USS LCI(R)707 @ Iwo Jima & Okinawa - STEVENS
I would like to connect w any family who have served on the above-mentioned ship, especially those who have any letters home from that time period. (The ship was formerly listed as LCI(L)707.)
Recently, my husband was priveleged to inherit the letters his father, Francis (Frank) X. Stevens, wrote home to his parents in Chicago, William and Agnes Tully Stevens, from his tour of duty during WWII. Although always conscious of the censor's warnings, he still made some interesting observations.
My father-in-law enlisted in the US Navy right after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He ultimately served on a Landing Craft Infantry (later converted to a rocket ship), LCI (R) 707, which fired some of the first shots at Iwo Jima, and later during the battles at Okinawa.
I hate to see these letters just tucked away and forgotten, so I've been transcribing them and publishing them on my blog, as well as scanning them to save for family in the future. I've found as much as I can on his military records on Ancestry.com and will try to obtain his military records through the Navy if possible.
No matter how unimportant each low-ranked front line individual may seem in the big scheme of things, these letters are still a snippet of history. I'm interested in seeing how these historical documents can best be preserved. I'm doing what I can with my letters through publication on my blog. But there should be more ways to preserve these documents so more people can see them.
There doesn't seem to be too many outlets for preserving these. I've found out about someone who self-published a book of his fighter-pilot father's letters, which I'm interested in reading. And one of my blog readers told me about the Veteran's Project at the Library of Congress, which may be interested in preserving such letters as these.
I'd love to hear from anyone else here who is working on--or wondering what to do with--letters from relatives who served during WWII, especially any from the WWII crew of the LCI(R)707. I'm interested in hearing what possibilities there are in getting the word out further, or what projects people are already engaged in to publish their relatives' WWII letters.
Thanks in advance for getting in touch.