The Coffee County Lannom Memorial Library recently received a book donation from former Tullahoma resident, Glynda Sain Wood.
Glynda Sain Wood donated the book, “World War II: The Young Photographer.” The book is the compiled pictures taken from Wood’s father, Grady Sain, who served in the Air Force during World War II. It is also about the life of both her and her family in Tullahoma.
About the Book
Life in Middle Tennessee in the late 1930s through the early 1950s was much like the rest of United States. The Great Depression, war and rumors of war affected family life, economy, construction, food sources, education, and employment.
Families living within the rationing guidelines found ways to share with friends and strangers. In Tullahoma, soldiers and their families passing through the small town were welcomed by the townspeople.
Highway 41 and the essential rail line connecting Chattanooga, Nashville and St. Louis brought Coffee County to the forefront of the military installations, forever changing Middle Tennessee.
People were consumed with the war. Families who supported the war effort were affected by it. Young men and women met and fell in love, and many young men left for years to fight a war in a foreign land.
Grady and Eula Mae (Wood’s mother and father) met as young teenagers and set off on an adventure.
While Grady joined the Air Force, Eula Mae worked for the post office in Tullahoma that handled mail for the influx of military in the community.
During her spare time, she also sold war bonds. When their separation was imminent, they decided to marry in Kansas as Grady was soon to be deployed.
Ahead of them lay years of separation during the war years. Grady, along with training for other military duties, became a photographer.
For four years, he served on a B-17 bomber and was able to travel through Italy, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. He photographed these sites and wrote notes on pictures that he mailed back to Eula Mae.
Contained in the book are the photographs he brought home when he returned as well as the ones he mailed.
Through the years, the couple has shared their stories of these years with children and grandchildren.
In an effort to preserve the now 70 year old pictures through the book that will serve as a permanent record of their lives, the war years, and the beginning of their family life.
The book is now available in the reserves section at the Lannom Memorial Library.