Friday, May 27, 2016

Found our 299th Radio Hero on Memorial Day Weekend!

What timing! Some shortwave listening friends reached out to me today to ensure I read this article:

I had not, until they wrote to me. And, when I did my eyes lit up and I was once again in awe. In awe of the story that I've become so familiar with, yet delighted beyond compare to see another person write about it and celebrate with us. Be sure to read the article friends.

And, so it is, Meredith "Bub" Brill is our 299th World War II Radio Hero identified that took place in POW message relay. He was a child who bought his radio with a few dollars down and monthly payments. He wrote to all parts of the country to let families know that their loved one, who was serving in the war, was alive and being held as a prisoner. He lived in Caroline New York.

An excellent article. A familiar and great story. Please share it.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

298 and counting!

Thanks to the Sutcliffe collection, we've added THREE names to our catalog of World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion: 

  1. William Browell of Landsowne PA (ironic as I studied at Temple University, mere miles away)
  2. Ann Pearce of Iselin New Jersey
  3. Sadie Aclam of Middletown New York

We're almost at 300! No word yet from my request to the President to recognize these good men and women for their significant contributions during the War. I remain hopeful. At the very least, this shows that more than 10 years after my own discovery of these letters to the Spahr family, people are still finding this story and sharing their very own collections of letters with us in hopes of celebrating these fine men, women and children who cared enough to tune into short-wave radio and send a note off to a POW family letting them know their loved one was indeed alive. 

Thank you Sutcliffe family for sharing these letters. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sanford Lowe Strikes Again! At least 12,023 letters sent over the course of WWII!

Friends, I am excited to share this news in one of several upcoming blog posts.
Last week I received a lovely email from Mr. John Sutcliffe, son of Flying Officer (F/O) John (Jack) Sutcliffe from Toronto, Ontario.  Mr. Sutcliffe shared with me the four letters that his family received regarding his father's imprisonment during WWII. I recognized a line in one of the letters instantaneously...
"This is the 12,023rd message forwarded by me from Tokyo and Berlin. Please refer to this number when acknowledging message." He goes on to note that he is an "Independent Short Wave Monitor."
We know him don't we? It is our dear Mr. Sanford Lowe of NY, NY. We'd recognize his style anywhere. He always noted which letter number your message was and he often noted who donated the postage that was applied to your letter.
For those new to this story, Mr. Lowe wrote to my family, the Spahr's in May 1943 to report my grandfather had been captured and was serving as a POW in Germany. We were his 873rd message sent since January 1, 1943.  In the Second Edition of World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion (2013) I detail on pages 33, 132, and 162-64 that Mr. Lowe sent letters to other families as well, including the Heer and Young families, and at that time I found documentation that he had sent 10,379 letters over the course of the war. The Sutcliffe collection adds to that and now affirms Mr. Lowe's total to be at least 12,023!  Amazing!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

We're Going for it! Presidential Medal of Freedom! We need you.


Hello. I know it's been a while. Between working full-time, mothering the best I can and spending as much time in the sunshine as possible (it was 75 in St. Louis yesterday!), I've not been a solid author pitching her story, as I should be. Forgive me.

But alas I'm back and with big news and a big ASK.

The big news: You've heard me say for several years we want Congressional Recognition for the 295 men and women already identified as taking part in POW Message Relay. We've tried a few representatives here and there, with little luck. I've decided to go to the top. It's a big year with much at stake and rhetoric beyond our wildest imaginations- but that shouldn't stop us, in fact, it should push us toward wanting to recognize our best and not our worst.

Tomorrow I will mail a package to the Executive Office and ask President Obama to award either the Presidential Medal of Freedom or the Presidential Citizens Medal to each of the 295 people we've identified thus far. Yes, read that again. You don't get anything without asking and these people deserve for US to ask on their behalf. This story needs to be told.

Now, here's where you come in. You've likely heard me speak, once or more about this awesome story of home front heroes. You liked what you heard and have likely told a person or two, sharing the good news. I need you to do that again. If the White House is going to take US seriously, they'll want to see that people care about this. How will they know? How many likes we have on our Facebook page (World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion) and on our blog (here). Will you please ask everyone you know to like these pages by 2/29? And, will you please share this message on every FB page you are a part of- especially those related to ham, amateur or short-wave radio. Those men and women are who we are trying to recognize and trust me- they are powerful beyond words when it comes to getting the message out!

Fingers crossed, we'll be in Washington this year to accept the award on behalf of the 295 men and women we celebrate in World War II Radio Heroes: Letters of Compassion. And, I hope you'll be right there beside me.

My most sincere thank you,
Lisa (below a pic of my most-amazing grandfather and I, in the early 80's)