The next letter to arrive at the Farrar household was from the father of the Lead Banana’s co-pilot, David Franklin Albrecht. Louis M. Albrecht was pastor of the Congregational Church in Scribner, Nebraska.
June 5, 1945
Louis M. Albrecht, Pastor
Mrs. R. M. Farrar
Our Dear Mrs. Farrar:
We have been wondering whether you have heard anything more about your boy. If you have we want to know. We do hope that he wasn’t killed and that he will come back to you. Our boy David was finally declared killed. We had a memorial service in his memory March 25. Our other son is still in Germany. He was wounded last winter but is back with his company. He was in the last two month’s of fighting. Our daughter-in-law was with us two months this past winter. We surely enjoyed the baby. She is the sweetest little thing we have ever seen.
The people around here are keeping up their spirits very cheerfully. They have all been so kind to us. There are many others who have tragedies to bear.
We like this town and our work. We have two girls. One has just graduated from High School and the other is eleven years old. There are many things to keep us busy.
If you have time will you please let us know what you have heard. Our prayers are with you and for your boy’s safety.
Louis M. Albrecht
What is war? Not why is a war waged, but what is war, what does war really mean? I ask myself this over and over, especially as I read these letters from the families of the boys lost in WWII. The most overwhelming answer I come back to again and again is that war is the destruction of family.
Take the family of David Franklin Albrecht. A mother and father lost their son. Two young girls lost their brother. A young wife lost her husband. And an infant daughter lost the father she never had the chance to know. David Franklin Albrecht died before she was even born. Back in 1944, he didn’t know if he was going to be a father to a daughter or a son. That kind of technology didn’t exist.
Is there any tragedy in life worse than the destruction of family? Two planes collide in the heat of battle over Magdeburg, Germany. Of the eighteen men on the two planes, only four survive to continue their lives and continue their families. The families of fourteen men are destroyed at the instant of ten minutes past noon on September 28, 1944.
So now that we know what war is and understand what war does to families, now we can ask “Why is war?” David Franklin Albrecht’s daughter and I would like to know why the ultimate conflict resolution must be war and family destruction.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014