June 3, 1945


Wayne arrived in Columbia, South Carolina after a long trip from Denver, Colorado on crowded trains.

Wayne and Bonnie hadn’t seen each other since February 8, 1944, seemingly a lifetime ago. They were only married for 4 months before he left for the South Pacific and he had been gone for 15 months. She didn’t know what to expect.

When the time came, she was afraid to go to the train station1 by herself to pick him up. She asked her daddy to drive her there. They parked outside the station and sat in the car waiting for him to walk out.

Bonnie saw him walk out of the station. He looked terribly tired. She felt afraid to go and greet him. She asked her daddy to go and bring him to their car. He said “No, you need to go.”

Bonnie and her daddy talked for a few minutes. Her daddy patted her on the hand finally and told her to go on: “Baby, he’s your husband. Go on now and welcome him home.”

Notes & Commentary

1 Wayne arrived at Union Station, 401 S. Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina (http://www.nationalregister.sc.gov/richland/S10817740027/index.htm : accessed 20 May 2015).

Note: Bonnie’s brother died in January 1945, a casualty of the Battle of the Bulge.

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10 Responses to June 3, 1945

  1. Good for her daddy


  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    What a touching post… You can definitely sense the anxiety of that moment – knowing that her future will change once again in the next few moments. Loved the photos of the station. But one thing, perhaps, that many, many people realize today is that no matter where you looked on the home front during that time, there were uniforms everywhere.


  3. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Hard to leave a comment on this particular post after having read this blog from the start.


  4. GP Cox says:

    She probably knew from his letters that the war had changed her young groom in ways she would never understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jfwknifton says:

    That is lovely, really touching. Daddies are always so wise, aren’t they? Well, most of the time.


  6. suchled says:

    How frightening it must have been for many of the wives and the men.


    • a gray says:

      I think this area of World War II history is, perhaps, under explored. Most of the men coming home, from whatever location their countries sent them, had been away from many months if not years. While that had exchanged letters with those at home, they had not shared emotional experiences with their families and friends. With out shared experiences, they had to have been strangers as I feel certain their families were to them.

      I read and listen to comments about the “Greatest Generation”. I read books about battles and technology . . . who had the best weapons, who made mistakes, etc. mostly be people who weren’t even born during the time. But, how much do we really know about how the men and women felt about their experiences . . . and about returning home to people who were strangers?


      • suchled says:

        Yes, it was a real problem in Australia where some men were away for many many years and if they were sick they may have had to stay for even longer.


  7. For many, the battle was far from over.


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