That Girl’s Blog: Pappa’s WWII Journal

My Grandfather George Marmer

I remember my grandfather as a kind and calm man. I only have a few memories of him, as he passed a way when I was a very little girl. But I do remember his smile and how he had a smell of sweet pipe tobacco. I know he was a doctor, but refused to administer shots to me and my sister because he didn’t want us to be afraid of him (at least that’s what my mother told me).

There are many stories about my grandfather, or Pappa, as I called him. I knew he served in World War II and I know he retired a Bird Colonel before settling into the “quiet” life of a General Practitioner in Peabody, where my mother grew up.

Last year my sister, my mother and I took a trip to visit my aunt in Maryland. There were many stories about my late grandparents, and someone mentioned there was an old journal that belonged to my grandfather “kicking around” in a box someplace. A few people had attempted to read it, but it was sporadic and  seemed to have been written on random pages in no particular order. It also seemed my grandfather’s handwriting was a little tricky to decipher (I did mention he was a doctor, right?).

George Marmer, February 1945

I begged for someone to locate the journal and send it to me. The thought of holding something that once belonged to my grandfather was almost unimaginable. My grandparents house had been sold a VERY long time ago. My grandmother moved several times after my grandfather passed away… boxes had been packed and so items had been lost or thrown away. Perhaps this would be a small way that I could connect with Pappa again?

George Marmer, February 1945

The journal finally made it’s way to me this summer and I finally had some time to read through the pages. It seems to span 12 months from 1944 to 1945 with notes and scribbles about events taking place in the Pacific rim during a turbulent time in our world history. Unfortunately, I was not much of a history buff when I was in school and I find myself online researching names and codes and locations and slang from the pages in the journal. There are references to a Captain Winters who piloted a plane with paratroopers in  Corregidore in 1945. Was he a friend of my grandfather’s?  

He also has entries that talk about the birth of my aunt (my mother’s older sister) and also voices frustration about situation he finds himself in (or not able to be in). 

I feel fortunate to have this rare insight to my grandfather during a time in his life that was so much greater than he was.

I am also looking for someone who might be able to help me understand or research certain entries. If you know a history buff, or you are a WWII aficionado , please let me know! 

Email me: [email protected] 


About Cat Wilson

Cat Wilson is "That Girl" on Cape Country 104 – a Cape Cod native and longtime Cape radio personality. She is a passionate supporter of Military and Veteran causes on the Cape and also hosts local music spotlight program, “The Cheap Seats” on Ocean 104.7.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy