World War II diary returns to rightful owner in Wisconsin
Photo: Video by tmj4.com
CREATED Aug. 13, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 13, 2013
MILWAUKEE -- A soldier's diary discovered thousands of miles away makes its way back to its rightful owner in Wisconsin.
Lee Sucharda is learning about his grandfather's time on the front lines in WWII through his journal written decades ago. Until yesterday, this Racine family didn't even know it existed.
"He was a very kind and generous man." Sucharda has fond memories of his grandfather and was very close to him. He grew up knowing a lot about him, except for his time as a soldier.
"If you asked him about it he would give you a few details but not too much."
Now Sucharda has 100 pages of details about his grandfather, Corporal Ralph Duncan's time on the front lines in WWII. "They were constantly being bombed. They were constantly shelling the Japanese as they tried to get on shore."
Duncan's journal was discovered in California, after a woman was going through her deceased mother's belongings. After all these years it's now back where it belongs. Now that's he's read about some of his grandfather's experiences, Sucharda's perspective of him has changed a bit.
"Even though I was proud of him I had an even deeper understanding of what he had gone through in his life." Something Sucharda plans on sharing with his children and grandchildren. "It's important for my family to relive some of those things so we understand what some of our family went through."
What Duncan's family has not figured out is how his diary ended up in California. They can't find any distinct ties between the two families. As for the journal's future home? Sucharda is not against it being displayed in a museum.