The story of D.C. Caughran Jr., Mrs. Cordie’s son, could be that of almost any soldier in World War II. He left the comfort of home and family to become part of one of the defining conflicts of modern times. The letters he wrote home tell his story from the day he received his draft notice in the summer of 1942 through battle, capture, wounding, imprisonment, and his eventual return home for recuperation and discharge.
Author Rocky R. Miracle, the son-in-law of D.C. Caughran, tells not only Caughran’s story, but at the same time the story of “the home folks” who anxiously watched for letters from their “soldier boy” and wrote faithfully of their love and prayers for his safety. This home-front narrative also stands as an important and deeply personal record of life in wartime.
Taken prisoner during the German breakout of December 1944 that led to the Battle of the Bulge, D.C. was force-marched past corpses lining the road into Germany, loaded with other American prisoners into boxcars, and held in a prison camp during the coldest European winter of the century. He suffered starvation rations and hepatitis and was hospitalized after his liberation, though doctors were doubtful that he would recover. However, with time and care, he returned to health, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, and lived a long, productive life.
This intimate portrait of an American family—at home and at war—during a time of world upheaval is at once heartwarming, sobering, and entertaining. Mrs. Cordie’s Soldier Son is highly recommended for readers interested in World War II, the POW experience, and home-front literature.