Woman discovers World War II diary meant for her at New Orleans museum

Diary entries written by high school sweetheart

It took nearly 70 years for Laura Mae Davis to finally see the diary that was meant for her eyes only.

Davis and Thomas Jones were high school sweethearts in Indiana when Jones shipped out to San Diego for training in 1943.

"He was a basketball player and I was a cheerleader," said Davis.

Davis, now 90 years old, said she gave a diary to Jones, nicknamed "Cotton" because of his blond hair, as he left for war.

On a trip to a New Orleans museum, that diary was in a display case and open to the page that read, "If this is lost, please return it to Miss Laura Mae Davis."

"I walked up to a display case and right there, I was shocked, it was the diary," she said.

The diary had her picture in it, but it never made it back to her.

Three days into the invasion of the Japanese-held island of Peleliu, Marine Cpl. Jones was killed.

"My mother called and said they just received a telegram that Cotton had been killed in action," said Davis.

Prior to being shipped out to the war in the Pacific, Jones landed at what was then Camp Elliott in San Diego, located in the eastern-most end of what is now Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

It was at Camp Elliott, one year before his death, that the then-Pvt. Jones made his first entry into the diary.

"I had a letter from Laura Mae and she said she loved me," one of the entries said.

After Jones' death, Davis moved on. She got married and had a family, but she said finding the diary all these years later "was just nice to see that he did care about me and so sorry that it happened the way it did."

The pages of the diary were much too fragile for Davis to have, but she does have copies of everything that was written in it.

Print this article Back to Top