About the author: J. Thomas Chestnutt (October 5, 1921 — ), Library of Congress interviewer’s notes state that he was born in Hope Hull, Alabama, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving on board the famed destroyer, U.S.S. Fletcher, for three years. The interviewer’s notes includes the folllowing:
In March of 1943 he qualified for flight training in Australia and went to Minnesota for training. In March of 1945, when the war ended, he was stationed in the Philippines. He traveled to Minnesota for flight training when he returned. When he was in Iowa, he met the newest addition to his life at that time, his wife, Betty… They lived in Iowa, her home state, for a few years and then returned to his home on the farm that he grew up in Hope Hull, Alabama, with his wife. They had children who stay closely connected to them.
About the diary: Typescript of World War II diaries of J. Thomas Chestnutt in the Library of Congress, in the J. Thomas Chestnutt Collection in the Veteran’s History Project. The author has this foreword, dated January, 2001:
During WWII I kept diaries of my time in the service. It was the only time in my life that I kept a record of my activities. We have hem them thru the years, and I had never intended putting them in book form. However, times have changed so much that I hope it will be interesting to see how things were “back then”. Technology and nuclear energy, bombs, etc. have transformed our world. Someone may say some of the things aren’t quite accurate in my accounts. In all the frenzy of war I may not have all the details, but it was what I lived through, by the Grace of God, and the way I saw it.
The entries in The Philippine Diary Project comprise the author’s Philippine service: in the Leyte landing of October, 1944 and in an extended period of service in Philippine waters from November 17, 1944 until his leaving the Philippines for San Francisco, CA, on March 21, 1945.
In some entries the author added some notes at the time he prepared the manuscript. These have been retained, but marked as italicized text by the Philippine Diary Project.