Jim Marvin didn’t even know his father, Elbert, had kept a wartime diary until his dad gave it to him just a few days before his death in 1998, at age 102.
“He must have had a very secret place. I am surprised it survived so many kids growing up,” Jim told the Review.
His diary provides a brief glimpse into his travels during the year and a half of his Navy service. Mr. Marvin enlisted on December 12, 1917, at age 21, and served until his honorable discharge on June 7, 1919; he made it back home on June 10.
The diary entries, which he inscribed inside the cover of the hand-sized notebook as belonging to “E.T. Marvin, Linden, Tennessee,” began on the day of his enlistment:
“Enlisted on December 12 , 1917, arrived at T.S. (training station) the 14th. Naval Base station in Virginia. I took the measles on January 12th 1918 and left the hospital February the 12th. And left for Norfolk the 23rd of February 1918 for Hampton Roads, Va.
“Took the Mumps the 26th of February and
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