May 22, 1958
Dear Mr. Erwin:
Thank you for writing to us concerning Cornelius Ryan’s forthcoming
book about D-Day. Since Mr. Ryan is now away, and has been away from New
York for the major part of the last month, he has asked me to write you expressing
our mutual thanks and our mutual hopes that you will continue in
your willingness to help us.
As your source of information may not have clearly indicated, this book
will not be another strategic history of the invasion operation, but a story
of the twenty-four hours of D-Day as men lived them and remembered them. For
such a story, we can only go to the men who were there, and if they are willing,
invade their memories. Thus Mr. Ryan hopes ultimately to interview many
of the people who agree to help us, and so I should be grateful if you would
let me know whether or not you would be available for interview at your present
address during the period between now and the end of July of this year.
I should be grateful also if you would be willing to complete the enclosed
record and return it to me at your earliest convenience. We have assembled
these questions in the hope that they may serve you as well as us, by helping
to recall some long-forgotten incidents and indicate the sort of material
which we are seeking. We need the answers to them as a basic file of vital
statistics on each of our informants, and also, as a means of preparing for
interviews for Mr. Ryan, these sheets will serve as a reminder of salient
facts and references which he will wish to pick up later on.
We know that the story of D-Day is the story of many men and many units.
Mr. Ryan wants very much to do Justice to your outfit, and in order to do so
he needs your help and the help of any others to whom you can direct us. We
shall look forward very eagerly to your reply. Thank you so very much for
any help that you can give us.
SFC Leo F. Erwin, RA 11056042
23rd Transportation Battalion
San Francisco, California
Notes and Questions
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