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Writer identifies photo, speculates about book's author

It has been awhile since I corresponded regarding the 99th, and that was with the late Bill Meyer. I recently found a photo on the website of another son of a 99th Division veteran, David Gettman, and was able to identify both men in the picture he asked about.

The picture was taken in the office at Camp Maxey. The man on the left is my father, A.C. (Cedric) Gordon and the guy holding up the Maxey Times is one of his assistants, Joe O’Malley. My dad edited the newspaper and also was the editor of the Checkerboard both in Texas and overseas.

The masthead of an early Checkerboard from the Camp Van Dorn days shows that my dad was the assistant editor. Others listed below him were names that I heard a lot of and some remained friends after the war. This included Joe, “Buck” Bachner and artist Robbie Robison, whose artwork is on shown on the right side of the page.

Robbie also did portrait sketches of people in the division and I’ve included the one he did of my dad.

One question I have relates to the authorship of “Battle Babies.” I notice that you credit Gen. Walter Lauer with having written this, but I wonder if the general was that much of a writer, or if he might have had it ghost-written by one of his staff. I noticed that the artwork in the booklet was done by Robbie, so perhaps it was done by the Checkerboard crew. On the inside cover of one of my copies of “Battle Babies” is written “Written by A.C. Gordon.”

The only problem with this is that it is in my mother’s handwriting. All the people who could settle this question are gone now, but it is an interesting speculation.

Doug Gordon
doug@wdgordon.com

Last modified May 19, 2009

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