlin Historical Society
210 North Paris
Catlin, Illinois 61817