Skip to Main Content

World War II: Seeking for Lost Sons: World War II: SEEKING FOR LOST SONS

Correspondence between mothers of a missing in action WWII crew.

One of the Lost Sons


Luther E. Smith World War II Papers

Sergent Luther E. Smith, Army Airforce, wrote some 253 letters home to his family, beginning with his military service in 1942 until his disappearance in 1944.  Smith's plane was flying over Corsica, Italy on September 23rd, 1944 when the plane experienced engine trouble, possibly from enemy fire.  Originally, the War Department believed that the pilot could have landed in enemy territory and the crew were being held as prisoners of war. This started an extended correspondence among the mothers of the crewman to find out what happened.

This website displays selections of letters from mothers of the missing Air Force B-25 bomber crew. The letters range from December 1944 to October 1945.  The women wrote of their worries and hopes for their sons, as well as what wartime life was like at home.

Finding Aid to the Luther Smith Papers




A major component of the Luther E. Smith Collection is a series of letters written to his mother from the mothers of his fellow crewmen. 

A few months after the men went missing, their mothers reached out to each other to provide hope and strength in a time of doubt.  They exchanged constant news as they try to find out what has happened to their sons.


Design and Images by Casey Gymrek

Image of Luther E. Smith

University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.