By Wesley Harris
(Claiborne Parish Library Historian)
The Claiborne Parish History Club has released a new book detailing Claiborne Parish’s place in the history of World War II.
Available at the Claiborne Parish Library, “The World War II Experience of Claiborne Parish” records events and stories of a time when war was an “all hands on deck” affair. “World War II affected everyone,” Parish Library Director Pam Suggs said. “Every aspect of American life was impacted by the war. Life in Claiborne Parish changed. Rationing of food and other items, preparing for possible enemy attacks, and family members going overseas were just part of the changes that occurred.”
“The Claiborne Parish Library is proud to partner with the History Club to examine one of the most significant times in America’s history,” Suggs said. “Our staff worked with the club to compile and edit the articles and design the book to preserve these priceless stories of our country’s fight against fascism.”
Suggs said World War II was not like the more recent wars in the Middle East where conflicts may or may not have affected the average American life. “People were touched every day by World War II,” she said.
“Half of the book describes what occurred on the home front during World War II, while the second half gives accounts of some of the heroes who served,” Suggs said. “The club’s writers tried to mention as many locals as possible who served in their home parish and overseas.”
Articles include descriptions of local efforts to support the war effort by collecting scrap metal, purchasing war bonds, manufacturing bandages, and learning survival skills. The articles on the men and women who served include stories of soldiers who endured the Bataan Death March, were shot down over Europe, and died defending their country.
The book ends with a list of the 97 Claiborne Parish men who died during the war. Suggs said the books can be purchased at the library for $20 each while they last. Checks are accepted payable to the Claiborne Parish History Club. For $25, books can be mailed by sending a check to Claiborne Parish History Club, 909 Edgewood Drive, Homer, LA 71040 or by using PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Books will be mailed out the same day order is received.
The History Club’s annual “Historic Claiborne” book will be released later in the year.