“WW2 Letters Home from the South Pacific” by Pfc. Angelo Buccino is a brief but riveting collection is one GI’s view of the war amid the heat, bugs, carnage and noise in an artillery battalion supporting First Marine Division at Guadalcanal and other islands that never get mentioned.
Buccino wrote these long-lost letters to his best friend back in the states, asking for any news about the old gang from his Belleville and Nutley neighborhood. The letters turned up nearly sixty years after they were mailed, censored, read by his buddy and then forgotten in a footlocker in his best friend’s attic.
In a letter written in April 1942 from an undisclosed location on the other side of the world, Pfc. Buccino speculated, “Well I can’t say, but with a prayer and a little luck, I hope to be home Christmas.” However, he wouldn’t see stateside for a number of years. That was why he looked forward to getting ‘buckets of mail’ from home.
Along with a stack of Angelo’s photos from training, home and across the ocean, the collection was printed in time for the anniversary of his 100th birthday.
The hand-written letters were curated and transcribed by his son, journalist Anthony Buccino, who has written three military history books of local interest about the men from Belleville and Nutley who died in service from the American Revolution to later peace-keeping days.
“Discovering my dad’s letters helped me know him a lot better. Of his war experiences, I knew very little. He was at Guadalcanal, and he had malaria. The latter meant that he couldn’t donate at blood drives. So, through these letters I got to meet him as a young man. He was drafted before Pearl Harbor was bombed and he left the service in 1945.”
One reader noted of the letters, “They show you the partial story of a great friendship in heart-warming, and often witty, prose. There is much to be discovered here about the times and the mindset of one of our Greatest Generation’s members.”
Here is a way to remember the young private, his sense of duty, his sense of humor and the years he spent on hot bug-infested islands defending all he left at home. WW2 Letters Home from the South Pacific by Angelo Buccino is available in print on Amazon.