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Remembering the past with T/Sgt. James Lee Hutchinson


Local WWII Veteran, Author & Artist

T/Sgt. James Lee Hutchinson

WWII Eighth Air Corps B-17 Radio Operator/Gunner 20 Missions 490th BG • Educator • Author • 240 Combat Stories

Time is a gift from God, spend it wisely. It has an expiration date!

Short Stories by T/Sgt. James Lee Hutchinson


The Thomas Wolfe novel, You Can’t Go Home Again, 1940 stated you can’t recover the past. That may be true but at the age of ninety- eight I can share my memories with friends in this generation. My Lawrence County history is told in two “fun books” with boy hood tales with sketches humor. My six WW II books have 240 true stories by those who fought the battles.


Short stories in “On leatherwood Creek” tell much of the history of my boyhood gang. The names of my boyhood pals are a composite of many buddies of my childhood and I have used the short story format and sixth grade vocabulary to encourage reading for ages twelve to ninety. My goal is to tell of happy times and hardships which provided children the grit and determination to survive and win World War II. Our lives were not complicated by bathrooms, air conditioning, television, computer games or cell phones.  We were out in the fresh air, organized our own games and were free to roam the streets, fields or woodlands of the neighborhood. We had strict discipline in school, chores at home and every family member contributed to the family operation. Food was in short supply and most families struggled to survive and rear their children as law abiding citizens. Mothers stayed home to cook and take of the children while fathers worked to support the family. There were many homes without electricity or water and few houses had telephones or central heat. Those conditions were not unusual for those times, rather they were the norm. The majority of Southern Indiana families were in the same economic situation as mine in to the Great Depression prior to World War II. Many in today’s generation have little knowledge of life in the Great Depression or the sacrifices made to defend and save this nation in World War II.


 “Hutch’s Rainbow Bridge” has fun stories of my life in retirement and my pets, my wonderful family and friends who enriched my life. My sketches and photos help set the scene and each short story stands alone but are more or less in order of events and seasons. They also signify that I qualify as a starving artist.


I have witnessed the growth and change of the USA from radio days to computers, cell phones and drone bombers. It has been an amazing journey through time and history. I am proud of serving twenty-seven years as an elementary teacher or Principal and twelve as Assistant to the Superintendent.


I thank God I have been privileged to tell my WW II story in six books and record those of World War ll veterans other slowly fading into history. We were young and sixteen million strong when we served on land sea and air around the world to defeat three powerful military forces determined to conquer the our country.  The cost was high, thousands died and millions were wounded. Most have passed, but their heroic battles are saved in six books with 20+ photos and forty short stories by the men (boys) who fought the battles. I report WW II history from an old man who did twenty missions as a teenager. I do not consider the task finished and continue to speak and write as a ‘Living Antique’ to tell stories of the Greatest Generation and honor fellow WW II veterans. My boyhood in Southern Indiana during in the Great Depression was much the same as many World War II veterans. The Depression was more than a decade of hunger, poverty and hardship.  There is a great need to tell this generation of our patriotism and sacrifices.


“We enjoyed our freedom, never dreaming that as teenagers, we would be sent halfway around the world to protect it with our lives’.   

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Looking to get your hands on an autographed copy of a book, there are plenty of options available at local shops in Bedford, Indiana.

• Lawrence County Museum

• Twelve Months of Christmas

• Inkling Bookstore

• Smoking Jim's

• Crowder's Pharmacy

• Persimmon Tree Gifts, Paoli Indiana

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