ELLISVILLE, MS. - An Ellisville World War II (WWII) veteran, Basil Red, comes back to life telling his experience of the war through a memoir published by his best friend. Red left no instructions before his death, but left Mac Haynes two manuscripts.
Red passed away in the late 1980's and almost 30 years Haynes decided to tell his story. Red was a fighter pilot who left two detailed manuscripts to Haynes in hopes that it would one day be shared with future generations.
Haynes says, “This is unusual because veterans and veterans of WWII they do not talk about it.” Red's book talks about his ten man Crew 8434 and their nearby death experiences. It showcases the life of a young Ellisville airman and his quick transition to manhood at a very young age.
“It was so detailed, it turns out that he had written a lot of notes and kept a lot of papers and this helped him in the introduction, how he could remember all this by looking at these notes" says Haynes.
The memoir is complete with original pictures, maps, and even a Presidential citation given from G.C. Marshall, a former Secretary of State. It includes the smallest of details and why simple things meant so much more to Red after the war.
“There were four times that him and his crew were closed to being killed and this was only in 15 missions" he says.
"In his last mission they were shot down behind German lines and escaped that for five days. For five days he only had a pack of Wrigley’s gum."
Haynes adds, "...and because of that he said he chewed Wrigley’s gum for the rest of his life.” Haynes hopes that today's generations will understand the ultimate sacrifice many unprepared men and women experienced.
“Basil says in there that he was scared to death, but they did their duty. All the men like him were heroes" he says.
The small, yet powerful book echoes the story of one of the deadliest wars in history through the eyes of a young Ellisville man.
“What an amazing person he was, best friend he was, and what an amazing patriot he was" Haynes says.
After the war Red became a Pharmacist and owned the famous Wards Pharmacy in Ellisville. According to Haynes the book is a tribute to Red and all of the men who served in the Armed Forces in WWII.
To purchase the book you can click here.