These letters were kept by Walter's wife Marie for many years.
Her daughter Elinor (Nell) Thomas decided to transcribe the letters to
preserve the content, as they were over 60 years old and many were
written in pencil on thin paper. Starting on a typewriter, and
moving on to a computer, she painstakingly deciphered every letter,
sometimes using a magnifying glass to make out the faded handwriting.
But it was done in a labor of love, and when she completed the
project, copies were made for all of Walter's children and
Over time, Nell found other information in
books or on the internet referencing the 112th infantry, and she was
able to determine where Walter was when he wrote his letters from the
front, when he could not disclose the location. Other data, such
as the names of the ships used for the crossing of the Atlantic, has
also been collected over time. Any of this additional information that has been found through research has
been added to the letters in plain font and enclosed in brackets.
(Spelling errors found in the letters have been left as they were.)
newspaper article based on some of
the letters was done by Walter's granddaughter Kathryn (Kate) Thomas, as a
requirement for her Journalism degree, and was published in the St.
Petersburg Times on November 11, 1981.
In 2004, Kate suggested that the letters
somehow be made available on the internet so that others could read
and enjoy them too. Tim and Cindy Andras, Nell's son-in-law and
daughter, took on that task, and created this website in honor of a
brave soldier, loving husband, wonderful father, and caring
The original copies of the letters are now
being preserved by Nell using professional archiving techniques she
has learned from her volunteer work at the Dunedin Historical Museum.
This site is in your memory, 'PapPap'
Lockard - we love you and thank you for this legacy that you have left
To those that read it, we hope you
appreciate and enjoy the contents of these letters as much as we do.
"God bless all of our troops".