Monday, June 14, 2021

I Wonder How Often This Has Happened Over the Years


I helped write an autobiography for a friend's mother some years ago.  She had a friend whose husband went MIA in the Pacific during World War II.  She spent many years waiting for word, and finally fell in love again,  Then she dreamed that he was stranded on a South Pacific island calling her name.  Soon she was hospitalized.


  1. I don't know how often that kind of things has happened.

    But I do know that official mix-ups could happen. In a large army with many hundreds of thousands of people, verifying which soldier named "Richard Sorenson" or "Enoch Arden" is missing can be hard. Verifying whether that soldier is dead, wounded, or absent-on-mission, or absent-without-leave can be hard.

    Sending out notification to the correct family ought to be easy, but sometimes clerks make mistakes, and send the notification to the wrong family.

    Where did the mistake happen?

    I've done a little genealogical research, and I'm familiar with the ways in which multiple people bearing the same name can lead to confusion. I don't envy military staff people who need to handle notification-of-death every day, with hundreds and and hundreds of names coming in...

  2. In Band of Brothers, Lieutenant Welsh carried his reserve parachute with him throughout Europe to be able to give to the English widow he had been romancing there before he jumped into Normandy on D-Day. After the war was over her husband who had been fighting in the far East (I think Burma, but he might have been in Singapore) turned up alive, and she chose him. I don't think Lieutenant Welsh had married her yet.