Letters from WWII soldier in Lake Charles being donated to museum

Letters from WWII soldier in Lake Charles being donated to museum

Letters sent by a soldier serving in the Pacific to his mother back home in Lake Charles will soon be donated to the World War II Museum in New Orleans. From 1942 to 1945, Charlie Stebbins did just like a lot of GIs serving in World War II, he wrote letters to his mother back in Lake Charles. Years before Charlie died, the letters were given to neighbor John Milstead for safe keeping.

"If you read the letters in this scrapbook, you not only see Charlie's life as he went across the Pacific, but you follow his brothers from 1942 to 1945, you follow the family through WWII," said Milstead.

Charlie followed military guidelines to not give away secret information in those letters. There are over a hundred letters in Charlie Stebbins' collection. Most of them were typed. You didn't see a lot of that in letters back home during the war.

Charlie's younger brother Harcourt Stebbins served here in the U.S. during the war and said his mother kept he and his other 4 brothers informed.

"Mother was the central operator, so to speak," said Stebbins. "She would send news from me, news from Charlie, news from Edwin, Chapin and so on to each one of us. So we were able to keep up a little bit."

"This is really a day to day look at the life of a Marine sergeant in combat in WWII in the south Pacific. He was always upbeat, he was always funny," said Milstead.

Harcourt Stebbins had never see the letters from his brother until Milstead recently shared them with him. Milstead says he is hoping to deliver the letters to the museum in a few weeks.

Copyright 2018 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.